HC Deb 15 February 1988 vol 127 c697
38. Mrs. Clwyd

To ask the Minister for the Arts what discussions he has had with the Arts Council about the role of the arts in the proposed national curriculum.

The Minister for the Arts (Mr. Richard Luce)

I last discussed this matter with the chairman at our meeting in January.

Mrs. Clwyd

I thank the Minister for that answer. No doubt he is aware of the widespread concern that all arts subjects, not simply art and music, should be taught to all children in all schools. Will he ensure that that is now a part of the Education Reform Bill, and will he assure us that parents will not have to pay extra for these subjects in schools?

Mr. Luce

I know that the hon. Lady has played a prominent role in the past in connection with the Arts Council. As she may know, education is not my direct responsibility. Nevertheless, I am glad to say that art, music and English, are all core subjects. That shows the importance that the Government attach to this matter.

Mr. Jessel

As my right hon. Friend has just said, it is extremely important that, for the first time ever, music and the arts are to be made compulsory subjects in schools. No Labour Government ever did that, thus proving that Conservatives are much more civilised in government than is the Labour party.

Mr. Luce

As always, my hon. Friend is absolutely right. He is right to acknowledge that this is the first time ever that both art and music have been part of compulsory education throughout school life.

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