The newly launched Creative Industries Federation has launched its Education Agenda with a call for the government to value arts subjects alongside STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).
According to the Federation:
'Our current education system, particularly in England, has created a gulf between STEM and arts subjects with the assumption that the arts are creative but not useful in an economic sense. The STEM subjects, on the other hand, are seen as non-creative drivers of the economy. These are dangerous misconceptions.
'Worryingly, research shows that the arts are increasingly becoming a privilege rather than an entitlement in our schools, only available to those who can afford them. And although the arts are not the only vehicle for ‘creativity’, they offer particular ways of encouraging creative thinking in children and young people which are relevant to every profession, in particular those in STEM industries and the creative industries.
'Just like the study of mathematics, these are skills that are essential for every young person to have, part of a toolbox that should be given to all.'
The agenda was launched recently at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London. ICE figures show that 36.5% of top engineers have art or design as an A or AS level and 35.4% play a musical instrument.
'Lack of proper arts education damages engineering as much as it hurts creative industries or the arts, so we are uniting with enlightened voices from the STEM world to highlight the importance of arts and science together.'