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

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“Dear Mr G
I write on behalf of 11 trainee art teachers.
As individuals, we all have different stories about why we are here today and on this ‘journey’, but essentially the aims are the same. We all share a passion for art and wish to share this, alongside our skills, with the future generation(s) of children. Creativity is a SKILL that should be the central focus of ALL curriculum subjects. It teaches young people how to understand and engage with the world we live in today. Diminishing arts provision in schools will have a long term negative effect on the strength and economic potential of our renowned cultural and creative industries. Art should be available to all.
Who says Art is NOT academic? We will be fortunate to get teaching jobs this September due to the diminished focus on Art in Schools.”
written by Edge Hill University PGCE Applied Art students

This is one of the letters created when I was part of the Arts Learning Consortium Day in Manchester last month. I find it heartfelt and sincere, as I still worry for the future of those coming into the teaching profession. There isn’t much that has changed with the so called “EBacc u-Turn”- because that announcement has not really been followed up with anything that is shown to support the inclusion of Art and Design in the KS4 curriculum.

A local school advertised for a main scale art post recently and received 40 plus applications. A local school now has one Art teacher left and five non-specialists teaching the subject in KS3. A local school has strongly suggested that children in the top academic stream take a second language rather than Art or Music.

It isn’t all bad news, we have some Art departments expanding, these are schools where SLT value what the subject offers to all children of all abilities. What do we need to do to show all leaders that this subject is valuable and important and worthy of the same status as other subjects?

We need to continue to advocate, and our inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Art, Craft and Design education will take place on March 6th 2013, in the House of Commons. This will be a chance to influence policy makers and ask questions that deserve to be answered. Keep writing to your MPs, keep talking to your students, to parents, to senior leaders, and amongst yourselves.

I have not even mentioned the so called national curriuculum yet….but I will ! Next week….


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