Last Thursday in the House of Lords Steve Bassam who is based her in Brighton took part in a discussion under the heading of Creative Sector and as part of his speech he asked this question. Now I would certainly want the provision for STEM training to be treated as a priority. However understandably creativity is also very vital and so when he asked this question, it would seem very sensible for the both approach to take part. I wonder if the Government would agree?
In higher education, the OfS confirms that there has been a 50% reduction in funding available for creative courses at universities, with a redirecting of these funds to STEM subjects and others deemed strategically important. It should not, in my view, be a case of either/or, but of both. Does the Minister agree with that view?
Presumably at some stage we will see a response? Later on in the debate Baroness Fleet or rather Veronica Wadley who is a Conservative Peer stated
I hope noble Lords will indulge me if I too say a few words about the arts premium and why it is so important. First, it is important as a signal from the Government that they do care about the arts and creative industries, and also that they recognise the role that the arts play in the development of the child. Previous speakers have spoken about the financial power of the creative industries, but what of the pipeline of talent? The arts are being squeezed in schools, what with STEM and the EBacc, and it is those from the poorest and most underprivileged communities who are losing out. As chair of the Government’s advisory panel for the national plan for music education, I want to make access and inclusion a priority. Surely, we should be doing more to ensure that our brilliant creative industries have not just a trickle of new talent but a healthy flow from all communities and regions.
Later on Baroness Gillian Merron who is part of the Labour Party mentioned STEM again
Will the Minister ensure recognition of creative subjects as being of strategic importance, in line with the plan for growth, alongside STEM subjects? Can he do his level best to deal with the misplaced chatter around creative education, with courses sometimes being considered as a burden on the taxpayer and not strategic subjects? It is time we got past this attitude.
These were the only three references to STEM in that debate!