14 December 2022 Member Newsletter (271)

2022 Round Up

Well, another eventful year is nearly over! It has been one packed with art, activism and advocacy – all linked by the golden threads of best practice, professional learning and vital research. 

Last week, David Blunkett joined the last meeting of the year of The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design in Education. Lord Blunkett shared key recommendations from the Skills Council report, Learning and skills for economic recovery, social cohesion and a more equal Britain. The Council recommends that: 

‘A broad-based National Curriculum Authority, or Agency, should be established which draws in broad expertise for reshaping the curriculum and providing a modernised syllabus which is free from Party Political interference’ 

After 12 years of hostile education policies this is something to hope for. We can take inspiration and evidence from the work to develop forward-facing, creative education in Wales and Scotland in recent years. Because of course, all learners, wherever they are educated, deserve to benefit from a high-quality specialist art and design education; economic and civic society depend upon it. 

However, in her reply to my letter of 18 October, asking what the Government was going to do to retain and reward our highly qualified, experienced subject specialists, the Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan MP, insists that there isn’t a problem, saying: 

‘Teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession’  

Whilst the Government is in denial about the impact of a decade of neglect, NSEAD members are clear about the change they want to see and are making the case with more confidence than ever. Last December we put together an ‘Advocacy Advent’ all about the good that you do as art educators, with an uplifting quote each day to see you through to the end of the year. This year, our December gift is a powerful package of research and evidence shining a light on the impact of art, craft and design education, arming you with a wealth of references. The combination of compelling narrative and robust research is vital as we continue to make the case for our subject. Follow the daily posts on social media, #ArtResearchForTeaching (ART). In the new year we will be packaging these up ready for you to use as we stand up together, for our subject in 2023. 

Wishing you all a restful seasonal break, see you next year, refreshed and ready for change. 

Michele Gregson,

General Secretary 


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