Children aged 5-10 are seeing less theatre now than six years ago.
Young children are seeing less theatre now than they were six years ago, according to a government report.
Only a third (32%) of five to 10 year-olds have participated in theatre and drama activities within the past year, a drop from half (47%) in 2008/09, when government records began.
The gender gap in children’s theatre participation is also “significant”, and remains largely unchanged, according to the Department of Culture, Media and
Sport’s annual Taking Part report.
Among five to 10 year-olds, only 27% of boys engaged in theatre and drama in the past year, compared with 38% of girls.
Children aged 10 to 15 participate more in theatre, but there is still a significant gender gap, with 67% of boys engaged in the last year in comparison to 77% of girls.
Regular engagement with the arts as a whole has increased, with 92% of children having participated in arts activities in the past year, up from 86% in 2008/09.
The reports also shows that the widest gender gap in children’s arts engagement is in dance.
Among children aged five to 10, only 16% of boys have partaken in dance activities in the last year, compared to 46% of girls. 10 to 15 year-olds show a similarly large gap, with 19% of boys having participated in dance in the past year, in contrast with 57% of girls.