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Last Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008, 11:32 GMT
Pupils' creativity to be assessed
School band
Boosting creativity can raise academic standards, research suggests
Pupils could soon face assessments of their creativity under plans to boost the "soft skills" employers want.

Creativity has featured increasingly in the government's policies for England's pupils but progress is not measured.

Ministers believe creativity not only has a benefit in its own right, but can also raise academic standards.

The government says it is monitoring work by the exams watchdog on how best to measure children's creative abilities in schools.

The plans were revealed in the government's response to a Commons education committee report on an initiative called Creative Partnerships, which brings artists and other creative professionals into schools.

'Urgent priority'

"Creativity has a value in its own right, but offering children and young people the opportunity to develop their creativity both within and outside the curriculum also benefits them in terms of developing soft skills and raising academic standards," the government said.

"There is a growing body of evidence that creative teaching and learning does have an impact on attainment.

"Ofsted [the education inspectorate] associate Creative Partnerships with improved literacy, numeracy, ICT, self-confidence, team-working and an ability to show enterprise and handle change."

There is also evidence that active engagement with the arts can promote self-discipline, team work, help develop self-confidence and boost communication skills.

The committee urged the government to develop new methods of assessing children's creative progress as an urgent priority.

'High quality culture'

It argued that existing key stage tests do not cover areas such as risk-taking, working in teams and self-confidence, which creative learning is thought to help.

The government added in its response: "We agree that assessing progress is a key area to be investigated."

But the Department for Children, Schools and Families spokeswoman said said: "There is no suggestion that children will be formally assessed on their creativity.

"We are simply investigating how children develop skills in areas such as self-confidence, team-working, and risk taking."

On Wednesday the government pledged to offer children five hours of "high quality culture" a week, in and out of school.

Pupils promised 'quality culture'
13 Feb 08 |  Education
Taking culture to the classroom
13 Feb 08 |  Education
England young 'among most tested'
08 Feb 08 |  Education

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