Library Dissertation Showcase

An analysis of the performing arts provisions in secondary education in the UK

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

This study intended to discover the level mainstream secondary education in the UK integrates performing arts subjects, in the curriculum and in extra-curricular activities, by analysing the performing arts provisions in UK secondary schools. Another objective was to reveal any differences in the performing arts provisions of Comprehensive and Grammar schools, and if so, why. This study’s approach was sociological, following a mostly interpretivist methodology. The study uses a combination of analysed and reviewed secondary research, and primary research designed for this investigation. The primary research consisted of interviews and questionnaires that collected subjective and objective data, completed by performing arts secondary school teachers. The primary research supported the suggestions in the secondary research. The conclusions prove a marginalisation of performing arts subjects in UK mainstream secondary education. Grammar schools, their students and parents appear to have high expectations for the university and career pathways of students. This affects the performing arts provisions, meaning that Grammar schools may have less provisions than Comprehensives. Funding, Governmental opinion and the social perception of the arts cause lack of focus on creative subjects. This study proves that skills gained through the arts are beneficial and should have more attention in education. This includes confidence and the ability to think innovatively and creatively, which are desirable employable skills. This study discusses whether lack of variety in education may impact creative industries if less children pursue creative careers.

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