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Artsmark returns

On September 1, Arts Council England will launch Round 12 of their national programme on arts in education settings – evaluating, celebrating and strengthening its provision across the UK.

This time, the Mark will include a digitalised, simplified application process, consideration for the youth justice system and (following work with the National Skills Academy) further education colleges.

The aim of the Artsmark, and of particular worth for further education institutions, is to focus on championing a breadth of opportunities across a whole setting – not simply the quality of dedicated formal courses. So displaying the Artsmark demonstrates an institution’s overall commitment to broad, high quality and sustainable arts provision.

The Skills Academy will be working closely with its 20 Founder Colleges to grow the Artsmark over the coming years. It will seek to establish a working role for the Artsmark in auditing how a college can better equip their community to access arts provision – and also how it can create a platform for artists to interact with delivery and presentation of work. This support will include the new provision for 2011 of a visit for all applicants throughout the test process and regular phone support.It is hoped that with the inclusion of Further Education institutions the Artsmark will grow to become a national benchmark.