Kusama Obliteration Room  2012, Tate Modern, Tate Photography

Tate calls for higher profile for the arts in secondary schools

Simon Stephens, 27.09.2012
Nicholas Serota: arts will be sidelined under Ebacc
Tate has called for the arts to remain core subjects in English secondary schools following the recent government announcement that they will not be part of the planned English Baccalaureate (Ebacc).

Tate says the proposals for the new Ebacc certificates, which will replace GCSEs, do not include the arts as a core subject and suggest that there will be no room in the school timetable for art, design, dance, drama and music.

Tate director Nicholas Serota said he was concerned that the “arts would be pushed to the margins” as there was “a real risk that fewer and fewer schools will provide learning opportunities in the arts”. 

He added that he was worried that the government would not implement the findings of a report by Classic FM’s Darren Henley that was published earlier this year. The report emphasised the importance of cultural learning in the curriculum.

“There have been cuts in budgets but this not just about money, it is more about the direction in which we are going,” Serota said. 

Serota said that Tate has been spending more on learning in recent years and has been giving education a higher profile within the organisation. More than 600,000 schoolchildren visited one of Tate’s four galleries in 2011-12. 

The Tate’s call to make arts the fourth ‘R’ in the curriculum came as it launched its annual report. A total of 7.1 million people visited the four Tate galleries during 2011-12. During the period, Tate acquired 516 works for the collection to the value of £7.9m.

Tate also said that fundraising for the £45m Tate Britain Millbank Project was completed and the newly refurbished galleries will open next year.

Also, 61% of Tate’s funding came from earned and private sources in 2011-12. Over the past five years Tate has increased its self-generated income by 15% compared to the 5% increase in grant-in-aid.

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