NSEAD Survey Report 2015-16

The NSEAD Survey Report 2015-16 documents the findings of NSEAD’s largest and most comprehensive survey to date and answers the question: In the last five years how has government policy impacted on art, craft and design education?

The Report details 14 key findings which show how government policies have impacted not only on the value of the subject, but on the time and resources needed for children and young people to participate and excel in art, craft and design. These changes, evidenced throughout NSEAD’s report, are reducing opportunities and choices to engage in a broad and balanced curriculum and risk jeopardising and limiting the UK as a creative and competitive force in a global market.

Selected key findings include:

A. Curriculum provision in art and design:
Key finding and evidence: Learning opportunities in art, craft and design across all key stages have reduced significantly.
• At least a third and up to 44% of teacher responses over all key stages indicate that time allocated for art and design had decreased in the last five years.

Key finding and evidence: Provision for art and design is increasingly influenced by school type/sector. At key stage 3 and 4 academy sponsors have seen the biggest reduction in time allocated for the subject.
• More art and design teachers in academy sponsors reported a reduction in the time allocated for art and design at key stage 3 (55%) and key stage 4 (42%) than in any other sector.

B. The value given to art and design in schools:
Key finding and evidence: The value given to art and design has impacted on the choice and provision of art and design qualifications offered for both higher and lower ability students.
• Teachers across all sectors indicated that their schools were more likely to enable lower ability students to take art and design qualifications than higher ability students.
• Respondents teaching in free schools were the most likely (93%) to agree/strongly agree that their schools enable lower ability students to study art and design. However, they were also the most likely (32%) to disagree/strongly disagree that their schools enable higher ability students to study art and design.

Key finding and evidence: Opportunities for examination groups to work with creative practitioners or to engage with original works of art, craft and design in galleries and museums, varies according to school sector:
• 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.

C. Professional development opportunities in art and design:
Key finding and evidence: Access to relevant CPD in art and design is limited and for some teachers subject-specific training is non-existent. Significant numbers of art and design specialists in all phases ‘rarely or never’ receive CPD.
• 55% of primary subject coordinators rarely or never attend subject-specific CPD.
• Over half (51%) of all art and design teachers in independent schools attend CPD annually, this drops to under a third (31%) of all art and design teachers in the state sector

D. Wellbeing and workload of art and design educators:
Key finding and evidence: The reduced profile and value of the subject have contributed to art and design teachers leaving or wanting to leave the profession.
• 56% of respondents reported that the reduced profile and value of the subject (56%) by government and school management had contributed towards teachers leaving or wanting to leave the profession.

Based on the survey’s key findings the report lists a series of recommendations for a wide group of stakeholders.

We are asking the Department for Education, parents, head teachers and school governors, Ofsted, Creative Industries Federation and creative industry leaders, the Local Government Association, Arts Council England and higher education institutions to help address the impact of policies on our subject by supporting and acting on these recommendations.

The recommendations include:
Schools should review the time allocated for the teaching and learning of art and design within the curriculum, adjusting the mechanisms and barriers that deplete time resulting in damage to standards in art and design, in primary schools and through carousel systems, shorter lessons and compressed key stage 3.

Parents should, through membership of parent teacher associations and as parent governors, hold the governance and management of the school accountable for the appropriate time, resources, facilities and value given to art and design on the curriculum and in the professional development of its teachers and support staff

The Department for Education should decline from stating or inferring that higher education and career opportunities will be limited by examination study in art and design, thus misrepresenting the subject to parents and young people.

Download the full report here.

Download key findings and recommendations here.

09 Feb 2016