Rishi Sunak committed funding to the arts premium as part of the 2020 Budget. The Budget Report said:

“The funding will help schools to provide high quality arts programmes and extracurricular activities for pupils, including those delivered in partnership with arts organisations, as well as supporting teachers to deliver engaging and creative lessons in the arts.”

The 2019 Conservative manifesto said:

“We will invest in arts, music and sport … We retain our commitment to the core subjects and also want young people to learn creative skills and widen their horizons, so we will offer an ‘arts premium’ to secondary schools to fund enriching activities for all pupils.”

The Government has not confirmed the status of the Arts Premium.

On 7th June 2021, in response to questioning by Nicholas Trench, Earl of Clancarty on the Arts Premium, Baroness Berridge (then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System) replied that:

“…the Government have had to make some difficult fiscal decisions on the arts premium. As noble Lords are aware, we have no money for free schools this year. That, along with the arts premium, will be in the spending review in the autumn.”

On 25th October, in response to questioning by Baroness Prashar on the Arts Premium, Baroness Barran (Lords Minister for Education) said:

“The noble Baroness will understand that I cannot prejudge the announcements from the Chancellor on Wednesday.”

Rishi Sunak made no announcement on the Arts Premium in his speech the following Wednesday.

On 1 November the Art Newspaper reported that they understood the Arts Premium to have been scrapped by the Government.

The 2019 Conservative manifesto indicated that secondary schools would receive £110 million per year for three years.

In the 2020 Budget this was reduced to £90 million per year for three years.

For the average secondary school, this was £25,000 per year or £75,000 in total.

No. The news that schools would not receive the funding this September was confirmed on 6 September in a written reply by schools minister Nick Gibb MP to a question from Dame Diana Johnston MP.

The Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, Deborah Annetts, said:

“That no official statement was made on the premium, despite it being a manifesto and budget commitment, is sadly another example of the disregard shown by the Department for Education towards creative subjects in recent years.”

The Spending Review, led by the Chancellor and HM Treasury, sets spending plans and limits for Government departments and public services. Rishi Sunak completed a three-year Spending Review on 27 October 2021. Click here to read our report on what it means for the arts.

The Arts Premium in its current form is intended only for secondary schools. 

Some, such as the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC), have recommended that the Government should extend the policy to include primary schools.