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The NSEAD SIG for ITE, write to Damian Hinds regarding the misrepresentation of art and design and the inequalities in teacher recruitment


We, the NSEAD Special Interest Group for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) have a number of concerns about the DfE's positioning of our subject within ITT and vehemently challenge the inequalities in this area. There are two separate, but interrelated, issues:

1) The DfE's Get into Teaching website, updated for 2019-20 recruitment, has begun to classify 'the arts' as a single subject. NSEAD’s statement and news report, 28 Sep 2018, explains the issue and asks that the DfE: ‘Give each subject on the curriculum equal distinctiveness and authority. Bundling arts subjects together diminishes their purpose and unique offer to children and young people and society.'

Further to this the NSEAD ITE Special Interest Group notes that as it is not possible to train to teach the arts in a single ITE course, therefore this classification is misleading. Each subject is unique. Additionally, there is little useful information – especially financial – on the ‘arts’ webpage compared to that on other subject webpages.

2) Regarding ITE bursaries, we are compelled to ask: Why is music treated more favourably than art and design? Specifically: Why is an ITE bursary offered for music but not for art and design when music has recruited more successfully against the Teacher Supply Model (TSM) for the past three years?

Here is the current DfE ITT bursary information

To train to teach music in 2017-18 and 2018-19, there was a bursary of £9,000 for entrants with a first class degree or PhD and £4000 for those with a 2:1 degree or masters. For 2019-20 the bursary has been increased to £9000 for all entrants with a 2:2 or above.
The following table shows DfE ITT census data* for the percentage of Teacher Supply Model met via ITT recruitment for music and art and design for the last three years. Evidently, art and design is less able to recruit than music, yet art and design trainees do not receive any bursary:

Year Art and Design Music
2017-18 74% 76%
2016-17 82% 89%
2015-16 64% 73%

In summary, not only is our subject faced with misrepresentation but now, it is apparent that there are also ongoing disparities between how art and design and music are treated within ITT recruitment policy.

We have written to Damian Hinds MP to seek an explanation and to ask that the DfE address both these issues. Download our letter here.


*Data links:
2017-18 ITT Census

2016-17 ITT Census

2015-16 ITT Census

The NSEAD Special Interest Group (SIG) for Initial Teacher Training (ITT), is formed by ITT representatives and advisors with expertise in this area

12 Oct 2018