Tristram Hunt: 'With Brexit, our schools must be refocused on subjects such as art and design – instead, they're on the endangered list'

The director of the V&A, and former shadow education secretary, explains how his organisation aims to support schools in delivering the art and design subjects in schools at risk of falling onto the endangered list.

 

What should the role of museums be in an age of Brexit?  At the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), we think it should be about supporting education so Britain has the skills to succeed in an even more competitive global environment. 

 

In doing so, we are returning to our early Victorian roots as an institution passionately focused on teaching design, spreading culture, and energising our creative industries.

 

"The principles of design should form a portion of any permanent system of national education," the 1836 Select Committee on Arts and their Connection with Manufactures recommended. 

 

Sir Henry Cole was even more blunt: "'Straight lines are a national want," he wrote. And: "Unless you begin with the child and teach him the ABC of drawing, you have little chance of establishing any permanent system of art-instruction in this country."

 

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