Artists 'arrogant'

22nd January 1999 at 00:00
ARTISTS in schools can seem intolerant, uninformed and even arrogant in their disregard for teachers' priorities. They can also make teachers feel threatened, says a report backed by the Office for Standards in Education. Yet where visits have been planned, artists can help raise pupils' self-esteem and enhance their learning of core skills.

One of the key barriers to a wider provision of artist-in-residency and other similar schemes remains the problem of funding.

Artists in Schools - A Review, was written for OFSTED by David Oddie, director of an arts project, and Garth Allen, of the University College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth. It reviews the historical background to current provision in schools, and examines seven projects in detail to draw out key factors contributing to their success. These include:

* support and encouragement from the headteacher;

* school access to information and advice regarding appropriate and available artists;

* good joint planning between the teachers and artists;

* preparation that generates a sense of expectation and involvement for pupils; and * effective evaluation to develop practice and improve quality.

The report says that artists working in schools and the teachers hosting them need training to work together effectively.

Artists in Schools (ISBN 0-11-350103-X) available from the Stationery Office at pound;10.95.

Karen Thornton

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