Henley clearly and comprehensively describes the value of a meaningful cultural education and the important role of different players - schools, cultural organisations, the teaching profession, Ofsted amongst others. There is money attached to the announcement – funding for a new national youth dance agency and a network of Saturday arts clubs have grabbed the headlines – but unsurprisingly in a time of cuts the emphasis is on what can be achieved through policy change, coordination and collaboration. The report may not have the richness of something like All Our Futures (Ken Robinson's report from 2008) but it is practical and hopefully achievable.
In the context of curriculum review, the implementation of the new Ofsted framework and the continuing revolution in the way schools are managed, the report is an important and timely statement about not losing sight of culture in the midst of change. We should be very grateful to Darren Henley and the Cultural Learning Alliance (who brought much of the content together) for this.
At A New Direction we are looking forward to the national plan for cultural education taking shape and doing our bit to ensure London is the best city in the world for having a brilliant creative childhood.