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Did you know?

An OECD survey suggest that British children are amongst the most anxious in the world and it seems that school is a key factor in this. That's very troubling. Perhaps there's a link with the other story that connected with me this week- the marginalising of the Arts. For years I've been telling anyone who appears to be listening that school life shouldn't be dominated by Maths and English. I'm the first to recognise that young people need to be numerate and literate but the extra demands of the new GCSE and the insistence that both are required for access to just about any course is too much. It places huge pressures on teachers and school leaders- but especially on the children. I have never heard that John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Adele, Tracy Emin, Michelangelo, the lads from Westlife, Anthony Hopkins, Kiera Knightly or Micky Flanagan excelled in English and Maths.( Odd collection of names. Forgive me) But they aren't or weren't half good at Arty things. More power to the elbows, the expressions and the voices of the artists I say.

I'm proud of the new Arts centre that's being half built at Rushcliffe, the great facilities at Arnold Hill and the appointment of2 Drama teachers at Farnborough ( despite the fact that a building designed by a firm called "Inspired Spaces" did not include a Drama studio ). As a trust we've been clear. The Arts matter. They let people develop and shine in ways that Maths and English are unlikely to. Perhaps if they were encouraged more children would be less anxious.

Phil Crompton
CEO