Setting up and running a regional network group

Setting up a regional network group takes time, and commitment, but is very worthwhile, putting you at the centre of art, craft and design education in your region.

The majority of existing regional network groups run twilight sessions for a self-selecting audience of pro-active teachers. Content, or agendas are important to include a warm welcome and a sense of ‘self’ and ‘well being’ and a recognition of the adult learning cycle. The content is not just up to you. Look at what other network groups do, and ask your teachers how they see the group developing.

If you would like to set up a regional network group the following guide lines will help. There is no right or wrong way, let us know what works for you. You may want to encourage a colleague to help.

In non- Covid times, a venue is a good start. Many regional network groups meet in schools, teachers taking it in turns to host a meeting giving everyone the opportunity of to see student work, new facilities and different ways of working. If you are thinking of using your own school then a discussion with your head teacher or head of department is essential. Your local museum or gallery might be keen to host a meeting, giving them the benefit of introducing their resources to local teachers. Many museums and galleries have a dedicated education room. Contact your local museums and galleries and see what might be available, mindful that there may be a cost implication and you will need to book in advance.

During the pandemic of course, we all moved online - and indeed NSEAD had taken our Governance meetings onto Zoom a year earlier. International organisations such as INSEA have always worked this way. The democratic energy of meeting online will hopefully be a positive legacy of Covid-19 times and you may wish to take adavantage of the accessiblity and inclusivity that online activity brings. You should ensure that all those joining your meetings are clear about the online protocols - are they happy for screenshots to be shared for example. Take steps to ensure the security of your meeting.

Once you’ve collated a list of names or members of your group, stay GDPR compliant - make sure you keep your records safe and do not hand over personal details to anyone unless consent has been agreed.

Dates and timing. Two hour twilight sessions during the week are popular, but some groups meet on a Saturday. The majority of groups meet once a term. You may want to combine a meeting with an event at school, or the private view or a particular exhibition at a gallery.

Refreshments will be essential if you are holding a physical meeting. Ask for a contribution for tea, coffee, milk and biscuits.

Once you have a date, place and time, NSEAD can help market your event. Please allow a half a terms notice and we can market your event to our members via our website and e-update. You need to include your email or a phone number so that teachers can contact you if they are coming or need more information. NSEAD can also support your group through social networking. Please note NSEAD cannot act as a booking agent.