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

Posted in Hope for the Future

I have to admit that I have yet to find either the time or the routine which allows me to update this blog on a more regular basis. I am surprised that so many people notice when I don’t and pleasantly pleased that people actually read it!

In January 2013 I started my first year as President of NSEAD (National Society for Education in Art and Design) under the steady guiding hands of Lesley Butterworth (General Secretary) and Sophie Leach (Assistant General Secretary) and have managed so far to achieve some of the many things I wanted to do. I had no aspiration other than to be as pro active as much as I could in what is a voluntary but important role. Pro- active has been about promoting and defending art craft and design education. Using my voice, alongside the society’s voice, to celebrate and showcase all the terrific work that goes on in art education, using my voice to question the many errors that are being made in our educational system with a slow but sure marginalisation of the Arts.

But, despite the negatives we have lots of positives. We have so many art educators out there who have re-discovered their rationale for doing what they do, we have so many passionate and perceptive people who are part of that voice. Through being members of NSEAD, through being part of their own networks, through being in our social media groups, through being able to share what they think, what they believe, what they do. We have supporters in Parliament now through our All Party Parliamentary Group on Art Craft and Design Education so that we can (and will) influence future policy makers.

I have met people from all around the UK and from around the world who share what I believe in. That networking and collaboration just gives me such energy.

We have achieved SO much this year, a fabulous online NSEAD curriculum support package which truly shows teachers how to create a progressive school art curriculum:
Conferences, meetings, advocacy, letters, discussions, CPD programmes like TEA…. just read back through recent blogs to follow that thread!

I’m drawing again thanks to Sketchbook Circle. The amazing and inspirational TEA group are storming ahead with new projects. I wish I could bottle up their energy and sell it !
NSEAD Subject leader courses continue in 2014 and feedback has been terrific. Again, this is another chance for people to network. Dates in Nottingham, in Liverpool, in Norwich are set for 2014.

Our NSEAD National Conference is coming to the north east in March: and what a proud moment that will be for me !
I will update my projects page soon to share the exciting work coming up in 2014. I think I need to remind myself how fortunate I am to have such a diverse and interesting working life.

I wish you all a peaceful and restful time at Christmas, it is a time when you can reflect back on your own recent times and find time to celebrate the positives. Of which there are many. Merry Christmas to you Michael Gove, your time is nearly over as far as I am concerned, and election 2015 will give us the space and the time to undo the damage you have wreaked on art craft and design education. But- thanks for doing us a great favour, thanks for reminding us all why it is so important.
“The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values”. (William S. Burroughs)


Mike T

3860 days ago

I thought I had gone nuts when I read you were wishing him a merry xmas but happy to see you have not really done that. NSEAD have done a lot this year to keep the spirits up. Keep up the good work all of you.


3859 days ago

Merry Xmas indeed. Roll on 2015.

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