The RSA's work in education and heritage has been recognised today by the Government, which wants the organisation's help in achieving its cultural ambitions.
In the first white paper for culture in more than 50 years, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport sets out its 'vision of culture in action' and cites the RSA's work as a means of increasing and measuring the impact of the DCMS's proposals.
In its ambition to see culture as an essential part of every child’s education, the paper states -
We will work with the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) to promote cultural education as a means of raising the educational attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
Mark Londesborough, Programme Manager in the RSA Creative Learning and Development team, said:
We’re excited to be helping schools and cultural organisations ensure that the most disadvantaged young people get access to cultural education that enables them to achieve their best.
At a time when these students are both underserved by cultural organisations and also less likely to have access to specialist arts teaching in schools, it’s good to see that the Government is committed to improving provision in this way.
The RSA Heritage Index is also cited as a designated 'output indicator' for, "[increasing] the numbers of places making the most of their heritage assets".
Jonathan Schifferes, Associate Director in the RSA Public Services and Communities team, said:
[The Culture White Paper] shows the Government’s commitment to taking a place-based approach to supporting heritage. New announcements look to integrate heritage into local strategic plans, drawing on the wealth of local data and passion and contribution of local citizens, using modern digital platforms.
These are key themes explored in the RSA’s partnership with Heritage Lottery Fund, exploring the links between heritage, identity and place. We are pleased that the government wants success to be judged using the RSA’s Heritage Index, alongside economic data and measures of inclusion such as an enhanced sense of belonging to your local area.