Are you a teacher feeling ignored by the government? Dare I ask, by your senior management team?
The detrimental consequences of government policy on art, craft and design education have been exposed by the findings of The National Society for Education in Art and Design Survey Report 2015-16 to be launched at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design in Education at 4pm on Tuesday 9 February 2016.
The value given to art and design in schools and colleges is impacting on choice and provision of art and design qualifications offered for both higher and lower ability students.
Many parents believe that the curriculum is an entitlement and that their children will have a choice. This survey report comes at such a crucial time for art craft and design education. With findings that indicate a context of increasing misunderstanding and less regard for art craft and design education, the arts and technology.’ Ged Gast, NSEAD President
Primary and secondary teachers have limited or no access to high-level subject-specific professional development in art and design. ‘High level subject specific continuing professional development is key to addressing recruitment and retention issues within the education profession and to the quality of teaching and learning in formal and informal education.’ (NSEAD Manifesto for Art, Craft and Design Education.)
… we need opportunities for our teachers to be creative.
There has been an erosion of teachers’ well-being and an increase in workload. The reduced profile and value of the subject has contributed to art and design teachers leaving, or wanting to leave the profession. ‘Art is not valued by the management team.’ said one survey respondent.
- Curriculum time and provision for art and design is being significantly eroded across all five key stages.
- ‘Pupils can no longer cover all the basic skills and so enter GCSE unprepared for the rigor, independence and skill required.’ said one respondent.
- The value given to art and design in schools and colleges is impacting on choice and provision of art and design qualifications offered for both higher and lower ability students.
- Primary and secondary teachers have limited or no access to high-level subject-specific professional development in art and design.
- ‘Many parents believe that the curriculum is an entitlement and that their children will have a choice …’ Ged Gast, NSEAD President
- The reduced profile and value of the subject has contributed to art and design teachers leaving or wanting to leave the profession.
Alongside findings from the survey, NSEAD has provided a series of recommendations. This is a national challenge and we are asking the DfE, parents, head teachers and school governors, Ofsted, higher education institutions and the Arts Council to act now and reverse these consequences with immediate effect. Our recommendations include:
- Schools should review the time allocated for the teaching and learning of art and design within the curriculum, adjusting the mechanisms and barriers that deplete time resulting in damage to standards in art and design, in primary schools and through carousel systems, shorter lessons and compressed key stage 3.
- Parents should, through membership of parent teacher associations and as parent governors, hold the governance and management of the school accountable for the appropriate time, resources, facilities and value given to art and design on the curriculum and in the professional development of its teachers and support staff.
- The Department for Education should decline from stating or inferring that higher education and career opportunities will be limited by examination study in art and design, thus misrepresenting the subject to parents and young people.
This report shows, that in the last five years government policies have impacted not only on the value of the subject, but on the time and resources needed for children and young people to participate and excel in art, craft and design. These changes are reducing opportunities and choices to engage in a broad and balanced curriculum and risk jeopardising and limiting the UK as a creative and competitive force in a global market.
Nurturing creativity and opening the minds of our children and young people to different horizons should be an important part of any child’s or young person’s education, and provision of high-quality art and design education is an important way of doing just that. That is why it is vital that art and design teachers receive the recognition and support they deserve from policy-makers and the government so that they can educate future generations with the creativity, talent and skills to drive our economy in the 21st century.” (Sharon Hodgson MP, Chair of the All- Party Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design in Education.)
We cannot ignore the voice of our teachers. Most of all, we cannot allow our students to not study the subject areas they love.
It’s time to take our gloves off …
You can download the full report here. (National Society for Education in Art & Design.)