The Virtuous Circle

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Created by three prominent cultural figures and government advisors, this heavyweight intervention is essential reading for key opinion formers and commentators on the arts and education 

Education policy is shifting towards science and technical subjects, and yet the UK’s creative and cultural industries are widely recognized as being among the best in the world. This timely and important book argues that a strong cultural education benefits children and young people through the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and experiences; but it also drives the creative cultural industries and spurs growth in the UK, as well as enhancing society through awareness of our common cultural heritage. Looking at archeology, architecture, and the built environment, archives, craft, dance, design, digital arts, drama and theater, film and cinemas, galleries, heritage, libraries, literature, live performance, museums, music, poetry, and the visual arts, Sorrell, Roberts, and Henley offer a blueprint for an enhanced cultural education policy that will be required reading for parents and practitioners alike.


John Sorrell is a UK trade ambassador for the Creative Industries and chair of governors at the University of the Arts London. Founder of one of Europe’s most successful design businesses, Newell and Sorrell, he chaired the Design Council and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, originated the London Design Festival and set up the Sorrell Foundation, which works with young people to inspire their creativity. He is the author of Creative Island and Creative Island II. Paul Roberts is a member of the government’s Cultural Education Board, of Arts Council England and a Commissioner for the University of Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value. Formerly managing director of the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), he has advised the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), and is the author of the report Nurturing Creativity in Young People. He is a Fellow of the RSA. Darren Henley is managing director of Classic FM. The author of two major independent government reviews on music and cultural education, he has advised ministers in numerous departments. The recipient of the Sir Charles Groves Prize for "his outstanding contribution to British music," he is the author of 27 books.