Britain Should Be A Soft-Power Super-Power

Our ability to continue making globally reaching cultural material and new artists will stall if we don’t do more to support a diverse group of artists. A survey in 2010 claimed that 60% of chart pop acts were privately educated, while this year an employee of the UK Music Association believed 80-85% of new artists signed attended public school. In acting, a report earlier this year from the Sutton Trust, found that 42% of Bafta winners over all time were educated independently, while 35% attended grammar schools. Similar statistics are seen even in sport. The Sunday Telegraph found that of the 440 (of 542) athletes for whom they were able to determine their place of education, 20% went to independent schools (88 in total), compared with 68% who are state-educated (300 in total). If we are to create new material in music, film and other arts, creating great British culture which influences the world to the advantage of the UK, we need diverse talent. Much like the other industries of Britain, we cannot have 7% of the UK population dominating every single aspect of the job market. If we don’t do more for young artists from poor backgrounds, our ability to create new and interesting content will end. Cultural advocates Damian Collins and Matt Hancock have all spoken on the desperate need to retain and grow diversity in our artists to continue making great content, and Theresa May’s plan to ensure Britain works for everyone will need to find resource to make this happen.

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