International Journal of Art & Design Education

Breadth and Balance? The Impact of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies on Art in the Primary School

Volume 19.2   2000



This paper presents the findings of a small-scale qualitative research enquiry into some of the effects on the primary school art curriculum of the introduction of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies in 1988 and 1999. Five art curriculum co-ordinators and an additional part time specialist art teacher, drawn from five inner city primary schools in two London boroughs, were the subject of a semi-structured interview designed to elicit data on the broad changes in primary art education. Key external factors were the introduction of the Art National Curriculum in 1992, its subsequent development and its current condition during a period of ‘relaxation’ of the Orders, following the government’s introduction of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategies. Little official attention has been given to other, perhaps unintended, outcomes of the latter strategy across the curriculum. This study gives an insight into the experience and perceptions of some of those carrying the responsibility for leadership of art in school in the primary phase.