EDUCATION Arts council in schools plea

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The Independent Online
Pupils should have compulsory lessons in the arts from the time they arrive in school at five to the minimum leaving age at 16, the Arts Council said yesterday.

Launching its new education and training policy, the council said it was wrong that mandatory study of subjects such as drama, music, dance and the visual arts should stop at 14, as at present.

Arts leaders want a review of the national curriculum, due in 2000, to place arts subjects firmly on the school timetable. Schools should be encouraged to have a formal arts policy and appoint a governor to have special responsibility for arts training, and teacher training should equip staff to teach the subject, the council says. In practice, schools are likely to subscribe to the spirit of the policy but may not be willing to put all its recommendations into practice. Teachers already feel the national curriculum is over-crowded, leaving them too little flexibility. Lucy Ward