The impact of Artsmark

Artsmark identifies a school or other setting offering a well planned, quality arts education and that supports the cultural development of all students



Artsmark supports Arts Council England’s goal of ensuring that every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts and culture.

Developing closer ties between education, arts practitioners and arts organisations benefits young people, teaching staff and professional artists. Good working relationships can address the needs and priorities of individuals and groups when built into the curriculum and sustained over a period of time.

The benefits of Artsmark

Artsmark demonstrates that your arts provision is all inclusive for every child and young person. In particular, Artsmark: 

  • provides a comprehensive audit tool, setting benchmarks for evaluating arts provision and enabling you to identity areas for development
  • supports successful and sustainable relationships between education settings and arts and cultural organisations
  • embeds and enriches arts and cultural experiences across your school or setting as a whole
  • allows you to show you are proud of your school or setting’s achievements and are ambitious for the future
  • will help to promote your school or organisation to prospective students, their families and across the wider community
  • is a way of celebrating and recognising your school or setting's success in the arts and culture
  • contributes to the cultural aspect of Ofsted’s requirement that a school promotes students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

What the government says about the impact of cultural education

Darren Henley, in his introduction to the review of cultural education in England 2012, said ‘all children can and should benefit from receiving a wide-ranging, adventurous and creative cultural education’. 

Henley’s recommendations include:

  • encouraging Ofsted to comment on each school’s cultural education provision as a specific part of their inspections
  • better partnership links between cultural organisations and education
  • most children and young people should be encouraged to take part in Arts Award
  • the scope of Artsmark should be widened to include all areas of cultural education

The government response to his review welcomed news of the high percentage of teaching schools that hold Artsmark status.

Artist Anthony Gormley discusses the value of arts education

'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. I believe the importance of visual ability, especially at a time where we live in such a visually mediated world, is an essential part of the growth of any young mind and body. Had it not been for the art room at my school I would not be an artist today. The art room was the one place at the centre of the college where things that weren’t already known and did not come out of books could be made, viewed and shared. I regard visual literacy as something of greater importance than any other human capability and we ignore it at our peril. Drawing is something as important as speaking, it is the way that the thinking mind expresses itself visually. Drawing is a natural extension of the mind and body; an essential human capability that should be encouraged as we should encourage the making of a chair, a film, a carving or the construction of a radio.'

Read more testimonials.

What Artsmark settings say about the impact of Artsmark

'As a specialist Performing Arts School recognised as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in February 2011, the impact of Artsmark on heightening awareness and exploring the school’s capacity for change has been invaluable. Over the years cross-curricular links have increased and the arts are now fully embedded across all subject areas. The award has certainly contributed towards staff engagement with the arts in recognising the value they have in developing students’ pride and self esteem' Jeremy Turner, headteacher, Friern Barnet School.