A display of paper and plastic multi coloured fishes

This is a hugely challenging time for schools and both the Artsmark Team and the Arts Connect Team want you to know that we are here to help you if you need it. In early April the Artsmark Team at Arts Council England closed the programme to new registrations owing to the uncertainty of the situation. However, there are still 322 schools in the West Midlands on their Artsmark journey and we wanted to be able to still support these schools if they needed it.

So the Artsmark team here at Arts Connect, Helen (me), Eleanor (Artsmark Administrator) and Baz, Emma, Fiona, Jane, Judy and Peppy (Artsmark Associates) worked frantically behind the scenes to move our Artsmark support into a digital format. By the end of April we had held a digital support session, ‘Planning for Impact, next steps after submitting your Statement of Commitment’ and a digital ‘Development Day’. The teachers that attended were amazing; they told us about how they have adapted their delivery and how they are meeting the challenges of reaching out to students from their schools – and most importantly, how creativity sits at the heart of what they do.

I have been surprised by how many teachers have continued to access our support. In times of great change for education you can never be too sure if the arts will be the subject area that will go to the bottom of the pile. However, here in the West Midlands lots of our schools have continued to access our support and we have had four schools still complete their Artsmark award. So a huge congratulations to Newstead Primary in Stoke (Gold), Hollyfast Primary in Coventry (Gold), Park Lane Primary in Nuneaton (Gold) and Kingsthorne Primary in Birmingham (Silver).

If you are a school that is already on your Artsmark journey, you will have received an email from the Artsmark Team letting you know that they have relaxed their deadlines. If you haven’t received this, and are concerned about your Artsmark journey, please follow this link to find the information concerning altered deadline, but also please email me, and I can let you know where your school is on their Artsmark journey and what support Arts Connect can offer you. Find out more about ACE’s response to Artsmark and Covid 19.


Helen Frost, Arts Connect, Senior Programme Manager: Artsmark