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Bring art and culture into your classroom with the Artsmark

Artsmark is the only creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England. This year sees in the programme’s 20th year of bringing arts, culture and creativity to thousands of classrooms across the country.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive for the Arts Council, reflects on a challenging year for schools and has an inspiring message for teachers as they settle back into the new academic year…

When I look back over the last 18 months, and at the pupils, teachers and support staff at our Artsmark schools across the country, I’m given pause for thought.

There’s no doubt about it. They have faced one of the most challenging and disruptive periods since the Second World War. And there may well be more hurdles to come.

I’ve not only been inspired by the way they have coped, but also by hearing about the role creativity has played in home education and within the restricted school confines.

There are so many examples from across the country. But, to name just two; Cheam High School, a long-standing Artsmark school who achieved their fourth Artsmark Gold award in September 2020, used whole-school creative projects to create community during lockdown.

Admiral Lord Nelson, an Artsmark Platinum school embedded creativity in their online teaching to keep students and staff motivated.

There are so many more inspirational stories like these which we’ve captured on our Artsmark blog. Creativity has kept us going through the toughest of times – and will continue to do so.

Here at the Arts Council, we are doing all we can to ensure artists, arts organisations, libraries and museums – and creativity more generally – remain a top priority in our recovery, including through education.

Refreshing the Artsmark process and making it easier for schools to become involved has been an investment priority of ours this year.

Let’s Create, our new strategy for culture and creativity across England until 2030, places opportunities for children and young people at its heart.

Find out more about recent Artsmark changes and explore our strategy for the next 10 years.

This year marks Artsmark’s 20th anniversary. This is the year to take stock of our collective achievements and celebrate our success.

Whether you’re just starting out on your Artsmark journey or if you have been leading the way since the very beginning, you are making a huge difference to children and young people across the country every single day.

And if you’re completely new to Artsmark, make this the year to make your mark and join our ever-growing creative community.

Get involved with #Artsmark20 on social media and shout about your creative achievements.

We’ll be announcing our plans for the year during Artsmark Celebration Week (8-12 November 2021) so make sure to keep an eye on our website for more information.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all the nation’s teachers and school leaders for your expertise, imagination, innovation, resilience, patience and adaptability in keeping our young people, parents and carers focused and educated during one of the most difficult times in history.

I hope you’ll join us in celebrating the role creativity has played, and will play, in making life better for pupils and young people across the country.

Head over to the #Artsmark20 hub.

Make your mark

Getting started with Artsmark is quick and easy.

  1. Register online
  2. Attend Artsmark Development training – essential CPD to kickstart your Artsmark journey
  3. Start planning and delivering your Artsmark journey
  4. Access our support and resources any time

Visit for more info.



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