Sir Lenny Henry has criticised cuts in school drama teaching as a scandal as it means children are not being properly prepared for the outside world.
The comedian and actor has launched a new National Theatre initiative to encourage better drama and theatre-making in primary schools.
Henry, who recalled on Thursday his secondary school drama lessons as “basically, running round the school hall pretending to be the Avengers”, said good arts and drama education was crucial.
“I’m learning there have been massive cuts in teaching the arts in schools and it is cutting off your nose to spite your face. If you are not teaching children how to be creative and curious, what are you preparing them for? You are not preparing them for the outside world,” said Henry.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has condemned as a “national scandal” cuts to music lessons in UK schools. “It is the same thing for drama,” said Henry.
“We have an issue in this country in terms of working class people having access to activities like writing and plays and music. Working class people are under-resourced when it comes to the arts and we need to rebalance that.”