TEACHING for creativity in schools must be given priority to equip young people with the skills they need in later life, according to a new report published today by Durham University and Arts Council England.

Following 18 months of evidence gathering and research, the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education has launched its report and recommendations with a long-term vision for promoting creativity in education.

The commission, chaired by Sir Nicholas Serota from Arts Council England with university Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Alan Houston, found evidence of the positive impact of creativity and creative thinking in people's lives.

It suggests all schools, from early years to post-16 education, should be encouraged and given the resources to support teaching for creativity for all young people, whatever their background.

The commission adds that it is an issue of fairness that every child is given the opportunity to develop their creativity.

The report calls for a range of organisations to deliver this vision including the Department for Education (DfE), Ofsted, Ofqual, Institute for Apprenticeships, Nesta, BBC, Arts Council England and Local Cltural Education Partnerships (LCEPs).

The recommendations include the development of a pilot national network of creativity collaboratives, established through joint working between DfE, the Arts Council and education trusts.

They also call for better recognition, research and evaluation of teaching for creativity in schools and a recognition of this teaching in the Ofsted inspection process.

The reports also urges a clearer focus on digital technology and its role in a creative education

Prof Houston said: “The findings of our research show that creativity and creative thinking are important for young people’s rounded development, not just in arts subjects but across all disciplines.

"However, it is also clear that more can be done to nurture this, particularly for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We hope that the report and the Commission’s recommendations can lead to positive changes for creativity and creative thinking in our education system.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, said: “The current knowledge-based education system only goes so far in equipping young people with the skills that will give them the confidence and resilience to shape their lives. We must prioritise teaching for creativity, in addition to arts in the curriculum, to meet our future needs and give children the opportunity to fulfil their potential. It is our ambition that the Durham Commission report and recommendations lay the foundation for future work, for a long-term shift in educational policy and practice.”

The commission believes that through engaging in opportunities for creative learning, grounded in subject knowledge and understanding, students’ creative capacity will be nurtured, and their personal, social and academic development greatly enriched.

With these advantages, the report finds that young people will enter society and the world of work able to think and work creatively across disciplines and sectors and champion the UK as a leader in creativity.