What really goes on in an art lesson? Students, staff and alumni of Central St Martins, University of the Arts London, sought to find out last month as they set up a temporary art school in the Tate Modern. The school, which ran from 9th to 15th January, offered a wide range of free workshops, seminars and lectures where people could take part, and included everything from performance workshops to life-drawing lessons.
The aim of the school was to highlight what St Martins believes is ‘a systematic assault on arts education in the UK’. Alex Schady, a programme leader at the college, said art was increasingly isolated in the school timetable and that creativity was often dismissed as peripheral. “We want to think about what forces are currently impinging on arts education and what resistance we can, all of us, offer to that,” he said.
The project comes in the wake of new performance measures being introduced in secondary schools. The English Baccalaureate, or EBacc, counts the number of students who achieve a grade C or above in subjects such as English, maths, science, languages and the humanities and as a result, schools often feel pressured to invest in these subjects at the expense of the arts. All students who entered secondary school in 2015 are expected to take EBacc subjects when they sit their GCSEs in 2020, and the measures are expected to have a lasting impact on the way arts subjects are experienced by young people.
Not only is the Tate Modern one of the many organisations signed up to our Kids in Museums Manifesto, but it also hosted our recent Carnival! It was a fun-packed day showcasing many of the projects we do at Kids in Museums, and you can read more about it here.
Written by Laura French, Assistant News Editor
Edited by Becky MacNaughton, News Editor