I must add one more point. Why does everything need to be useful / prepare them for real life? How does ART prepare anyone for real life - what use will it be to the majority in their careers ? Delete ART and replace it with just about any other subject and I would ask the same question. I love doing maths puzzles, spotting numbers pattern, manipulating algebra etc etc. The fact is maths is one of the most useful subjects with a multitude of applications - but that does not mean it should not be studied at a pure level nor that this study is misguided. Many qualifications in the majority of subjects do little to prepare for the skills needed in the wqork place - all the do is indicate a potential in that person. The vast majority of work skills and learnt on the job with experience be it a Doctor a Bin collector. Will an accountant every actually do a manual long multiplication sum - i doubt it but the fact that they once could indictated their potential.