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Kent Teacher Fears £96m Funding For Arts Educations Will Leave Students Behind

A Kent teacher fears that funding for the arts will leave less fortunate students behind.

Earlier this month, the Department for Education announced a £96m investment into arts education to help support talented music, dance and drama students.

According to The Guardian, the funding is set to last until 2020 and will continue funding programmes and schemes, such as InHarmony, the Music and Dance scheme (MDS) and the Dance and Drama awards (DaDa), which provide specialist education and training to our most talented young musicians, dancers and actors.

The investment is set to help talented pupils kick-start their career in the arts, but many are concerned for those children who it won’t reach.

Many unfortunate pupils will not receive the arts funding.

George Gannon, Head of Performing Arts at Strood Academy fears that the funding boost for the arts will leave less fortunate students behind.

”I am happy to see that the government are supporting the arts. But I agree with Mr Paul Whitman when he discusses how this will mostly help talented students.

”I fear this money will go to support those students who have been taking dance, drama or music instrumental lessons from a young age as their parents have the money to support such ‘luxuries’ and the students who have been less fortunate will still be left behind.

”The arts should not be a luxury but a right for any student who wants to access them. This money does not address the real problem which is that the arts are seen as a ‘second-class’ subject within our schools and numbers are dropping dramatically and will continue to drop until this perception is changed by some reform of the EBacc structure.”

George Gannon, Kent Performing Arts teacher.

Since the EBacc scheme was reformed in 2015, the uptake of pupils choosing creative subjects has seen a steady decline.

As reported by The Telegraph, recent figures published by the Department for Education in January show an overall fall in the uptake of arts subjects by 8% on top of 8% last year.

Read The Canterbury Hub’s article on the decline in arts subjects here.

Sophie Hart, Musical Theatre students at Reynolds Performing Arts commented: ”I think it’s very unfair that they money is only going towards talented students.

”I am also frustrated how they haven’t addressed the EBacc. I am happy that Nick Gibb has helped to fund for my career but it isn’t going to save the arts and it’s leaving the unfortunate students left behind.”

I am happy that Nick Gibb has helped to fund for my career, but it isn’t going to save the arts and it’s leaving the less fortunate students behind.

Schools Standard Minister, Nick Gibb said in a statement: ”This funding will give more young people the opportunity to develop their talents and help world-famous institutions discover the next generation’s Billy Elliott.”

WATCH the Schools Minister supporting £96m for arts education below.