Firm foundation

10th August 2001 at 01:00
I was interested to read Hilary Franks letter ("Don't let the tick-boxers destroy art", TES, July 13) (which attacked the assessment system for foundation art).

The foundation course prepares students for higher education. In designing the qualification we were concerned that assessment took account not only of students' visual capacities, but also their ability to engage critically with their subject through the written word. We felt this was essential in developing skills needed in higher education courses.

I would emphasise the importance that we attached to external assessment of the student's final project as a measure of achievement at the end of the course. Assessment of a final project can also help foundation courses who face drop-out problems as a result of unconditional offers by higher education courses.

Professor Roderick Bugg Chair, Independent Steering Group for Foundation Art amp; Design Principal, Wimbledon School of Art Merton Hall Road, Wimbledon London SW19

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