Inspection reports


Ofsted reports about art and materials for schools

  • Subject professional development materials: Art, craft and design - 26 November 2012. This resource has been put together to help teachers of art, craft and design in schools, colleges, early years and gallery settings improve teaching and learning by reflecting on the main messages from the report, Making a mark: art, craft and design 2008-11, published in March 2012.
  • Making a mark: art, craft and design education 2008-11 - 30 March 2012. This report evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of art, craft and design education in schools and colleges in England. It is based principally on subject inspections of 96 primary schools, 91 secondary schools and seven special schools between 2008 and 2011. This includes five visits in each phase to focus on an aspect of good practice. The report also draws on institutional inspections, 69 subject inspections in colleges, and visits to a sample of art galleries.
  • Drawing together: art, craft and design in schools - 24 April 2009. This report looks at the strengths and weaknesses of art, craft and design in a sample of primary and secondary schools. At a time when cultural opportunities are widening, creative industries are thriving and the curriculum is becoming more flexible, this report focuses on how ready pupils and teachers are to respond to these developments.

Inspectors visit 150 schools each year to inform Ofsted’s subject surveys in English, mathematics and science. Survey visits for other subjects are less frequent but continue to take place from time to time.

Case studies of good practice in art in schools

Securing excellent outcomes in art, craft and design: Walbottle Campus - 31 May 2012. The vision at Walbottle Campus is to create an exciting, creative, contemporary curriculum that promotes imaginative, deep thinkers and inspires future innovators. Art, craft and design play a key role in realising this vision.  

The mutual benefits of partnership working in the arts - 8 June 2011. An effective partnership between a secondary school and the local art gallery through the ‘Watch this Space’ teacher placement programme which aims to develop mutually beneficial relationships between galleries and schools, drawing on the expertise of artists, teachers and gallery staff.

The journey to excellence in art, craft and design - 8 September 2011. A primary school that uses art, craft and design very effectively to improve pupils’ self-confidence and creativity, and raises achievement across the curriculum.

Raising achievement and aspirations through high quality partnership working with a community arts organisation: King Ethelbert School - 22 March 2012. King Ethelbert School and the Turner Contemporary Gallery work in a sustained partnership where students are trained as gallery guides (Youth Navigators) to work with the public during exhibitions. Both organisations are committed to improving young peoples’ achievement and raising their aspirations. This case study outlines how investing in a strong and sustainable relationship with an external community partner, gave school students and staff powerful creative learning opportunities.

Developing a contemporary art curriculum: Hillview School for Girls - 8 December 2011. This case study highlights how a school transformed students’ achievement from good to outstanding by developing its practice to reflect the criteria for ‘outstanding’ articulated in Ofsted’s subject-specific guidance. Central to this improvement was the impact of investment in a challenging programme of professional development with Goldsmiths University, which was cascaded very effectively across the department.

Outstanding promotion of equality and diversity through the visual arts - 8 April 2011. This case study looks at how students in a college develop a sound understanding of equality and diversity through their personal exploration of themes in their art and design work.

Learning through looking - 30 June 2011. Many features combine to develop outstanding provision and outcomes in the visual arts. This example focuses on one feature; exploiting visual communication to promote inclusion and achievement in a C21st, ethnically diverse educational setting

National Lead

Ian Middleton is Ofsted’s National Lead for Art, craft and design education. He has been one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors for 8 years. Before Ofsted, Ian worked as a local authority adviser and as an additional inspector in Ofsted’s teacher education division. Ian has collaborated with the Arts Council, Qualifications Curriculum and Assessment authority, Creative Partnerships, National Society for Education in Art and Design and the Engage association of gallery educators.

External links

Annual Report 2012/13