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Art should command an important place in every school

Ofsted has published its latest curriculum research review, this time looking at art education in schools.

Today’s report explores the factors that contribute to a high-quality art education. It sets out a broad conception of curriculum quality that draws on the education inspection framework as well as art education research, art history, art criticism, aesthetics, and art practice.

Art, craft and design is an important subject for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). A high-quality art education can help pupils appreciate, interpret and create art.

We acknowledge that there are various ways schools can construct and teach high-quality art curriculums. But our report identifies some common features that schools may want to consider in developing their art education, including:

  • high-quality art, craft, and design curriculums that work towards clearly defined end goals, reflecting the complexity, diversity, and plurality of the subject

  • clear decisions made about what to include in the curriculum, with subject-specific reasons

  • a curriculum that allows pupils to learn the fundamentals of art and express them in interesting ways

  • a curriculum that builds practical, theoretical and disciplinary subject-specific knowledge

  • a curriculum that shows the diversity of art, craft and design, including work that is produced around the world by different artists, craft-makers, and designers from diverse communities, as well as traditional and contemporary forms

  • sufficient training, support and time for teachers to teach the curriculum well

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman said:

Art makes a significant contribution to our society through human innovation, imagination, and thought. A high-quality curriculum in art, craft and design, enables pupils to develop love of a subject that is both intellectually challenging and creatively demanding. The subject should command an important place in every school. We hope this review will contribute to raising the quality of art education for all young people.

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