Social media is awash with links to a petition – now with over 150,000 signatures – set up by the Public Campaign for the Arts in the aftermath of Williamson’s assertion to the Office for Students that a decision should be made to “reprioritise funding towards the provision of high-cost, high-value subjects” rather than the arts.
“Arts education should be among the government’s strategic priorities,” according to Jack Gamble, director of the Public Campaign for the Arts. “The arts enrich our lives, our communities and our economy too. In lockdown, millions turned to them to support their mental health. before the pandemic, the creative industries were growing five times faster than the UK economy as a whole and generating over £111 billion a year. We risk losing these benefits without proper support for the creative skills underpinning them.”