Government must fund theatre visit for every child before they leave school, call Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre

All children have the right to experience our country’s world-leading theatre sector. The benefits are far reaching – it enhances children’s educational attainment and wellbeing, addresses skills shortages in the theatre sector and boosts the economy.  But access is unequal. Children from low-income families are missing out the most because they are less likely to have access to cultural experiences outside of school. The ongoing cost-of-living crisis has also led to teachers and parents reporting a reduction in school trips of up to 68% compared to last year, which includes theatre visits. Ahead of the next general election in 2024, the Theatre for Every Child campaign asks all political parties to commit to fund a theatre visit for every child before they leave school. A pledge supported by 84 percent of parents. The campaign was launched at an event on stage at London Palladium with campaign supporters, including the following, who said:

Co-CEO of SOLT & UK Theatre, Claire Walker:

“We believe every child has the right to experience and enjoy our country’s world-leading theatre. Despite amazing work that theatres do up and down the country, access is not equal. This is not right. Which is why we are calling on all political parties to support our call for every child to attend the theatre before they leave school.” 

A campaign born out of the need to create greater access to the UK’s theatrical scene, Theatre for Every Child will be imperative to raising greater awareness towards the onstage and offstage roles available within the industry, as well as highlighting the powerful role theatres play on a local as well as global scale and igniting the imagination – a skillset incredibly important within our society.

Fozia Nisar, Deputy Head at Montgomery Primary Academy, and a member of The Birmingham Hippodrome Education Networkwhich is made up of 44 of the most economically and culturally deprived schools in the Birmingham region reaching over 40,000 young people each year, spoke at the event and adds:

“As a mother and as an educator I stand firm that the key to unlocking minds is through artistic exposure: music, dance, acting are all fundamental to a child’s emotional journey and senses whereby they can explore a plethora of feelings in the safety of a theatre platform.” 

Luke Thompson, actor and campaign supporter: 

“I was lucky to be taken to the theatre by my school when I was growing up. It’s an exciting and enlightening experience, which can stay with you for a very long time, no matter what you want to do when you grow up. I am passionate about ensuring that every child can have the same opportunities I did. That is why I support the Theatre For Every Child campaign.” 

Lolita Chakrabarti, actor, writer and campaign supporter:

“Theatre changes lives. It encourages empathy and widens our understanding of ourselves in the world. Every child should experience the transformative effects of going to the theatre. A Theatre Fund would guarantee minimum equal access, which can only benefit every child and in the end, the whole of society.”

To find out more about the Theatre for Every Child campaign, visit here…


Written by Theatrefullstop