Art ‘devalued’ in schools

Art is becoming devalued in English schools and colleges, according to a new survey of teachers.

The survey, carried out by the National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) also shows nearly half of all teachers surveyed said that time allocated for art and design had decreased in the last five years in their schools, particularly in the academy sector.  Primary schools were worst affected with more than that 89% of primary teachers in state schools reporting the time allocated for art and design had decreased.

The vast majority of teachers (93%) blamed the introduction of Ebacc for reducing pupils’ opportunities to select the subject. Over a third (34%) of art and design teachers and lecturers in schools or colleges said that in the last five years, art and design post 16 courses have closed in their institutions.

Teachers across all sectors also said that their schools were more likely to enable lower ability students to take art and design qualifications than higher ability students. Independent schools and community and foundation schools place more value on art and design qualifications, and offer more choice and provision for higher ability student, the report found.

Independent schools also placed much greater value on engagement with artworks and creative practitioners than state schools. 82% of independent school art and design teachers indicated that their schools support the principle that every examination group should engage with artworks first hand in galleries and museums and/or through meeting practitioners. In contrast, only 36% of free school art and design teachers said their schools support this principle.

The report also suggests that  professional development opportunities in art and design is limited and  significant numbers of art and design specialists  ‘rarely or never’ receive CPD. teachers also complained of and increased workload and a drop in morale.  55% of art and design teachers across all school sectors said they had considered leaving or had left the profession in the last five years.

1191 teachers, lecturers and coordinators of art, craft and design completed the questionnaire sent out by NSEAD in July last year.  Not using pupil premium specifically to support art an d design

NSEAD president Ged Gast said that the survey’s  findings indicate “increasing misunderstanding and less regard for art, craft and design education, the arts and technology.” Without this survey, there would be little evidence of the impact of government policy

He blamed policies “which imply that even successful study and high standards of achievement in the arts will limit career and university choices.  For those who would benefit from the transferable skills accessed through the arts, or for those who aspire to a successful, rewarding and world-class career in one of our creative and media industries, this report identifies how policy decisions are beginning to disadvantage some children and young peop

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