The Edge foundation in the UK reports that a narrow curriculum excluding the arts impacts upon our economy. The Stage,  a weekly newspaper and website in the UK reports on this. The view is supported by Tristram Hunt a recent Shadow Cabinet Minister for Education. The report is below.

The decline of arts subjects in schools is not only impacting the creative industries, but is also having a damaging effect on sectors such as science and medicine, an education charity has warned.

Experts are claiming that some science students lack the “tactile general knowledge” that can be gained from creative learning, despite exhibiting high exam grades.
Education charity the Edge Foundation has published a report claiming the narrow academic curriculum offered by the government’s English Baccalaureate is “not fit for purpose to tackle a 21st-century economy”.

The charity’s chief executive, Alice Barnard, said the government was simply “paying lip service” to the importance of the arts but contracting this with policy.

“Creative subjects matter less under Progress 8 [accountability] measures. The relentless focus on performance tables makes teachers feel compelled to ‘teach to the test’… It is not just the creative industries expressing concern about having a talent pipeline for the future, but employers across all sectors and industries,” she said.
The report calls for dramatic changes to the national curriculum and demands that creativity should be at the heart of all learning if the UK is to prosper.

Roger Kneebone, who is professor of surgical education at Imperial College London, warned the loss of creative skills among medical and science students had become a concern among his scientific colleagues.

He said: “We have students who have very high exam grades, but lack the tactile general knowledge – they struggle even to perform chemistry experiments.
“An example is of a surgeon needing some dexterity and skill in sewing or stitching. It can be traced back to the sweeping out of creative subjects from the curriculum. It is an important and an increasingly urgent issue.”

At an event held to mark the launch of the Edge Foundation’s report, the director of the V&A, Tristram Hunt, will argue that skills gained from subjects such as drama and music will “enable young people to navigate the changing workplace of the future and stay ahead of the robots”.

The full article is available here