Arts Class – The London Arts Education Conference

How to thrive in arts education

Hackney Town Hall, Reading Lane, E8 1EA
9 July 2014 9am – 4.30pm

Why this conference?

The arts in schools are experiencing a sustained period of uncertainty and change amid rapid developments in school accountabilities and a continued emphasis on the ‘core’ subjects. This important conference seeks to reassert the value of arts education and to explore new solutions and ways of working in the arts.

Featuring a real case study, speakers of national significance and a range of exciting workshops, this event is not to be missed.


  • Consider the contribution made in schools by the arts in terms of the development of imagination and creative thinking in addition to social, moral, spiritual and cultural dimensions.
  • Discover new ways of sustaining growth in the arts and of taking your school to the next level of intellectual and creative achievement.
  • Question our expert panel on how the arts can be effectively promoted and developed in your school.
  • Benefit from networking with colleagues facing similar challenges.
  • Be inspired by a vibrant art exhibition and drama performance included as part of the day.

Who should attend?

The conference is for all of those involved in school leadership and associated educational decision making processes, including:

  • Headteachers and Deputy Headteachers
  • Heads of Performing and Expressive Arts
  • Heads of Departments of established arts subjects including dance, drama, music, media and visual art
  • Teachers of arts subjects
  • Professional Artists

Richard Deacon, British Sculptor and Turner Prize Winner

Keynote talk – The Relevance of the Arts

Biography – Richard Deacon was born in Bangor, Wales and educated at Plymouth College. He then studied at the Somerset College of Art, Taunton, at Saint Martin’s School of Art,

London and at the Royal College of Art, also in London. He left the Royal College in 1977, and went on to study part-time at the Chelsea School of Art. Deacon’s first one-person show came in 1978 in Brixton.

Deacon’s work is abstract, but often alludes to anatomical functions. His works are often constructed from everyday materials such as laminated plywood, and he calls himself a “fabricator” rather than a “sculptor”. His early pieces are typically made up of sleek curved forms, with later works sometimes more bulky.

Deacon won the Turner Prize in 1987 and was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1999 New Year Honours List. The Tate gallery, London, presented a major retrospective of his work earlier this year.

Joe Hallgarten, Director of Education at the RSA, London

Keynote talk – Arts Education Under Threat: Crisis or Opportunity?

  • With arts education in schools in England at risk of further marginalisation, how can we put the arts at the heart of all young people’s learning?
  • How might the RSA’s concept of ‘21st Century Enlightenment’ help arts education to make the case?

Biography – Joe Hallgarten is an educator, policy analyst and programme leader. He joined the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) as Director of Education in 2012. Joe spent five years as a primary teacher before becoming Head of Education at the Institute for Public Policy Research in 1999, taking on the role of Associate Director in 2002.

In 2004 Joe became Learning Director at Creative Partnerships, the world’s largest creative learning programme and winner of the 2011 World Innovation Summit in Education (WISE) Award.

From 2009 to 2011, he was Director of Programmes for Creativity, Culture and Education, a UK-based charity which led Creative Partnerships and a number of other national and international programmes. He was then Director of Development and Research at the Education Foundation, and also provided strategic support for London 2012’s education programme.

He has also worked as an advisor for the Department for Education’s Innovation Unit and the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. In 2009, he was the Clore Fellow in Cultural Policy. Joe is a founding trustee for The Ministry of Stories, a children’s creative writing centre in Hackney.

Tim Boyes, Headteacher, Queensbridge School, Birmingham

Keynote talk – The Arts in Schools: Addressing the Present Challenge

  • How do school progress measures help us deal with the challenges facing school leaders?
  • What will it take to make us re-engage with the fact that as educators we are complicit in a system that pays too little attention to what the whole educational endeavour is for?
  • What does an arts-rich curriculum look like?
  • What should all curriculum leaders be prioritising with the teaching of the arts?

Biography – Tim Boyes is an NLE in his11th year as Headteacher at Queensbridge School, Moseley – a college specialising in visual and performing arts and leadership. During this period, Queensbridge achieved Ofsted Outstanding, High Performing School Status and became and a National School of Creativity. He was seconded to a local school in crisis for a period of 2.5 years at the request of Local Government.

