Cultural education review out next week

Minister announces Henley report publication date
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Sharon Heal
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Speaking at the State of the Arts conference in Salford today, minister for culture Ed Vaizey announced that the Darren Henley review of cultural education, which he commissioned in April 2011, will be published next week.

The review, which looks at cultural education in its entirety, was due to be published last year.

Vaizey said the review would force organisations to work together and that it was a step towards “a cultural education national plan”.

He said that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education were working systematically together for the first time and added: “I want to ensure as many people as possible experience the arts and it must start in schools.”

Outlining the government’s policy for culture Vaizey reiterated the emphasis on the intrinsic value of culture, a mixed economy for the arts, the arms-length principle of governance, and collaboration and partnership.

The Arts Council England (ACE) annual conference had a strong emphasis on artists. Opening the conference Liz Forgan, the chair of ACE, said that although the instrumental value of the arts was important the artist must be at the centre of everything ACE does.

“The instrumental value of the arts to wealth, to mental and physical health, to education, to social coherence, is real and enormously important. But today is about something else: today is about the extraordinary and essential role artists play in our society, their genius, their needs, their contribution to what matters in all our lives.”

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