Record number of North-East schools gain Artsmark

The Duchess's Community High School performance of Fame earlier this year.' Picture by Jane Coltman
The Duchess's Community High School performance of Fame earlier this year.' Picture by Jane Coltman

A record number of schools in the North East have achieved an Artsmark level, with almost half of them in Northumberland.

Last Friday, for the culmination of Artsmark Celebration Week, a record 16 schools in the region were granted Artsmark status, the creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England.

Artsmark, which is recognised by Ofsted, demonstrates that a school champions and delivers high-quality arts, helping unlock the potential of children and young people by increasing their knowledge, skills, and understanding of the arts in its broadest context.

The Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick earned gold, alongside schools in Hexham and Cramlington, while there was a silver for a Blyth school. Three Morpeth schools earned platinum status.

The 16 schools, the highest number to be awarded Artsmark in the North East since the scheme began, take the number of levelled schools in our region up to 25.

More than 200 schools in the region are on their Artsmark journey working towards levelling and the North East has the highest proportion of schools undertaking Artsmark in England.

All these schools are supported by Culture Bridge North East and The Forge, which work together to deliver the Artsmark programme in the region.

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Helen Green, area manager and Artsmark lead for Culture Bridge North East, said: “We’re proud to be celebrating a record number of schools gaining Artsmark status in the region, which is a fantastic demonstration of how highly the arts are valued throughout the North East.

“We have a great range of art and cultural organisations in this part of the world and this level of Artsmark success shows how much schools value this, recognising the positive impact arts and cultural education has on children and young people.”

A guest blog by Ruth Brown, head of art & creative arts faculty at the Duchess’s Community High School can be found on the Culture Bridge website