In recent UK political news, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer announced his intentions to revamp education policies, moving towards a model that nurtures creativity and vocational skills alongside academic rigour. This potential shift in focus acknowledges the integral role of arts and creativity in education, a stance that we at The Creative Revolution wholeheartedly endorse. However, we urge this emphasis to be on championing the individuals within the system, rather than focusing on the political leaders at the helm.
Starmer stressed the need to nurture qualities “that make us human, that distinguish us from learning machines,” recognising the growing threat artificial intelligence poses to the educational landscape. He proposes a move away from the traditional bias favouring academic prowess over vocational skills, challenging the “sheep and goats mentality” prevalent in English education.
While we welcome these proposed changes, we feel the focus must be less on political manoeuvring and more on truly serving the students, teachers, and communities within the education system.
The importance of creative education is indisputable. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, ‘The Future of Jobs Report’, creativity and innovation, along with critical thinking and problem-solving, is among the top skills required in the workforce.
The impact of arts and creativity in education is far-reaching. Creative education encourages divergent thinking, fostering the ability to generate unique ideas and solutions. It nurtures emotional intelligence, empathy, and understanding – qualities that are pivotal in an increasingly globalised and interconnected world.
Yet, in spite of these findings, arts and creative subjects have consistently been side-lined in the education system. Funding for arts education has seen drastic cuts, leading to a steep decline in the number of students taking arts subjects at GCSE.
As champions of creativity, we strongly urge the Labour Party to study the work of Sir Ken Robinson Phd., and continue our work championing creative education. In 1999, Robinson led a national commission on creativity, education, and the economy for the UK Government, producing the seminal report, ‘All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education‘. This report strongly advocates for a comprehensive strategy to promote creativity in education, urging for a balanced curriculum that recognises the value of arts and creativity alongside other subjects.
As Starmer sets out to reform education policies, we propose that his team revisits ‘All Our Futures’. It provides a wealth of insight and understanding into the profound impact that a creativity-focussed education system can have on students and society at large.
We at The Creative Revolution, and office of Sir Ken Robinson, stand ready to revisit this report with the Labour Party, to aid in their understanding and implementation of its crucial findings. It is high time we place the importance of creativity, culture, and education at the forefront of our policy-making, championing not just the system, but the vibrant, diverse individuals within it.
Together, let’s reimagine an education system that truly celebrates and nurtures our shared humanity and creativity. Because as Sir Ken Robinson wisely said, “Imagination is the source of all human achievement.”
Kate and Anthony
The Office of Sir Ken Robinson