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

Posted in Education Education Education

I saw a painting,by Pieter Bruegel the elder,when I was a teenager, “Massacre of the Innocents”, and was intrigued by the whole tale of how the painting shows the obliteration of a Dutch village by forces sent and controlled by King Philip II of Spain. All of the village would have been declared heretics and automatically sentenced to death. It’s just a painting maybe,based on history,but important to what I want to say now. I seem to be in that Bruegel image, where government ministers are arriving on the educational landscape waving their ideological swords and damaging and destroying the structure which I am part of. This structure which has been so supportive in recognising how the 21st century child learns, which has put the needs of the whole child at the heart of education, which has listened to and understand research and advice, which has created joined up thinking between key stages, and which has many more good points than bad ones (yes, the obsession with levelling and tracking is far too weighty and overwhelming). So to declare a new structure, which is fundamentally based on the ideology of a small group of adults- based on their own experiences and some ill advised reactions to vague data from other countries-is going to damage the innocents again. I welcome the opportunity for consultation and do so wish it to be receptive to our views. I welcome the chance to explain the value of creativity, importance of choice and the need for the Arts to be an absolute part of the education of all children. But most of all, I want the focus to be on the children, who will be unwillingly used and messed about and pushed from pillar to post in the next few years and I don’t feel that this is being given any consideration at all. I know a lot about change management, and with all of our learners (which includes those who work in schools) change for changes sake should never be imposed. It has to be managed, explained, contextualised, shared and understood. Well, it isn’t. Think on Coalition government. Think on.


A teacher

4776 days ago

I fully support your views. I have kids in primary myself and fear for my own children. In my own school I do have faith in SLT who want to continue to believe that EVERY child does matter.

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