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Secondary Arts Premium confirmed in Budget


On Wednesday 11th March the Conservative Manifesto commitment of a Secondary School Arts Premium was confirmed in the Budget.


Our partners at The Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA) have been calling for an Arts Premium since 2015, and reported last year that both Labour and the Conservatives had included an Arts Premium in their manifestos.


In the Budget report the Arts Premium is described as:

‘£90 million a year to introduce an Arts Premium from September 2021, averaging out as an extra £25,000 a year per secondary school for three years. The funding will help schools to provide high quality arts programmes and extracurricular activities for pupils, including those delivered in partnership with arts organisations, as well as supporting teachers to deliver engaging and creative lessons in the arts.’

At present it is expected funding to be paid directly to schools the same way the Pupil and PE and Sport Premiums are paid, but this is to be confirmed.


We very pleased that the Arts Premium will go ahead as manifesto commitments are not always delivered, but are disappointed the amount available has dropped from £110 million to £90 million a year.


We believe that the Premium should be used to support high-quality, sustained provision of arts subjects and cultural experiences in schools, which is the fastest, cheapest and most effective use of funding, from which more students will benefit. This can be supported with additional resources and experiences where needed, such as student workshops, extra-curricular and after-school programmes, and teacher CPD.


The CLA, through consultation on their key asks have come up with some core principles for what they think will work.


Core principles for Arts Premium

An Arts Premium should be structured to actively support schools to meet the requirements of the new Ofsted Framework, using the language of Intent, Implementation and Impact; broad and balanced curriculum; and the delivery of Cultural Capital.


They believe the Arts Premium should fund:


Curriculum intent The Premium should build teachers’ understanding of pedagogy. It should focus on training and on developing arts leaders at all levels within schools.


Curriculum design and development

The Premium should be used for arts curriculum development, and to facilitate the co-creation of a school’s vision statement and working practices with arts specialists and stakeholders including young people.


Delivery of provision

Premium funds should be used to build strategic partnerships with artists and cultural organisations. Appropriate signposting for schools who lack expertise in this area will be needed, Artsmark is one possible method. The Premium should be used to offer sustained, high-quality opportunities for young people to experience, participate and progress in arts subjects, and for purchasing arts materials and equipment.


You can comment and contribute to the campaign of the CLA here: https://culturallearningalliance.org.uk/secondary-arts-premium-confirmed-in-budget/

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