Custom Search 1

Lenny Henry: Inclusion in the arts is vital for children

ARTS FOR ALL: Lenny Henry has argued that inclusion in the arts can produce a more viable workforce

ACCESS AND inclusion in the arts are vital to a child’s upbringing, Lenny Henry has said.

Writing for Sky News as part of National Inclusion Week, running from September 24-28, Henry reflected on his own introduction to the arts and its importance.

He said: “Curricular arts and drama classes embody an organised principle amongst children: they learn how to organise, design, collaborate and participate on a level which creates a mode of thinking that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

Henry vividly recalls his a childhood trip to the theatre, one which was made possible thanks to the factory his mum worked at subsidising the trip for the schoolchildren. The exposure to the arts in this way was an experience that left an undeniable mark on the comedian, one that he believes all children should have access to.

As well as emphasising the importance of school arts activities, Henry also criticised and questioned government cuts, which he referred to as a “rejection of the arts”.

He said: “The government is doing its damnedest to cut the majority of funding and making school arts activity a self-selecting/self-paying extra curricular set of activities.

“And good people are saying good and sensible things about children and the arts - it just feels like no one really cares,” he wrote on the Sky News website.

He highlighted the positive impact the arts have on not just children, but on the economy and the UK workforce.

The creative industries are worth around £92 billion to the UK economy, according to figures released by the department for digital, culture, media and sport at the end of last year.

Henry argues that access and inclusion are “vital to a child’s upbringing” and also produce a “more viable workforce”.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments