This year’s Children’s Art Week comes at a poignant time, with news that Art will be removed from the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which is due to replace current GCSE exams by 2020. The Art community have responded passionately with the argument that Art will become even more elitist by inhibiting the access to the subject in state schools. The EBacc will require children to take 5 core subjects; English, Maths, a science, a foreign language, and one or other of History or Geography – excluding anything creative, technical or artistic.
For many, school is the first introduction to the Arts that may allow them to flourish in class or even embark on a creative career. We cannot expect children to discover Art through extra-curricular activity or in free local exhibitions. The subject in school is a vehicle for social inclusion: without it, Art risks remaining impenetrable for less advantaged children and artists have spoken out about the detrimental effect this change will have. 100 prominent British artists have signed a petition that highlights the contribution, both financially and culturally, that the Arts give to the country. The bid to make the curriculum more academic ignores the need for the creative skills in every industry. Moreover, outside of work and education, Art has a profound effect on our mental health, enriching our personal lives and our understanding of the world around us. Art helps us to seek innovation, beauty and meaning in all that we do.
Children’s Art Week, ran by charity Engage, invites schools, galleries, museums and community groups to devise and register visual arts events for children and families. The week is an increasingly important access point to creative practise for children, more so now than ever.
For ways to get involved this week have a look at what’s going on near you:https://www.engage.org/caw_events.aspx