Teacher CPD and Artist led Student Workshops 

Supported by Aspire to HE

CPD Workshop Leaders:

Susan Coles, Arts, Creativity, Cultural and Educational Consultant

Complex Simplicity, Artist Educator specialising in textile design and construction

Exodus Crooks, Artist and Arts Educator

Tom Hicks, Photography Artist (Black Country Type)

Mark Riley, Artist and Art Educator

Dr Andrew Yarnold, Cultural Learning Facilitator

Who are these CPD workshops for?

Aspire to HE linked Schools and Secondary School and FE Art Teachers in Telford and the Black Country.


What is the purpose of these CPD workshops?

We know that young people experience inequality in the access they have to high quality, inclusive art education and progression opportunities into HE and beyond. Our discussions with local art teachers have highlighted that boys and young people representing the global majority face increased barriers to engagement and achievement in art. In response to this we have partnered with Aspire to HE to design a funded programme of art teacher CPD sessions that focus on diversity and representation in the art curriculum and engaging and inspiring boys through visual art.


What can I expect in a CPD workshop?

Based in a Black Country art venue, each teacher CPD session will be led by an established artist educator who will equip art teachers with new skills, knowledge and inspiration to build on the breadth and diversity of their curriculum, reflecting students’ educational needs, interests, lived experience and heritage.


How many CPD workshops can I book onto?

You can book onto all 5 workshops, but please note that places are limited.


How much do they cost?

The workshops are fully funded by Arts Connect and Aspire to HE, so places are free.


Where are they taking place?

They are taking place in The New Art Gallery Walsall; Wolverhampton Art Gallery and The Wolverhampton School of Art. 


Further opportunities to deepen the learning with student workshops

To extend the learning and impact of the teacher CPD sessions, selected teachers will have the opportunity to work with an artist educator CPD lead to co-design two workshops that will take place with a group of their students. In the workshops the students will explore hands on making techniques, investigate how their ideas and identity can inspire art creation and build a deeper understanding of creative career pathways.


How do I apply for the student workshops?

We will use a set criterion to select eight schools to receive the funded student workshops which will take place between March and June 2024 based around participant availability. Workshops will be situated in school and at local arts and cultural venues, there will be a travel fund where needed.


Have a query or a question? 

Please contact Becky Thompson, Arts Connect Learning Programme Manager.

Aspire to HE

Supported by Aspire to HE: Aspire to HE is part of the Uni Connect programme that supports young people to achieve their ambitions by helping remove academic, financial and cultural barriers to higher education.

Key Note Speakers

CPD Workshops: Details & To Book

Where Have All the Boys Gone?


Venue: Wolverhampton School of Art
Date: Friday 1 March
Time: 10.30 -3.30pm
Cost: FREE

In this full day CPD session we will explore the issues we face in engaging boys in the art curriculum, using research and evidence we will discuss how you can develop more inclusive learning models at all key stages and make the subject meaningful, relevant and engaging to 21st century learners, in a changed post pandemic world. The session will support you to develop realistic and achievable strategies to make changes, to identify your own CPD needs and to achieve the goal of getting boys back into art, craft and design and improving their attainment.

To Book 

Click here to book your place 

Exploring Race and Identity in the Classroom


Venue: The New Art Gallery Walsall
Date: Wednesday 6 March
Time: 10am -3.15pm
Cost: FREE

This full day CPD session will support you to confidently explore race and identity in the classroom. We will focus on The World That Belongs to Us exhibition investigating the artists, the context of the work and the importance of curation. Artist and Arts Educator Exodus Crooks will guide us through ways to approach race and identity with students and share a range of strategies and practical techniques to use in the classroom. There will be lots of hands-on activities, fresh ideas and chances to work with local art teachers.

To Book

Click here to book your place

Capturing Place: Everyday Photography in the Art Curriculum


Venue: Wolverhampton School of Art
Date: Saturday 13 April
Time: 10am -1pm
Cost: FREE

Acclaimed artist Tom Hicks will lead us on a guided photo-walk, investigate new approaches to documenting the urban landscape and explore how Black Country Type photography practices can be approached with your students.

Tom will also discuss how photography outcomes can be extended into other art mediums and share examples from his collaborations with other creatives. He will also demonstrate how his work has been incorporated into the curriculum at schools and colleges.

Tom has extensive experience with working with schools, colleges and Universities. No previous experience of photography is necessary, just bring along a smart phone or digital camera.

To Book

Click here to book your place 

Engaging Boys in the Art Curriculum


Venue: Wolverhampton School of Art
Date: Thursday 18 April
Time: 4.30-7.30pm
Cost: FREE

This twilight workshop will explore the question of how to engage boys with the art curriculum. We will investigate barriers to engagement and learning, get hands on with a range of practical strategies and consider the artists we are using to inspire boys in the art classroom.

To Book

Click here to book your place.

Diversifying the Art Curriculum: Focusing on the Black Art Collection at Wolverhampton Art Gallery


Venue: Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Date: Thursday 9 May
Time: 12.30 – 4pm
Cost: FREE

In this workshop we will investigate artwork created by the BLK Art Group, considering how art teachers can use this as inspiration to approach race and identity in their curriculum.

Dr Andrew Yarnold will lead a gallery tour investigating the content and context of artworks, followed by a practical workshop led by artist educator Complex Simplicity. We will explore textiles-based art techniques inspired by the Black Art Group that can be used in the classroom.

Complex Simplicity will share a range of professional textiles techniques & (adaptable) creative ideas to inspire future lessons, whilst providing an opportunity to reflect upon and continue discussions about the artworks viewed, knowledge gained and linked topics in an open and insightful environment.

Key focus for the creative workshop will be experimentation, with encouragement of creative freedom, with a view to equip teachers with the skills, knowledge, confidence and insight to take away new ideas to subsequently share and further explore with their students. The relaxed, yet inspirational environment will also provide an opportunity to discuss assumed narratives and the use of phrases, terms and engage in dialogue which teachers may have not previously had the opportunity or training to consider or discuss in an open manner.

To Book 

Click here to book your place.