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Born Creative

November 1, 2010

Policy Title: Born Creative

Institution: DEMOS

Full reference: Tims, C. (Ed.) (2010) Born Creative London: DEMOS

Summary of key findings

Born Creative is a series of essays by leading thinkers in early years education. Contributors discuss the importance of cultures, environments and networks in the enrichment of early years learning and share examples of innovative practice in the field. A number of essays look at the extent to which public policy can contribute to improved creative and cultural experiences in early years settings.

Contributors to Born Creative point out that vital skills for the modern workplace, such as the ability to question, make connections, innovate and reflect critically, are best developed early in life through creative and play-based learning. In chapter 10 David Lammy reflects on his role in the Creative Partnerships project and pleads for room in the curriculum for creativity, a theme picked up in chapter 2 in Anna Craft’s retrospective assessment of the contribution policy has made to bringing more creativity into education since the publication of the National Advisory Committee for Creative and Cultural Education (NACCCE) report ‘All our Futures’ in 1999. Several contributors express concerns about ‘going back to basics’ and focusing solely on desk- and assessment-based learning.

Born Creative is published as the Government sets out its programme of public spending cuts, with cultural and creative learning programmes for children being hit hard. As funding ceases for flagship programmes like Creative Partnerships and Find Your Talent, the collection warns that a move away from creative learning and cultural access for early years could lead to a whole generation of young people growing up without having had access to the arts and developing the skills that creative learning encourages.

Many of the contributors’ views share common ground with the Governments’ Big Society agenda, calling for greater involvement of local authorities, parents, charities and voluntary organisations, empowering individuals and communities by giving them greater freedoms and responsibility.

The publication of Born Creative was supported by Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE). Contributors are: Dea Birkett, Shirley Brice Heath, Ruth Churchill Dower, Anna Craft, Bernadette Duffy, Penny Egan, Wendy Ellyatt, Tim Gill, Geethika Jayatilaka, David Lammy MP, Tim Loughton MP, Michael Rosen, Sarah Teather MP, Esme Ward.

Read the report.