Since 1888 NSEAD has been a place where the art education community can draw strength and support for the work that they do. Since those early days, NSEAD has thrived; today we have grown to be a broad and expansive community of art, craft and design education professionals with members around the world.
We are diverse, coming from all areas, all sectors, all phases. There are as many ideas as there are members. Sometimes we agree, sometimes there is passionate debate and difference. We share in common three things however: we are all educators, we are all learners - and we all believe passionately in the power of art, craft and design to make the world a better place.
That belief is being tested now, as never before. The challenge for us all is to keep the power and joy of learning in our subject alive, to support each other in frightening and uncertain times. Teachers across the UK are stepping up, staying on the front line to care for the needs of our children and young people when they and their families need it most. Teachers are rising to the challenge of maintaining education in a transformed landscape – embracing the change, responding and learning at a rapid pace.
Our job, as the officers and the executive is to help you, our community to carry on with the work that you want to do and the incredible role you have been asked to undertake.
Over the coming weeks and months we will put all of our efforts into the following:
- We will bring you the news and information that you need about Covid-19 and what Government measures mean for you and the way you work, for your pay and conditions, for art and design examinations and anything that impacts on you as a professional.
- We will post regular updates that you can trust. We won’t pass on incomplete information or speculate – we will only tell you what we know to be true and accurate from authoritative sources. No more, no less.
- We will hold the Government and their agencies to account for the decisions it does and doesn’t take and the impact they have on you, our members.
- We will continue to represent those who are part of our trade union, helping you as art educators with your workplace queries and concerns, responding to your individual needs.
- We will bring together our community of volunteers from Council and Forum to connect with the wider membership, bringing art, craft and design ed resources, inspiration and activities to help you through this time.
- We will continually strive to reach as many as possible, so that the most vulnerable, those in the most need are not left behind.
- We will listen to our community, and learn from the insights that you bring about what is happening where you live and work.
- We will be inspired by your acts of generosity and solidarity - sharing them across our networks and following your example. We invite you all to get involved with our #NSEADcreate campaign and harness your collective power.
Like you, like every organisation and business in the country, we have plans in place to ensure that we can keep as much of our service going as possible during the Covid-19 emergency. NSEAD’s staff and Executive are making extraordinary efforts. I would expect nothing less from these amazing people, but as General Secretary, I will always put the safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers and their families first.
There will be points where that service is temporarily reduced, and some member benefits may be delayed. I know that you will stick with us, and ensure that we are able to carry on protecting, promoting and defending you and our subject for many more years to come.
The work you are doing in classrooms, studios and remotely online is amazing. At this time of national emergency, you are undertaking a critical role and in the days and weeks ahead, I wish you, your families and colleagues health and strength.