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Engage is the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education.

We support arts educators, organisations and artists to work together with communities in dynamic, open exchanges that give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts.

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Director's Update

July 2016

Dear Colleagues

EU Referendum
Following the EU referendum, Arts Council England says it will work with government departments to ensure the views and concerns of the arts and culture sectors are heard. The Creative Industries Federation has pledged to play a role in safeguarding the future of the UK’s arts, creative industries and cultural education and their significant contribution to the economy and have initiated a series of events to debate critical issues. Click here for further information.

Engage will be working with these and other organisations as the implications of the referendum on visual arts education becomes clear. Engage is committed to ensuring that UK visual artists and arts organisations continue to have a high profile internationally, are able to work with colleagues from across the world and that UK and international practice is shared. 9% of Engage members are international with a significant membership throughout Europe. There are regular international contributors to Engage conference, Summer School and to the Engage Journal.

Engage is delighted to be presenting on Generation ART: Young Artists on Tour at a number of international gatherings this year, the Third International Teaching Artists Conference this August in Edinburgh; the International Society for Education through Art (InSEA) European Regional Congress in September in Vienna and at the Museums Association conference this November in Glasgow. These are important opportunities for colleagues involved in arts and gallery education internationally to share practice and ideas. engage will continue to nurture these valuable relationships.

English Baccalaureate
There is a House of Common’s debate on the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) this Monday 4 July, following a petition to secure a debate in parliament. Engage is concerned about the unintended consequences of the EBacc, with children and young people having less opportunity to study art and design. The EBacc is a performance measure for schools awarded when students receive a C or above in the five academic subjects - English, Maths, History or Geography, the Sciences and a language. The EBacc does not include Art and Design, Music, Dance, Drama or Design technology. The EBacc has inadvertently created a two–tier curriculum with a lack of parity across subjects.

The exam watchdog Ofqual provisional figures reports a 5.5% drop in Art and Design GCSE entries in 2016. The National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) Survey Report 2015-16 found that less time is being given to teaching of art and design at all levels.

Engage will continue to campaign for the value of children and young people having access to art and artists and the importance of the creative and cultural industries as a growing area of employment for young people. Engage will continue to keep you up dated on both the debate around the EBacc and the European referendum.

With best wishes
Jane Sillis
Director, Engage




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