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Durham University

Durham Commission on Creativity in Education

Final report

The final report of the Durham Commission is out now and we welcome you to read it.

The Commission has looked at the role creativity and creative thinking should play in the education of young people. It was set up in response to the strength of opinion across the business, education and public sectors that young people are emerging into a world in which the skills and knowledge of the current education system will no longer be sufficient.


Set up in September 2017, The Commission's research team at Durham University has been gathering a mass of evidence from various sources.

This has included a survey of over 1,000 stakeholders from business, education and the arts; a survey of headteachers and governors across the country; meetings with stakeholders; a review of previous reports and initiatives into creativity and education; and one-to-one interviews with the Commissioners.

This work has helped the Commission approach key questions about the relationship between creativity and education. How can creativity be recognised? What are the challenges and opportunities when embedding creativity in schools, and in the workplace? Who should be responsible for promoting creativity across the country?


Much has been achieved in our education system to improve academic standards, but respondents to the Commission’s research argued that this has been at the expense of nurturing the creativity of our young people, neglecting the development of the skills, knowledge, understanding and experiences which they will need in the world beyond school, and which our economy, culture and society need to flourish.

Notably, it is among young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and those at risk of being culturally marginalised where opportunities for creativity are now most limited. Such neglect and exclusion is not acceptable or desirable for the future of our people and country.