Welcome to the website of Susan M. Coles, Artist & Arts, Creativity & Educational Consultant.

Posted in Hope for the Future

We had a great meeting of the APPG in the House of Commons on June 4th. Sharon Hodgson MP, the chair of the All Party Group on Art, Craft and Design Education was on the edge of her seat listening to the presentations. The discussions were about the reductive nature of the proposed key stage 3 curriculum, the demise in key stage 4 option numbers, and the impact of PGCE courses closing down with training opportunities being reduced. We looked also at the changes to the codes for GCE examination entries which appear to be damaging to the Arts. But, as usual, we demonstrated the worth of Art, Craft and Design education with two short, but succinctly passionate presentations from Ben and Abbie (Chenderit School Sixth Form) who spoke about what the subject has meant to them and how it had been so important in terms of both learning and enjoyment. Their recent work was displayed on the screen as they talked and provided a most fitting backdrop to their well chosen words. Thanks to Rachel Payne, Marlene Wylie, Peter Nutkins, John Childs, Sophie Leach, Christoph Raatz, Ben and Abbie, and Lesley Butterworth, for such important input into this session.

We still need to get many more MPs and members of the Lords to these meetings and that is a key target for the autumn. This is the best way forward with getting information shared and understood.

Our vice chairs could not attend, as it was an important vote session in the House of Lords. But, I am delighted to see that Earl Clancarty, one of our vice chairs, was very much in form during a debate in the House of Lords on the Creative Industries. Thank you!
House of Lords debate

I really liked this comment from Baronness Jones of Whitchurch: “…. if the UK is to have a thriving cultural economy, surely it has to start in schools. However, by any measure, Michael Gove’s tenure in education has been a disaster for the teaching of creative arts in schools. Thankfully, we have now seen the demise of the ill conceived EBacc proposals, which had no place at all for arts subjects, but the new proposals for the curriculum are similarly weak. Instead of making space for creativity in subjects such as art, design, music and drama, there is an emphasis on learning facts by rote, and a transmission of knowledge from adults who possess knowledge to children who do not. There is hardly any space for creative knowledge. Under this model, curiosity, interest and experimentation are squeezed out, despite evidence that those are exactly the skills that the next generation need to be successful. What representations have been made to the Department for Education and Skills about the ongoing need for a broad arts education to provide the seed corn for our next generation of artists?”

She is asking the questions that we are asking. I have asked her to join the APPG and would like to shake her hand and say thank you for these remarks. If you get time to read the debate notes, please do as it will make you realise that we are not alone in our concerns.



4051 days ago

Well done all of u. Your hands are safe hands .

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