Many changes are happening including budget cuts in art departments across the country. This isn’t new for many teachers across the nation, as there’s a slow and steady decrease of art supplies and resources across the UK, and little by little, teachers and students are becoming aware of the difficulties that come with funding cuts.

By talking to sixth form students, I got a look into why these budget cuts are causing a strain on budding artists and photographers. Student Henry Berrisford, a graphics student and winner of Horsham’s Samaritan’s charity organisation Christmas card competition, speaks passionately about why art is important to him and why it’s crucial in the business world. Having studied art at GCSE and at A-level, Berrisford believes that “art is hugely important in the modern world. Having creative knowledge and using that to come up with new, innovative ideas is important.” He noted that “you may have a good business idea but if you can’t get people to make your branding look original and professional then no one is going to approach you.” 

Sixth form student Cicely Cole takes photography at A-level and speaks out about her stance on budget cuts, and why they’re detrimental to the development of upcoming talent in the art industry. Cole describes her experiences in art classes and how she’s “seen it happen all the way through high school. It really stresses out the teachers and takes a toll on people’s creativity.” There has been speculation on the importance of art related courses in schools at both GCSE and A-Level. The number of art teachers has decreased by 11% since 2010. Between 2003 and 2013 there was a 50% drop in the GCSE numbers for drama, and 25% for other art related subjects. “Art is important as it often brings together a community”, Cole continues.

Aspiring fashion textile student Kimberley Ricardo speaks out in agreement with Cole; “Art is a way for people to express themselves, we need that in a school environment – people often forget that.” In her time of studying both photography and textiles at A-Level, she finds the lack of resources strains her ability to create. “Kids are always needing resources for Art. People don’t appreciate the benefits of artwork so they feel like it’s not as important as other subjects.”A Guardian Teacher Network survey taken in January 2017 states that 80% of teachers across the UK say that there have been cuts in their schools, or are planning to. “Through art I express myself” Ricardo continues, “My identity is within my art and that’s why is so important.”

“Whatever happens next in politics, there will be cuts to the cultural sector. The arts might be amazingly valuable to this country, but politicians know that artists are a minority”- Artist Grayson Perry shares in a lecture given in 2010. Despite this, these ambitious Sixth form students are looking ahead to a brighter future for all art students, hoping for a change.