Symposium: The Future of The Arts and Design in Schools

This symposium debated learning and teaching in Arts and Design subjects at secondary school level. Discussions were set within a context of radical National Curriculum reform and explored how to widen the participation of those choosing to work in the creative sector.

The symposium was hosted by Widening Participation at Central Saint Martins and University of the Arts London Extended Partnerships.

The event took place on 18 March 2013 in the LVMH Theatre at King's Cross.

Approximately 100 delegates including secondary school teachers, UAL academics and representatives from arts organisations attended the event.  

In addition to listening to presentations from Professor Jeremy Till, Head of Central Saint Martins and Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of the Arts London, artist Richard Wentworth, Designer, Author and Central Saint Martins Visiting Practitioner Chris Lefteri, delegates discussed the future of Arts and design education in mixed round tables. 

While all the information from these discussions will be carefully examined, taken forward into the ‘What’s The Point Of Art School' discussions and used to inform UAL’s contribution to the DFE’s current consultation on the National Curriculum, some headline responses to the questions asked were as follows: 

What is excellent learning and teaching within Arts and Design?

  • Independent thinking and control for students
  • Collaboration and peer learning
  • Cross-curricular activity.

How should Arts and Design teaching in Schools and FE Colleges respond to a changing world? Through:

  • Engaging with Research
  • Ongoing critical questioning
  • Operation in the digital realm
  • Engaging with the local community.

How can UAL support the creation and implementation of a positive vision for Arts and Design education in schools and FE colleges? By:

  • Opening up regularly for events like this
  • Creating a climate of discourse amongst teachers
  • Building and articulating a view of the contribution which Arts and Design and creative challenge makes to young people, systematically, eloquently and with mounting evidence
  • Supporting and providing well planned, challenging opportunities on an occasional basis, which inspire the young people involved and provide professional development examples in practice, for teachers
  • Training teachers.