3 min read - Monday 20th September 2021
Value v Gross Value Added: how the Government’s cuts contradict the Arts’ contributions by Millie Robson
Following the recent headlines that funding for creative courses in the UK will be cut in half due to them not being on the ‘priority list’ of subjects, there seems to be a sense of inescapable déjà vu. The disappointing truth is that this news is all too familiar. Every year, as if like clockwork, there are new headlines telling an old story: the arts are seen as unnecessary and valueless. The irony of this situation is that the UK’s creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors, with government figures from 2020 showing that the Creative Industries sector is growing more than five times faster than the national economy. To put this into numbers, the creative industries contribute almost £13 million to the UK economy every hour, and pre-pandemic statistics from Oxford Economics also showed that the Creative Industries directly supported more than 1 in 10 of UK jobs.
Despite this, from a young age, we are instilled with a perception that arts and creative subjects are extracurricular activities that won’t result in a viable career. This perception is reinforced by the introduction of education measures within the UK such as the EBacc, which places emphasis on ‘core academic’ subjects such as English, Maths and Science. This measure has resulted in a dramatic increase of pressure on schools to perform in these ‘core’ subjects, leading to them reprioritising funding away from Arts Education within the classroom.