Artsmark – Arts Council England

“Making things, drawing, painting, filmmaking – all of   these are a form of thinking and feeling that do not require the skills of literacy and numeracy and yet are essential to becoming fully human.” 

Anthony Gormley – artist


Artsmark is the creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England (ACE). It’s revised process (2015/16) aims to provide a clear framework for teachers to plan, develop and evaluate arts, culture and creativity across the curriculum.

Working in association with Flow, we conducted an in-depth review of this process and consulted with key stakeholders to gauge their understanding and experience of the programme.

Pressures such as reduced access to funds, a ‘squeezed’ curriculum leading to a results-driven culture favouring Sciences, English and Maths, and relatively high staff turn-over all serve as barriers to schools beginning or completing their Artsmark journey. However, Artsmark’s strategic and forward-thinking process, support for a ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum and flexible overall approach all prove to be positive and enticing aspects of the award.

Through our research, we were able to make clearly evidenced recommendations and provide practical solutions for ACE to capitalise on the core successes of their revised framework and make effective improvements where needed.