Highlights from our weekly round-ups 2013

20 December 2013

It's been a busy and exciting 2013 for the Arts, Culture and Education Sectors.

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(Image credit: The Daily Constitutional blog)


PISA results

The latest results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) were published by the OECD. A comprehensive analysis of the result has been published by both the BBC and The Guardian.

There’s also a couple of interesting pieces about the things that teachers in the UK can learn about the Pisa results and the 10 things that teachers need to know about these.

Ofsted's Annual Report 2012 / 2013

London has seen a rise in the quality of its schools again and overall inspection outcomes were the best in the country, claimed Ofsted in its Annual Review 2012 / 2013.

To read the full report including the rest of regions in England go here

If you are a teacher, you might find this article from The Guardian very useful as talks you through the 10 things teachers need to know about Ofsted's annual report.


GCSE changes

Exams regulator Ofqual has confirmed the changes it’s making to GCSEs, in what it calls the biggest shake-up of exams in England for a generation. Read more

One of the changes includes more poetry in English literature, a greater focus on spelling and punctuation in language courses. Pupils will also be required to study at least 15 poems by the likes of Keats, Shelley and Byron. Read more

Building a Creative Nation launches

The new national campaign aims to work with employers and partners within the education sector to create equal access to fairly-paid jobs. It is also calling on all of the UK’s 106,700 creative sector employers to create 50,000 fairly paid jobs for young people in the creative industries. Read more


Arts Award celebrates its 100,000th award

11-year-old Lucca Muchmore has been named by Trinity College London as the 100,000th person to have achieved an Arts Award – the unique national qualification that supports young people to develop their artistic and leadership talents. Read more

Children who paint more likely to grow up into entrepreneurs

Children who paint or play music are more likely to turn into successful business people with their own inventions when they grow up, according to new research.


Taking Part 2012/13 Annual Child Report

The recently launched report from DCMS highlights -among other data- that 99% of children aged 5-15 engaged with the arts in the last year, with 92% engaging regularly, representing significant increases since 2008/09. Read more

National curriculum

The national curriculum for England to be taught in all maintained primary and secondary schools from September 2014 was published in September. Read more

For a quick arts and cultural guide to it, visit the Cultural Learning Alliance website.


'Art is good for the heart and soul'

The Scottish Household Survey 2011, the Healthy Attendance report found that people who participate in culture or attend cultural places and events were more likely to report good health and life satisfaction. Read more

Lewisham is awarded lottery funding for children's services

The Big Lottery Fund announced in August that the South East London borough was one of the 15 areas in England to be awarded part of £5m in lottery funding to improve the lives of young children and tackle poverty. Read more


A world-class curriculum to drive up standards and fuel aspiration

Michael Gove announced in July the final programmes of study for the national curriculum for 5 to 16-year-olds. Read more

BBC News released their own views and analysis on the subject. They highlighted what Prime Minister David Cameron said about the announcement. 'This "revolution in education" is vital for the country's economic prosperity'. Read more

New partnership for disadvantaged young people

A new partnership that brings together different schemes run by Catch22, St Giles Trust, The Prince's Trust and Tomorrow's People was unveiled in July. The partnership will help up to 25,000 disadvantaged NEET young people to get into education, training or work over the next three years. Read more


Parliamentary arts debate

Shadow Culture Secretary, Harriet Harman led a major debate in the House of Commons on the arts and the future of the creative industries. Find the full transcript of the debate here

A further review of the debate can be found on Charlotte Higgins' latest blog.

London primary schools places crisis

The Evening Standard revealed in June that the school place shortage reached a crisis point. Some Head teachers considered building playgrounds on school roofs or opening classrooms in disused pubs and retail parks to cope with demand. Read more

The Telegraph revealed MPs have warned that even some primary schools have had to sacrifice music rooms, libraries and even outdoor play space to cram in extra classrooms to cope with a massive shortage of places. Read more


More than 100 free schools applications approved

From 2014, 102 new free schools are set to open after being granted approval from the Department for Education. This will create more than 50,000 new school places. Read more

Read the BBC review on this issue and find out on The Guardian the full list of the free schools approved for 2014 opening.

English Heritage bus scheme to fund school trips

A new scheme from the English Heritage was announced in May. The purpose of the scheme is to offer thousands of state schools in England free bus journeys to famous historic sites such as Stonehenge and Hadrian's Wall. Read here


London 2012: Have we inspired a generation?

The RSA hosted in April a debate on the impact that London 2012 brought for young people. Panelists were questioned on: What differences have London 2012 made? and What is next?

The panel included our Chief Executive Steve Moffitt; Baroness Grey-Thompson, director of UK Athletics; Matilda Neil from Legacy Trust UK youth project participant; and Matthew Taylor, chief executive at RSA.

To watch some of the highlights from the event, go here

The event was also an opportunity for the launch of the Legacy Trust UK's research findings on London 2012.

What Next?

April saw the national launch of What Next?, a campaign that gathers a network of theatres, museums and dance companies and that aims to promote public investment in the arts by making culture a 'manifesto issue'.


Creative Employment Programme

Matthew Hancock MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business and Education, formally launched the Creative Employment Programme in March at the Creative and Cultural Skills' annual industry Conference.

"Arts and culture should be invested in and cherished"

At his inaugural lecture at London's RSA, Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England, highlighted some of the innovative ways in which arts organisations around the country are working to "sustain our world class arts and culture".

The event marked the launch of a partnership between the RSA and the Arts Council to deliver a new series of State of the Arts seminars. Full transcript and audio are available on the Arts Council England's website.


U-turn over EBacc

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, revealed he will press ahead with major changes to 'discredited' exams and announces national curriculum revamp.

But what does this means to the arts and creative subjects? Charlotte Higgins from The Guardian dips into the subject.

The Cultural Learning Alliance summarised Gove's announcement and released its first response.

Shakespeare week

The first ever Shakespeare week was announced in February. It will take place in March 2014 and will help primary school children learn about the playwright and his cultural legacy. Read more


Liz Forgan's farewell speech

In her final speech as Chair of Arts Council England, Dame Liz Forgan continued the debate on cultural education provision and investment in arts and culture. Read here

Creative Apprenticeships Week

Creative and Cultural Skills shared its overview about their event in January, in which over a 100 organisations gathered at Tate Modern to celebrate the first ever national Creative Apprenticeships week.