Painting and Drawing Taught in UK Schools: Across England, school budgets are being squeezed to near breaking point, and much art requires equipment, leaving many subjects, like art, fighting for a share of funding. However, it’s not just budget cuts that are threatening the place of art in schools. The relevance of painting and drawing as part of the curriculum is in question.
Painting and drawing have been part of the education of students for many years, but slowly art is beginning to fade from the curriculum. Maths, English, and science, as core subjects, are major priorities in many schools, so where does that leave art? Have painting and drawing finally run their course?
Building a Future with Drawing and Painting
One of the main purposes of schools is to prepare children for the future, giving them the skills and knowledge that they need to pursue a career. This purpose is a great area to explore when it comes to the relevancy of different subjects.
When you look solely at the economy, art, in all its forms, still has relevancy. Creative industries in the UK are growing exponentially. Currently, the industries are growing at a rate that’s twice as fast as the economy – the future definitely looks bright for the art industries.
While painting and drawing only form a small section of creative industries, the skills are still incredibly relevant. For children that show a talent for art, fostering the love of the subject at an early age could help them to pave a future in one of the many creative industries.
The Place of Art in Education
Another way to consider the relevancy of painting and drawing in schools today is to look at the skills that art helps children to develop. Unlike maths and English, painting and drawing are not skills that are so easily transferable to different professions. However, the life skills and characteristics that painting and drawing contribute towards are transferable.
Having access to art education at an early age can help children to develop:
• Improved Concentration
• Decision-Making Ability
• Teamwork Skills
Art also encourages motor skill development and the ability to learn visually, aiding in other areas of education. All of these skills can help students to pursue a wide and varied range of careers in the future, either in the arts or in completely different industries.
Could Education Leave Art Behind?
Between the growth of creative industries and the skills that art teaches children, there are plenty of reasons why schools should keep art on the curriculum. However, there are also a number of challenges facing schools that make painting and drawing seem less important.
This is particularly the case when you consider the cost of resources for painting and drawing when compared to other lessons. When you pit art against subjects like maths and English, it’s also losing the priority battle. There has not only been a decline in GCSE art entries in recent years, but also a decline in art teachers and hours dedicated to teaching art. Whilst there’s still much benefit to creativity in the classroom, and relevancy in today’s world, the current trends suggest that painting and drawing may not last on the curriculum forever.
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