Millions of British children have never been to an art gallery, theatre or stage show, according to a survey by Visit Birmingham which surveyed 2,000 parents of five to12 -year-olds throughout the UK.
Incredibly, four in 10 children have never seen the inside of an art gallery, while 17% haven’t visited a museum with their parents. The research also revealed that a quarter of children haven’t been to the theatre, while 60% have never heard or been to a classical music concert.
One in 10 kids hasn’t even left their home town to visit other sites in the UK. Half of parents admit they make little effort to educate their children on culture or history, relying on schools to do so. Instead, a third say they rely on schools to take full responsibility for sight-seeing trips and educational visits to local attractions.
Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services for Marketing Birmingham, said, “There’s no doubt that cultural activity enriches day to day and it’s important that children embrace our history and culture now, to ensure that it is passed on through the generations. A few trips during the year to museums, landmarks or even cultural festivals will prove to be memorable, informative and fun occasions for youngsters.”
The survey shows a quarter of children have yet to be taken to stage shows such as George’s Marvelous Medicine, The Gruffalo, or The Tiger Who Came to Tea.
They are just as likely to be ignorant of well-known artists such as Monet, Rembrandt, Van Gogh or Picasso – unless covering them in the school syllabus.
And as for seeing historical sites across the UK – by the time they reach their teens, the average child won’t yet have set eyes upon famous landmarks such as the London Eye, Angel of the North, the Houses of Parliament or Stonehenge.
And kids are more likely to recognise a McDonald’s than Madame Tussauds – being more familiar with local attractions such as zoos and theme parks than famous theatres and museums.
When questioned on why they make no effort to make their children more ‘cultured’ and knowledgeable about past history, a fifth of parents claim their offspring simply wouldn’t be interested. A further 26% claim they can’t afford to visit attractions, while 28% don’t have the time to go trekking up and down the country.
A fifth of parents refer again to the fact that the children learn everything they need to know about culture and history at school.