NSEAD Survey: decline in time and value for Art and Design in Schools

19 February 2016

On 9 February the National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) published their 2015-16 survey results. 

Responses to the question ‘In the last five years how has government policy impacted on art, craft and design education?’ are damning.

  • 44% of secondary school teachers reported a decrease in the time allocated for art and design
  • 53% of secondary art and design teachers reported that on entry to year 7 there had been a fall in levels of art and design attainment reached by pupils joining their school.
  • 93% of teachers agreed that EBacc had reduced opportunities for students to select art and design at Key Stage 4


Access to an Art and Design education

There are also worrying trends emerging about pupils’ access to Art and Design education in Academy and Free schools.

More Art and Design teachers in Academy schools reported a reduction in the time allocated for Art and Design than any other part of the schools’ sector. Higher ability students in Free schools were least likely to be able to study Art and Design.

It was clear from the survey that access to galleries, museums and creative practitioners is becoming the preserve of independent schools. 82% of independent schools support the principle that every examination group should engage first-hand in galleries and museums, compared to 36% of Free schools.

Yet examining boards and Ofsted both recommend visiting museums and galleries and/or meeting practitioners. And we know that taking part in visits to galleries plays an important role in building pupils’ cultural capital – something David Cameron was clear that he wanted to improve in last month’s Life Chances speech.

Teacher CPD

The survey revealed that 20% of primary Art and Design subject coordinators never attend subject specific continuing professional development and 35% do so rarely. When they do participate in training 50% of Art and Design teachers do so through self-funding.

56% of Arts and Design teachers said the reduced profile and value of the subject had contributed towards teachers leaving, or wanting to leave, the profession. 

Download the full report from the NSEAD website.