Academies, Art Express and Abebooks

The government is set to announce the academization of every school. This means the national curriculum, certainly for all but English and Maths, is no longer compulsory. It also means, perhaps more significantly for teachers, that national conditions of service and pay bargaining is also a thing of the past. Yesterday I was at a meeting of the ‘Expert Subject Advisory Group for Art’ . This includes representatives from organisations such as  the NSEAD, the Arts Council, and gallery educators as well as teachers, lecturers and hangers on like me. We discussed the changing nature of advocacy, and the way that, from now on, change would be generated at school, or academy chain, level. Politicians have, in effect, left the room, followed by local authorities.

The structural changes in secondary education are already underway, but the structural changes in primary education have yet to be seen. The world will not come to an end and new generations of subject champions will come to populate new networks. But in the short term it is hard to see how subject support and leadership can be provided for primary schools. In our meeting we discussed developing guidance for primary subject leaders in developing a programme of study, and I think we will produce this.

But we also noted that the publication ‘Art Express’ already provides a complete scheme of work. (See details of this elsewhere on this website.) I noted, with regret, that it was expensive and had not been taken up widely and it was no longer actively promoted by the publisher – so probably not a solution. However, this morning (and this is the belated point of this post)  I wondered whether it was still available – perhaps on Abebooks, and a quick search revealed that it was readily available online and at considerably reduced prices. The publisher is still selling individual year group books at £31.49 each whereas on Abebooks they are available for as little as £4.60 – brilliant. (note I was on the editorial board of this publication so have a vested interest)

If you have not heard of it Abebooks is the equivalent of Amazon in secondhand and remaindered books. It seems to have just about everything I can remember reading on their lists at remarkably low prices. Remember the book you had as a child that you would now like to read to your grand daughter – try Abebooks.


About Dan

Senior Advisor, Art Inspector, Member of the Expert Advisory Group for Art, Consultant working with NSEAD, IOE, QCA, UCE, UOG. Currently lecturer at UCL working on a project in Kazakhstan to develop text books for a new art curriculum.
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