Scottish schools urged to teach film as part of curriculum

Yvonne Gordon said film-making should be on the curriculum alongside subjects such as drama and music. Photograph: Neil Hanna
Yvonne Gordon said film-making should be on the curriculum alongside subjects such as drama and music. Photograph: Neil Hanna
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With two new movie studios being planned for Scotland, pupils must start learning about the cinema industry to provide a homegrown workforce in the future, according to a leading film tutor.

Yvonne Gordon, of Edinburgh Filmhouse, said film-making and appreciation should be on the curriculum alongside subjects such as drama and music.

PSL Land announced this month it is targeting a site at near Dalkeith, Midlothian, for a studio and film academy.

Last December Screen Scotland, the publicly funded body, said a site in Leith had been identified as the home of a major film and television studio for Scotland.

Gordon, a former teacher and now head of education and learning at the Centre of the Moving Image incorporating Filmhouse, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen, said: “I would absolutely advocate for film to be in the curriculum. We’ve got these two new film studios being talked about for Edinburgh, but who is going to be working in them when films and film-making are not on the curriculum?”

Gordon said Filmhouse, a charity, was playing a vital role introducing children from all backgrounds to a variety of film genres, as well as running programming workshops.

“There are pupils whose parents never take them to the cinema. We offer a range of activities which could help them get a job in the film industry one day.”

Filmhouse also screens £3 shows for schools such as Inside Hana’s Suitcase for Holocaust Memorial Day, and Battle Of The Sexes for LGBT History Month,

Paul Reeve, chief executive of Into Film, which bridges links with the industry, said: “We fully support Yvonne Gordon. Employers see creativity as an increasingly vital skill. Filmmaking combines all art forms, digital technology and science.”

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, said emphasis on exam results was leading to arts subjects being neglected and cut.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Decisions on the use of specific resources to support learning across the curriculum are a matter for teachers, schools, and local authorities.”