9 February 2022 Member Newsletter (252)

Art Education in pandemic times

It is almost two years since schools across the UK closed to the majority of children, as the Government and devolved administrations of the UK ordered the first national lockdown of the pandemic. Last night, the Art, Craft and Design APPG heard from experts and activists about the challenges and opportunities for the teaching of our subject in the wake of a health crisis that still holds the world in its grip.

For me, the biggest issue that faces education this decade is the widening inequality gap. Fault lines in the system have become gaping chasms. The ‘art gap’ is wider than ever, and we urgently need action for change. During our meeting we heard from people who are out there, making change. They shared incisive arguments, sobering statistics and practical proposals for tackling inequity.

There is no shortage of passion and advocacy from the art education community, but activism requires a robust evidence base. NSEAD has always provided this, drawing on the learning and intelligence of our members.

Last night the APPG Research Group launched a survey that will build on the findings of the NSEAD 2015-16 report, and shine a light on what is happening in our schools and colleges throughout the UK. I urge you to contribute and to share it far and wide.

You can see papers from all the APPG meetings, and the excellent work of the Research Group here. Share the link with your local MP, and ask them to get involved.

Michele Gregson

General Secretary


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