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Nine things you didn't know about arts and education

The arts play an important role in the education of Queensland students including: supporting the development of critical and creative thinking; increasing students’ engagement with learning; and improving the culture of the education environment.

There are diverse opportunities available to support students to engage in professionally-delivered arts experiences including artists-in-residency programs, school programs delivered by performing arts venues and galleries, arts touring to schools, participation in arts subjects and involvement in school activities such as concerts, choirs, and exhibitions.

To provide artists, teachers, arts organisations, kindergartens and schools with insights into arts and education we have pulled together some data from various sources. 


Image of a number one​Queenslanders have a positive attitude to education and the arts. 

90 per cent of Queenslanders agree or strongly agree that arts should be an important part of the education of every Australian. Over two-thirds believed the arts have a big or very big impact on child development1



Image of a number 2Arts in schools provide and increase the opportunities for students to engage in the arts.

Access to professional arts programs in schools provide opportunities for students who may not otherwise engage or have the opportunity outside schools hours to experiences and participate in quality live art. This is particularly true of arts touring to regional and remote schools where access to live arts experiences can be limited2.



image of the number 3Professionally delivered arts experiences enhance education and engagement.

96 per cent of teachers agree that professionally delivered arts experiences enhance the overall quality of education in their school and almost 90 per cent agree tthey improve student’s engagement and enrolment in arts subjects2



Image of the number 4Professionally delivered arts experiences improve student wellbeing.

87% of teachers agree arts improve students’ personal well-being2. Data collected through case studies and feedback from Artist in Residence fund recipients indicate students involved in arts projects experience a strong sense of satisfaction, demonstrate more confidence, develop their creative thinking skills and increase their confidence to take risks.



Image of the number 5Engagement in arts has a positive effect on other subjects.

The arts play an important role in assisting schools and teachers deliver arts, and often broader curriculum objectives, while also fostering a positive environment for students. Involvement in school-based arts activities has been shown to help students develop their writing skills and understand complex points in other subjects for example, science and maths.



Image of the number 6Arts support and promote discussion on a range of topics important to students.

Arts can provide a safe and fun way to explore topics important to and concerning students. Content areas for arts activities often centre on health, well-being and cultural diversity, in particular, issues such as self-esteem, body image, bullying and physical and mental health2.  


Image of the number 7Queensland students in Year 11 and 12 have a choice of six arts authority subjects to study.

Enrolment statistics show Visual Arts is the most common subject studied in senior followed by Drama and Film, Television and New Media3



Enrolments Year 11 and 12 (2016)

Visual Arts




Film, Television and New Media






Music Extension



Quality is important in selecting arts activities for schools.

The quality of professionalley delivered arts activities followed by their pricing, links to the arts curriculum and opportunities for students to participate were considered by teachers to be important when selecting arts activities for their school2.  



Image of the number 9Time and resources can limit opportunities for arts and education in school.

The most common barrier to professionally-delivered arts activities in schools is limited time and resources for teachers to source and plan activities. School-based activities are often preferred by teachers to externally-based activities (such as excursions to galleries or theatre) as they require less logistical planning and are usually less expensive2.  




Arts Queensland currently supports student engagement in the arts through:

  • The Artists in Residence program which provides arts and education funding to kindergartens and schools seeking to increase their engagement with arts and culture.
  • The Playing Queensland Fund which supports the delivery of tour-ready performing and visual arts projects, including those designed for school audiences.
  • Support for Queensland Music Festival’s Youth Touring Program which provides state-wide access to music, drama and dance performances and workshops tailored to Queensland curriculum objectives.
  • The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership with local government to invest in the local development of quality arts and arts practice for and with regional communities.
  • Core-funding for companies supported through the 2017–2020 Organisations Fund, major performing arts organisations, arts statutory bodies and arts owned companies, many of whom provide quality arts programs for students across the state. 


  1. Arts Queensland in partnership with Australia Council for the Arts, Arts in Daily Life: Queenslanders and the Arts, 2014, Brisbane, Australia
  2. Arts Queensland survey of Queensland educators 2017
  3. Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Subject enrolments and levels of achievement – 2016 


Image: Out of the Box. Photo: Darren Thomas