The headteacher and sixth form student of Brooksbank High School took part in a BBC Radio 4 debate at a theatre in Hull.
Head Kevin McCallion and art student Emma Pollacco met with panelists including dancer Deborah Bull, playwright Richard Bean and economist Philip Booth to discuss the relationship between the arts and the state.
Mr McCallion said: “Schools are accountable beasts. Measurements by school league tables and Ofsted inspections primarily focus on student performance in English, Maths and Science.
“At The Brooksbank School we value the arts incredibly highly.”
Art drama and business student Emma said: “The arts are a big part of my time at Brooksbank. I’m a creative person and want a career in events management. Art at Brooksbank has guided me to what I want to do when I get older.”