Step by step: arts policy and young people 1944–2014 – so, what next?

Dana Segal responds to the Culture at King’s report on behalf of What Next? Generation, a movement focused on bringing together younger and emergent arts practitioners and professionals to champion the role of arts & culture in our society.

We were delighted to be a part of the Step by Step enquiry launch on Tuesday 13 January. It’s about time that policymaking for children and young people is impactful, and the only way this can be done is through longitudinal implementation and evaluation and, as Marcus Davey recommends in his response, with the involvement of young people at the heart of the entire process.

We support and agree with many of the policy recommendations that are part of this insightful paper. Ahead of the general election in May we have written a manifesto and a series of pledges, all of which relate very strongly to the final recommendation of the paper: that policy should be implemented so that arts activity is encouraged outside of the school system.

That’s not to say that we do not believe that arts activity should be a core part of education; because we strongly believe that all children should have access to arts and culture through their education regardless of their wealth. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that one of the most expensive private schools in the country also happens to have a very long list of visiting music staff.

As stated in the paper, family and social life of young people play a crucial role in forming their identity and impacting on their later life. As I highlighted in my conclusion at the launch: if it wasn’t for my father’s passion for music, and my drama teacher’s support to take the subject and experience live theatre, I would not be the person I identify myself as today: a voter, an employee, a student, etc.

Up until this point, it was due to specific people: but hopefully following this paper, it can be due to specific policies implemented to ensure all young people can access arts and culture.

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  1. Pingback: The trail we’ve left.. step by step | James Doeser

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