Guest Blog: Naomi Adedokun: Michael Gove needs to take Arts Education more seriously.


My name is Naomi Adedokun and I am doing work experience with Mr John Leech MP for this week. One of my projects was to create a blog on a topic that I care passionately about. I decided to choose Education, or more specifically the importance of the Arts and Humanities, because I have just finished my GCSE’s and my favourite subjects fall into these two categories.

Armed with his many revisions and baccalaureate, Michael Gove’s various “reforms” seem more like an attempt to undermine the Arts and Humanities. His English Baccalaureate even threatened to eradicate them from the curriculum by largely focusing on Maths, English and the Sciences.

As I said earlier, I  finished my exams an Manchester High School for Girls in early June, and with GCSE’s including History, Music and Graphics, the well-being of these subjects constantly worries me. In this innovated and technology-dominant world, imagination is a highly sought after commodity. It is these creative people who invent new things and start companies that would highly benefit the UK economy and open up new jobs and yet, British Education endangers this ingenuity by labelling subjects such as Drama and Art as “soft”.

As Lib Dem spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport, I know that John understands the importance of these subjects and the creative arts to the UK economy. As do actors like Kevin Spacey.

Outside of Politics, John is an amateur dramatics enthusiast as a  member of the Manchester Road players, and a 29 year season ticket holder at Manchester City supporter, John is part of the Manchester Road Players and an animated member of the Parliamentary Football Team. Inside, he has actively opposed the English Baccalaureate, stating that “it threatened a broad and balanced education” as Arts subjects were being “downgraded”.

This downgrading will only cater to the needs of a very small proportion of the student population in the UK, denying the rest the opportunity to explore their diverse abilities. If this is allowed to happen then the government would have failed to provide the proper Education that every British child is entitled to.

It is a relief that MP’S like John Leech exist, who will be able to stick up for the Arts and Humanities whenever they are unfairly attacked. After all, American author, Garrison Keillor once said: “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”

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