Review of Cultural Education in England
NMDC has welcomed the publication of Darren Henley's Review of Cultural Education and its recognition of the valuable contribution museums play in the lives of children and young people. The Review recommends that children should have the opportunity to visit museums, galleries and libraries at all Key Stages.
Mr Henley said he was "particularly impressed by the Museums and Galleries sector with many national and local organisations from this area firmly planting education at the centre of their activities." He praised the achievements of the joint Department for Education (DfE)/Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) funded Strategic Commissioning Scheme as "an excellent example of the dissemination of the highest level of academic learning to the widest possible constituency" and said he would welcome continued Government support for this sort of work by museums and galleries, with particular attention being paid to enMsuring that children from more disadvantaged backgrounds benefit fully from the financial investment.
Following the publication of the Henley Review, the Department for Education (DfE) has announced it will invest £15m investment in cultural education in England, including £3.6m for museums and galleries education. The investment is intended “to encourage more school visits to museums and art galleries, so that all children and young people can learn about and experience at first hand our most treasured artefacts and works of art”. The funding is for the remaining three years of the current spending cycle – i.e. £1.2m in 2012/13, 13/14 and 14/15 – and will come via DCMS to Arts Council England (ACE), who will be responsible for coordinating a new museum education scheme. NMDC has been in discussion with ACE on plans for the scheme, which is likely to involve national and regional museums working in partnership on schools programmes. DCMS
NMDC also welcomes the Review's emphasis on closer working between Government departments and on partnership working across the cultural sector, and the recommendation that National Museums be involved in the proposed Cultural Education Partnership Group. We look forward to further announcements about Government plans for museums education, and to working with the DfE, DCMS and sector bodies on implementing the recommendations of the Review.
A summary of the contents of the Review can be found in the March 2012 edition of the NMDC newsletter.