Arts campaigners condemn school cuts

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The abolition of a flagship programme designed to foster creativity in children has been condemned by teachers and ambassadors of the arts as threatening the education of the most vulnerable children.

Funding for the Creative Partnerships initiative, which has brought professional musicians, artists and actors into schools since 2002, was withdrawn by the Arts Council in England in November (News, 11 November, 2010).

The move has been criticised by Sir Denis Healey and actor Sir Ian McKellen, who, according to the Observer newspaper, joined protestors calling for schools to keep their gates open to professionals.

Paul Collard, chief executive of national arts education charity Creativity, Culture and Education, said, 'The fantastic progress made in the last few years is now seriously under threat, and those young people who are most likely to miss out on these opportunities appear most vulnerable. Once these opportunities are gone there is no turning back the clock and the impact of this on the next generation is not something that can be fixed once public finances are restored.'

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