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Do Sports and Arts get a fair deal in Education?

March 7, 2020 10:15 AM
By Rhoanne Flanaghan

Rhoanne Flanaghan

Arts and sports are both spaces in our educational system where learning spans much further than just a grade.

The arts help develop skills in critical thinking, self confidence and motivation. There is overwhelming evidence that sport is essential to student wellbeing and teaching teamwork skills.

The benefits of arts and sports are often overlooked in favour of traditional academic subjects. According to the Times there has been a net loss of over 2500 sport facilities since the 2012 Olympics. Headteachers have seen their maintenance budgets cut by up to 90% and have been compelled to sell off sports fields to compensate.

The arts are vital in helping children develop skills they will take through every walk of life. Drama encourages children to develop confidence and speaking skills which are vital in a workplace. Traditional Art has been proven to be therapeutic for many. In a world where 1 in 8 school age children have an identified mental health issue, the educational cuts directly affecting arts and sports are only making these issues worse.

On a personal level, having studied Art through school in Sevenoaks and Graphic Design at university I've found the support given to those students undertaking creative degrees as opposed to academic ones is lacking.

Creativity and teamwork skills will be the chief drivers of the economy in the next generation as they are the jobs least likely to be replaced by Artificial Intelligence. In an increasing crowded global jobs market we need to ensure that our students are not left lagging behind.

Rhoanne Flanagan