We need more research in the UK about the benefits of art education.
I cant think of another subject where the exploration of abstraction is encouraged more than in art education. Abstract thought is a really important skill for people to develop and one that will benefit culture as a whole as we evolve as human beings. The link below is not the full report but it is enough to get us thinking.
‘There is, however, a very good reason to teach art in schools… we found that arts programs teach a specific set of thinking skills rarely addressed elsewhere in the curriculum.’ Ellen Winner and Lois Hetland.