Image courtesy DES website

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, have jointly launched an Arts in Education Charter. This Charter places new responsibilities on Government Departments, agencies, cultural institutions and arts organisations in terms of providing and promoting arts education to children and young people.

This Charter has been agreed as both Ministers believe passionately in arts education and want to see a joined-up Government approach across Departments, education agencies and arts organisations. The charter will see organisations like the Arts Council, the National Cultural Institutions, the Colleges of Education and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) working with both Departments in order to bring the arts into the classroom.

Some of the Arts in Education Charter commitments include:

Donate time in return for taxpayer funding: A new Public Service Education Dividend will be introduced which will mean that artists and arts organisations in receipt of taxpayer funds will be expected to donate a small amount of time each year to a local education initiative.

Arts Rich Schools: The Arts Council will introduce a national scheme which will incentivise and recognise those schools (primary and secondary) which make the arts a key part of school life.

Visits to museums and galleries: The National Cultural Institutions shall ensure that each student visits a national cultural institution at least once in their second level school career.

Reduced ticket prices: The National Theatre and the National Concert Hall – along with all other National Cultural Institutions that may, from time to time, charge an admission fee for a particular event – will offer discounted tickets to those in full-time primary, post primary and third level education. These tickets shall not cost more than €5 per event.

Artists in Residence: The number of artists’ residencies in Colleges of Education will be increased.

Curriculum design: The Arts Council will be consulted by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment on curriculum design.

At the launch of the Charter, the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, said:

“Education should and must be about fostering creativity in our students and creativity cannot only be taught in the classroom. I believe the Arts in Education Charter will assist us in our mission to develop creativity in our economy and our society.”

As part of the Charter, a portal site for arts-in-education will be developed. The site will be a key communications and information channel for both the education and arts sectors.