In case you haven’t guessed, we’re huge advocates of the arts. Performance is our speciality and we live and breathe finding new ways to help stages (of all kinds) come to live through innovative installation and lighting. We work with a huge number of schools and educational establishments on building new performance spaces and we believe the arts to be an integral part of every child’s education.
However, a couple of years ago, Nicky Morgan caused somewhat of a stir by commenting teenagers’ decisions to study arts-related subjects for GCSEs and A-Levels could “hold them back for the rest of their lives” and there’s been an argument ever since around how heavily the arts should be focussed on. Her comments came in a speech aimed at promoting STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) and concentrated on the ability of technical subject choices to provide direct career paths into medicine, engineering and other scientific roles. Humanities and the arts, she commented, were previously the choice of those who wanted to do something out-of-the-norm or, indeed, weren’t sure what they wanted to study. Today, her argument runs, that prevents them from fulfilling their potential.
While her words came in 2014, they’ve recently reemerged after plans for the EBACC failed to include creative subjects (instead concentrating on English, Mathematics, History, Geography, Sciences and Languages). Despite having over 67,000 signatures, a petition against this omission recently failed, raising the question of what should be studied and whether arts subjects are being ignored. Something we certainly aren’t qualified to provide an answer for. Career and education choices are always down to an individual and a child, no matter how young, should never feel limited by their options. The one thing we do know, however, is that having a technical background certainly doesn’t stop you from entering the arts and should never be frowned upon if it’s something an artistic child is considering. Our directors, Paul Holt and Gary Smith, are both qualified electrical engineers with a thorough technical and project management background, and our team come from varied training and educational sources. There’s one thing all of us have in common, however – we’re experts in what we do with a wealth of different qualifications and experience. Perhaps even more so, however, the entire team are as passionate and dedicated in their roles as they can be – and it’s those two qualities that can help anyone achieve any career they desire – whatever you choose to study at school. Whether or not students should focus more on scientific subjects will always be a contentious issue. Whether a child should love what they study should never be.