Private school officials called Bridget Phillipson chippy in emails, 15 June
) overlooks the profound benefits that a truly universal and ambitious arts education policy could have for the UKs children and young people.
In 2020 the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment became the first orchestra in the UK to move its permanent base and offices to a state school when it moved into Acland Burghley school in north London. It is a school in an area of high economic inequalities that faces considerable challenges (32% of students are eligible for free school meals) with positive leadership. Our programmes provide curricular and extracurricular enrichment, professional skills training, impactful therapies for students with special educational needs and disabilities, and have contributed to improvements in GCSE pass rates.
All of this has been achieved without spending an extra penny of public money. Access to culture should be a normal part of growing up in the UK for every child, not a sales hook for the middle class. A future government willing to commit to facilitating and investing in similar initiatives could harness the arts to transform the lives and opportunities of millions of young people across the country.
Crispin Woodhead
CEO, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
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