Schools Conference 2015

Creating a better education. How to Improve and Achieve through Arts and Culture.

Our annual schools conference, Creating a Better Education, How to Improve and Achieve Through Arts and Culture, took place at Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre on 13 October 2015.

Attended by over 110 teachers and senior leaders from schools across London as well as arts and cultural organisations and expert contributors, this year’s event was our biggest yet. At the conference, we launched our new Teachers’ Toolkit, a resource to support schools to use and promote the arts and culture – and to successfully apply for Artsmark. You can download this free resource here.

Here you can find content from across the conference to download, use and share. For a taster of the whole event, watch our highlights film...

You can also download speaker biogs and workshop descriptions.

The Speakers

The conference opened with a keynote from our chair (and former Children’s Commissioner), Professor Maggie Atkinson.

Dame Reena Keeble, former headteacher and chair of the Artsmark review talked about the importance of Artsmark and the Artsmark review process.

Our final keynote speaker, Louise Coysh, Senior Curator at Art on the Underground (AotU), closed the conference with an inspiring look at the opportunities to explore art and design through AotU programmes and the Underground network. She also launched a new resource supporting the Underline programme for the Victoria Line. Unfortunately we are not able to share Louise’s presentation, but you can find out about AotU’s offer here

The workshops

All delegates attended our workshop, Artsmark, All You Need to Know. This introduced the new Artsmark Award and gave an overview of the new application process – you can find all of this information on the Artsmark website. A panel discussion with a number of the schools that took part in the Artsmark pilot in summer 2015 explored the benefits of the award and the advantages of the new application process.

In Whole School Improvement Through the Arts, facilitator Greg Klerkx supported schools to explore how work through various art forms can support school improvement and the delivery of school priorities. Case studies from teachers at Woodcroft Primary School (Barnet) and Stoke Newington School (Hackney) gave examples of this in practice. Download a summary resource from the workshop here. Other materials from the workshop include:

Woodcroft Primary Aim@Arts-Policy-Sept-2014.pdf

Woodcroft Primary Aim@Arts-Policy-Sept-2014.pdf

Stoke Newington School - Creativity in the Curriculum.pdf

Stoke Newington School - Creativity.pdf

The Quality in Arts Education workshop, led by evaluator Hannah Wilmot, explored the Arts Council’s Quality Principles, which are key to the new Artsmark process. A summary resource can be downloaded here and you can find out more about the Quality Principles on the Arts Council website.

The final workshop, led by Anita Kerwin-Nye, was Measuring and Demonstrating the Impact of Arts Education, in which participants explored and began to create their own Theory of Change as well as discussing approaches to measuring and demonstrating impact.


The day ended with an energetic marketplace, where delegates networked with 35 cultural organisations from across London – click here for the full list of organisations and contact details.

Keep up to date with upcoming events for schools, and

Our conference for 2016 is already being planned so sign up for our schools enews to be sure not to miss out. In the meantime, see here for information about other opportunities coming up this academic year.