Enhancing creative education

Williams J, Pollard E, Cook J, Byford M |   | Institute for Employment Studies | Feb 2022

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This report aims to understand how creative education in secondary schools is seeking to meet the skills requirements of creative industries and the impact of the pandemic on such endeavours. It draws together findings from the existing literature, with primary research from case study interviews and teacher surveys. Creative education, which covers a wide array of subjects, from art and design, to media, dance and music, plays a crucial role in preparing the next generation of innovative workers.

The report presents the final findings of the research project commissioned by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC, a research consortium led by Nesta and funded from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund) and the Arts Council England (ACE). The work originates from the Creative Industries Council (CIC) skills and education working group (in particular the schools’ task and finish group). This task and finish group was set up to develop and support specific, evidence-based proposals for action which promote and improve creative education in schools.

The research is based on a new survey of over 7,000 secondary school teachers which found that creative subject teachers (for example art, design and technology) are the most likely to provide 'live' industry experience for their pupils. 

Findings include:

  • 99% of creative subject teachers in UK secondary schools felt that teaching was disrupted during the pandemic, 4% higher than other teachers from varying disciplines. 
  • 88% of young people aged 11+ report considering a creative career, or the possibility of exploring one more, after direct engagement where they were given the opportunity to learn about the panoply of jobs existing within the UK’s creative industries.
  • 93% of 16-18 year olds report that creative education fostering self-expression, teamwork and empathy, positively impacts on their mental health and wellbeing.