• Culture, Politics and Drama Education: The Creative Agenda 1997-2015

      Piasecka, Shelley; University of Chester (National Drama Publications, 2016-04-30)
      In the years following New Labour’s election victory (1997) the creative agenda was a visible concern for schools and teachers. A number of influential documents and policy documents were launched to promote creativity in schools. New funding opportunities had been made available to support teachers and classroom learning, most notably the Arts Council initiative Creative Partnerships (2002). Buckingham and Jones (2001) describe the period as the “Cultural Turn” towards the creative and cultural industries. Paradoxically, the creative agenda emerged at a time when teachers experienced unprecedented levels of control over, and public scrutiny of, their everyday working lives; it was a period of time dominated by a ‘bureaucratisation” of education. For Stronach et al. (2002) it was a rise of a performativity discourse in response to the audit culture. Post 2010, the introduction of school performance measures, such as the compulsory English Baccalaureate (2015), offers another kind of performativity discourse, but from a perspective other than creativity. The long-term outlook for creative subjects appears bleak, particularly for dance and drama. This article examines the period 1997-2015 with reference to Neelands and Choe’s (2010) assertion that creativity is a cultural and political idea.