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

Posted in Hope for the Future

I want as many people as possible to write a letter to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education. It can be a few words, it can be sentences, it can be chapter and verse, but it should draw attention to the value of the arts in our school curriculum and our concerns that the government is marginalising this with the introduction of the English Baccalaureate and the review of the national curriculum.

It could be a poem, it could be a question, it could be a story. What will be different is that the letter will be “written” on brightly coloured paper, which you might buy, or create digitally, or paint or dye or knit or print or weave or stitch or collage or etch, or whatever. The envelope will be the same, brightly coloured and creatively presented. You can do this as an individual, as a group, as a department, at home, at work, online. October is the month of the Big Draw so this is a national Big Draw project. You will be invited to photograph or scan your letter and envelope and contribute the images to an online gallery. Busy teachers will be able to find some time over the half term holiday perhaps ?

But wherever and whenever you produce your letter we all need to post them FIRST CLASS on Sunday 30th October. As there is no Sunday post they will all be collected on the Monday.This means that during the next week a rainbow of letters will sweep like a colourful deluge into the dark and grey corridors of the DFE, a symbol of what creativity is all about, a burst of thought and colour. The online gallery will allow everyone else to see the letters, so that even if they are heading for the DFE shredder, we shall have made that all important statement. We can estimate that 80% of the letters will arrive on the Tuesday and the rest following on the next day.

Social media gives many opportunities to promote events like this and a Facebook, Flickr and Twitter presence will support the project. Known networks will be contacted and a viral effect will happen as a matter of course. We will have the support of prominent people in the arts, we will have the support of everybody who cares. The project will probably not change things, but the project will say loud and clear that we are here and we are not going away and we stand by our beliefs. Opportunities for publicity at a national level will be fully exploited.

This is also about bringing communities of practice together, maybe a group of teachers working together, a gallery staff working together to make their statement, artist teachers “making” art which has a message.

At this stage all you have to do is express an interest by emailing me at or signing up to the Facebook page or events page.

Facebook group: request to join.

Facebook event link

Take photos and post onto this flickr page:
Flickr page for a Rainbow for Mister Gove
If you don’t have a flickr account, email me images and I will post them up for you.

Get other people interested and talk about it, put some dates in your diaries as well. Everyone who links with the project will have a series of reminders about dates and deadlines, so that hopefully we can co-ordinate the “posting” and make the Rainbow work.

We will also give you address labels and suggestions for points to include in the letter in case you run out of ideas.

Support “A Rainbow for Mister Gove” and make this campaign work.

The address for letters:
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education,
Department for Education
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BT


helpful links are here: helpful links for composing your letters



4720 days ago

Brilliant idea, will send the link on. Look forward to it. I’m an art teacher in the Midlands.



4719 days ago

Is there a specific address you can post on your blog that the letters can be sent to? I’m sure “Michael Gove, DfE, London” will be enough, but wondered with your Govt contacts (!) if you had a more detailed location for our envelopes?


4719 days ago

Yes, it is at Sanctuary Buildings in London and I will do a print out label nearer the time on FB and by email. I may even be there myself to spot the postman! But, we need at least a thousand people so that’s the NEATEN steering group task for September. Do you think it will work? x


4719 days ago

Yes, bring it on, let’s do something together.


4710 days ago

sounds great, I am already excited but will need reminders so will sign up on FB and hope you will keep telling me where and what to do please.


4697 days ago

Might Robin Alexander come and speak to a group of committed, converted followers at our next NEATEN meeting?


4697 days ago

Lack of funding makes it difficult to invite speakers not based in the north east, but watch this space on that suggestion!


4691 days ago

Excellent, progressive, & hopefully enlightening.

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