A new report, published by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC), has found that creative subject teachers are the most likely to provide industry experience for their students.
Enhancing Creative Education includes a survey of over 7,000 secondary school teachers, showing the resilience and innovation seen by creative subject teachers during the pandemic and the importance of creative subjects in student wellbeing.
A successful case study featured in the report is Marden High in North Tyneside, which has a thriving art department and has been partnered with TICE (This is Creative Enterprise) for nine years. The organisation provides projects and speakers across a range of creative subjects including fashion, graphic design and the music industry.
Tom Prytherch, art teacher and head of year, Marden High School, said: “The opportunity for young creative students to work closely with industry professionals is huge. It has proven to spark excitement within their own work, but also provides insight to the workings of each creative sector.”
The report also found that 93% of 16-18 year olds feel that taking creative subjects, which facilitate self-expression and collaboration, have had a positive impact on their wellbeing.
With mental health issues being significant amongst young people in recent years, the findings from this study suggest the impact creative subjects can have on student wellbeing post-pandemic.
The opportunity for young creative students to work closely with industry professionals is huge. It has proven to spark excitement within their own work, but also provides insight to the workings of each creative sector – Tom Prytherch, Marden High School
Jennifer Barrett, founder and managing director at TICE, expressed that exposing students to creative industry contacts at a young age can be a way for young people to link what they learned in the classroom to the ‘real world’.
She continued: “The research also emphasises the agility of a creative education, with live-industry briefs providing young people with up-to-date knowledge and skills, because such projects can move far more quickly than the national curriculum in responding to new trends and the evolving skills needed by employers.”
Despite the benefits of creative subjects, the study revealed that 99% of creative subject teachers feel their teaching had been disrupted over the pandemic, due to the need for in-person facilities needed for the subjects – 4% higher than other teachers from varying disciplines.
Lesley Giles, PEC lead on skills, jobs and education, commented: “We must work with the Government as it continues to progress education reforms to nurture the future conditions for creative education to thrive – sound governance, highly capable teachers, and sustained funding to enhance local creative partnerships, especially with employers.”
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