In a wider context, Tim chairs the Birmingham Education Partnership, a collective of 275 schools working for school improvement across the city. He has also led on the setting up of an innovative AP Free School serving 14 secondary schools in the south of Birmingham.

Before he joined Queensbridge, Tim worked as an English and Drama teacher and a community-based drugs worker. He has lived and worked in Pakistan and India for two years and speaks Urdu. He is passionate about sailing, and still enjoys teaching!

Steve Moffitt, CEO, A New Direction, London

Keynote talk – Keeping the Arts Vibrant for Young People

  • The framework for cultural and creative development.
  • The value of arts and culture to the lives of all young Londoners.

Biography – Steve is Chief Executive Officer at A New Direction. In April 2012 A New Direction was awarded funding by Arts Council England to become the lead Bridge for London – a strategic role to connect children and young people, schools and communities with art and culture. The Bridge remit involves advocating for Arts Award and ArtsMark, networking and campaigning. Between 2008 and 2011 A

New Direction was the lead agency for Creative Partnerships in London working with hundreds of schools across the city and a range of creative and cultural organisations. Steve worked for English National Opera as Head of ENO Baylis between 1996 and 2002 and was Artistic Director and Associate Director of Theatre Venture between 1989 and 1996.

Additional Panel Member

Sean Gregory, Director of Creative Learning Barbican, London

Making Meaning: Artists and Art

Therapists Working Together

Dia Batal, Spatial Designer, Jo Evans, Creative Therapist and Lyn French, Director, A Space

A Space and Iniva will use contemporary art works by culturally diverse artists as a springboard into exploring how meaning is formed. The approach is designed to support both subject-based learning and emotional literacy. An art therapist and an artist will use case studies from school-based projects as the focus of discussion.

The Enterprise Curriculum

Tim Boyes, Headteacher, Queensbridge School, Birmingham

The workshop will further explore the benefits and value of the development of the arts and culture within the school environment. Tim will take forward the themes from his keynote address. This is a chance to consider the advantages, as well as the challenges and practicalities, of an arts-based approach in further detail.

What is Artsmark and Arts Award?

Laura Fuller, Programme Associate (Schools), A New Direction

This briefing session will give you an overview of the Artsmark process and the benefits and value of achieving Artsmark or Artsmark Gold. You will leave the workshop with a clear understanding of the next steps and what’s involved in making an application. You’ll also have a chance to ask plenty of questions! In addition, this session will be of interest to those wanting to hear more about Arts Award, and will provide you with the resources and knowledge to confidently deliver Arts Award in your school.

Musical Futures

Abigail D’Amore, Project Leader, Musical Futures

This workshop will consider the following questions:

  • What is Musical Futures?
  • Why was it developed and who is the target group?
  • How does it work in context?
  • Advantages and limitations, problems and solutions
  • What has been learned regarding the impact on children’s sustained engagement in music, particularly at KS3?
  • In what ways, if any, has the programme supported the raising of attainment in GCSE music examinations?
  • What are the key ingredients necessary to make the design and implementation of a MuFu programme in the school?

Storytelling in Film – From Analysis to Realisation

Emma Passmore, Film and Cross Arts Consultant, Barbican Centre

A practical workshop, drawing on real-life film practice, that helps explore ways to take your students’ ideas to realization in three easy steps. In an hour and half you will take a filmmaker’s journey, analyzing a short film sequence, creating your own stories and then storyboarding a section of that story. The workshop shall be set within a wider discussion of approaches to filmmaking in schools and will include how to overcome the most common pitfalls.

Hackney Empire – A Musical in 90 Minutes!

Yamin Choudury, Associate Producer, Creative Learning, Susie McKenna, Creative Director, Carl Parris, Choreographer, and Renell Shaw, Musician & Associate Artist, Hackney Empire

This workshop will give participants a practical insight into Hackney Empire’s Artist Development Programme (ADP) which sees young people create and perform a new piece of musical theatre over the course of two weeks and then present the work on the Empire main stage.

The workshop will cover some ways in which cross arts and drama techniques can be harnessed by teachers as a route into encouraging young people to create their own work. This will be followed by a sharing to delegate attendees. Please wear practical clothing and be prepared to have some fun!