The Guardian: by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

According to a new BBC survey, creative arts subjects are being cut back in many secondary schools in England. Music, art and drama, often perceived as options for less academically minded students, are being squeezed out or underfunded, with the costs passed on to parents. In 2016, the proportion of pupils taking at least one arts subject fell to the lowest in a decade.

I have always maintained that 15 or 16 is a ridiculously young age at which to be narrowing your options to such an extent. It felt young at the time, while I was choosing them. Unless you’re hellbent on a timetable that is pure maths and science, you find yourself presented with an array of conflicting boxes that you are never quite able to make work together. Something has to give.
In my case it was art, in favour of more academic subjects. I followed this path for several years, wasting time and money in doing so, before falling back into its paint-splattered arms. Why? Pressure. The low status given to creative subjects. The fact that I was told university admissions tutors did not look upon it kindly. Because I didn’t want to be poor any more. It didn’t occur to me to think about being happy…read more

Photograph: Alamy