Puttnam fears for arts

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The Independent Online
LORD PUTTNAM yesterday attacked a key plank of the Government's drive to raise school standards, claiming too much emphasis on the three Rs could squeeze creativity out of the classroom, writes Ben Russell.

The Oscar-winning film producer, a key member of the School Standards Taskforce, warned that a "painting-by- numbers" approach to teaching would deprive children of a well-rounded schooling. He said: "I believe we face a real danger at the moment, the danger of allowing arts education to be marginalised - unnecessarily sacrificed at the alter of the numeracy and literacy targets."

He told the conference that it would be wrong to cut the school curriculum down to a bare minimum of subjects and deprive children of the arts.

He said: "They can no longer be viewed as a light-weight diversion from the more taxing serious subjects of maths and science. I believe that a child who is not exposed to the riches of the arts is like a flower without sunshine." It was also important "to ensure that every child leaves school with a rock solid foundation in the basic skills".