He announced a new national committee on creativity just three weeks after the Government said it was cutting back the primary school curriculum to give more emphasis to the three Rs. History, geography, music. PE and art teachers have all protested that their subjects are in danger of being squeezed out of the timetable.
Mr Blunkett told the Education, Culture and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels that the new national advisory committee would consider how schools could foster creativity.
The committee, which will be chaired by Professor Ken Robinson of Warwick University, includes Sir Simon Rattle, the conductor, Benjamin Zephaniah, the poet, Sir Harry Kroto, the Nobel prize winning scientist and Jude Kelly of the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Creative industries are worth around pounds 50bn a year and generate around pounds 10bn in exports.
Mr Blunkett said: "Our top priorities must continue to be literacy and numeracy. Without these basic skills, no child can gain maximum benefit from the rest of the curriculum. However, in the workforce of the future, I have always recognised that creativity, adaptability and communication skills will also be vital."
- Judith Judd, Education EditorReuse content