Creating a more inclusive curriculum for the creative arts

Published: Thursday 18 May 2023

In our latest blog on equality, diversity and inclusion in our qualifications, our Head of Curriculum for Creative Arts, Sandra Allan, explains the further work we’ve done to bring greater diversity to our creative arts subjects.

As we continue to build on all the work we've achieved since my last blog, I wanted to highlight again the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion in creative arts subjects and what we have done and are doing to build on creating a more inclusive curriculum.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are important considerations when studying GCSE and A-level creative arts subjects for several reasons:

  • These subjects offer a platform for students to express themselves creatively and explore different perspectives and cultures. By promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, students can gain a broader understanding and appreciation of different cultures and identities, which can enhance their creativity and artistic expression.
  • The creative arts industry itself is diverse and inclusive. By studying equality, diversity and inclusion, students can develop an understanding of the wider industry and its practices, which can better prepare them for future careers in the arts.
  • Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in creative arts education can help to tackle issues of discrimination and bias. By fostering an environment that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusivity, students can learn to challenge negative stereotypes and prejudices, which can help to create a more equal and fair society.

Overall, incorporating equality, diversity and inclusion into the study of GCSE and A-level creative arts subjects can have a positive impact on students' artistic development, career prospects, and wider social understanding.

So, let’s take a look at some of the work that we've done so far, as well as what we're planning to do in the future:

Specification updates

We've added nine new products to our A-level Media Studies course to make it more diverse, modern and relevant.

We listened to feedback from teachers that they wanted more current and exciting content for their students, and that's exactly what we've done. It's a complete refresh, bringing the course right up to date.

Two of our exciting new additions are the Old Town Road music video by rapper Lil Nas X, and Zendaya's social media presence.

e-Learning modules

Art and design

We're pleased to share that we've launched a new e-Learning module: 'Equality, diversity and inclusion representation in Art and Design'.

Suitable for all teachers of art and design, the module has been created to enhance and expand your repertoire of artists and artworks for delivery in the classroom to GCSE and A-level students.

The course focuses on presenting communities that have been marginalised through race discrimination or white oversight, and will help you teach your students that every great artist is as relevant as any other, whatever their background or circumstance.

Find out more and register now

Dance, drama and music

In June 2023, we’ll be launching three new e-Learning modules focusing on how to teach dance, drama or music with an equality, diversity and inclusion lens. These courses have been designed to help teachers create a more inclusive and equitable learning environment that is safe and supports the success of all students.

This training can also help teachers develop strategies for promoting diversity in the curriculum, which can include incorporating works by artists from diverse backgrounds, exploring different cultural traditions and perspectives, and addressing issues of social justice and equity in the arts.


Boys in dance

Last year, we published a new resource and support guide, 'Boys in dance', to help you encourage more boys at your school to take formal dance qualifications.

It features articles and blogs from successful male dancers, as well as quotes from current and past dance students.

You can find this guide in 'Planning resources' on our qualification pages for GCSE Dance and A-level Dance.

Inclusivity guides

This year, we’ll be launching inclusivity guides for art and design, dance, drama, media studies and music.

These guides will help promote inclusivity in the classroom and ensure that all students have equal access to the creative arts subjects.

They will feature articles and blogs from artists and teachers, as well as quotes from current and past students.

AQi article: Breaking down SEND barriers

Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman recently launched an Ofsted review of the art and design curriculum with the warning that some teachers are unnecessarily lowering expectations for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Please read my article on AQi on why I agree with this and how we can help SEND students find ways to meet the same standards as their classmates.

Get in touch

Incorporating equality, diversity and inclusion principles into arts education is essential to creating a more inclusive and equitable world, and it is all our responsibility to foster this understanding among students.

These conversations shape the way we write our specifications, resources and events. If you'd like to be part of our teacher panel, please do get in touch at – it would be great to hear your views on equality, diversity and inclusion in all our creative arts qualifications.

See all updates