Leading article: A creative approach to education

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The Independent Online

Nick Williams's criticisms of the absence of creativity in Britain's education system are far from a case of "he would say that, wouldn't he". The out-going principal of the BRIT School for performing arts laments the fact that Britain leads the world in any number of creative industries, yet our schools teach less drama, less music and less art than ever before. How right he is.

There are two complementary arguments here. One is educational. Schools are so tied down by the exigencies of league tables and exam results that there is little room for creativity and little appreciation of the vocational value such skills offer. The second question is economic. Britain's creative industries contribute about 6 per cent of GDP and employ more than two million people. But they are rarely mentioned, even when discussion turns to rebalancing the economy.

That the BRIT School now hosts an Apple training centre is just a hint of the potential for new digital media to turn artistic talent into a career. It is time the mainstream education establishment followed its lead.