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Record number of English schools hit the mark for Arts excellence

Arts Council England has awarded 1,648 schools with its prestigious Artsmark award in recognition of their commitment to, and excellence in, arts education.

Since Artsmark began 9 years ago, almost 10,000 awards have been made to schools all over England. 2009 saw the highest number of applications since the scheme began with the total number of Artsmark awards up nearly 15% from the previous year.

This year 784 schools nationwide achieved Artsmark Gold, 539 Artsmark Silver and 325 attained Artsmark accreditation.

A school must dedicate a minimum of 10 per cent of its curricular teaching time to the arts to receive Artsmark accreditation; 12 per cent qualifies for a Silver Artsmark and 15 per cent wins an Artsmark Gold. An Artsmark school also provides teachers’ professional development and involvement with local artists and arts groups.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:

“Arts Council England is committed to great art for everyone and we believe that the earlier children are creatively inspired, the more likely they are to have a lifelong engagement with art.

“Artsmark sets the standard for an outstanding arts offer in schools and it’s great to see so many new schools attaining the Artsmark award this year. The award recognises a school’s passion for the arts and its belief in the power of creativity.”

Headteacher Paul Kelly from Birkdale Primary School, Sefton, which has just been awarded Artsmark Gold for the third time said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded Artsmark Gold.

It’s simple, if you really want to make a difference in children’s lives and raise standards at schools, you can’t afford not to be involved in the arts and Artsmark.”

Any school in England can apply for Artsmark, for more information go to:

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