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The Question of Cost is IrrelevantHerbert Read’s belief in the fundamental importance of education to human culture and society, and with it the subordination of economics to state education, might sound extraordinary to us now. This is especially true for those of us in England defending the place of the arts in the education curriculum in an era of political thought defined by the ascendency of neoliberalism. What were once common philosophical ideals rooted in the confidence of an expanding democratic citizenship, might today be interpreted as profligacy, and the arts in education have become marginalised and subordinated under this malign influence in England. Mantras such as ‘value for money’ have become the condition of all practical and intellectual endeavour, and the creative imperatives of children, as well as those of us who practise as educators and artists, are suffering the consequences, the most damaging of which is our inadvertent complicity in the concept of the arts-as-service.