​How to…persuade your school to run Arts Award

No matter what size your school is, making the decision to introduce them to Arts Award is not something you should take lightly.

​How to…persuade your school to run Arts Award

If done correctly, it can be taken seriously and you can make a positive addition or change to your school, which benefits yourself and others.

I think 'persuade' is a key word here. Arts Award is by no means controversial, and it's not like your school has any other reason than not knowing about it to not be running it right now. With this in mind, your aim is merely to persuade or encourage, not to force. Make them realise how much it has helped you and how positive it could be for others in the school, and make them realise they are missing out by not offering it to their students.

Now as good as this advice might be, you're probably thinking 'why does this girl think she can give advice like this?'. Simple answer, I did the above, and I made it happen. Towards the end of my time at school, just before my second year of Sixth Form, I took my DT teacher with me to my Head Mistress' office, and told them why they should be running Arts Award.

Here are a few top tips for making your efforts a success:

1. Get a teacher on your side first, preferably a 'creative' one i.e. Art, DT, Drama, Sport, English etc.

It's amazing what power having one teacher on your side can give you. One person to show the Head of the school that they are willing to take this on and make sure it runs can really change a Head's perspective.

2. Go straight to your Headteacher with your 'pitch':

It's important here to realise that the process won't be instantaneous. You'll need to book an appointment with your Head and wait for them to mull over the decision, too. When the time comes, though, know what you want to say and be positive. Take examples of your work with you to show what you have and can achieve and explain why it means what it does to you.

3. Show passion and pride:

For a Headteacher, having a student so interested in something they have pursued outside of school is very special. In order to make them feel it's something they need to offer to their students as a whole, you have to show them how much you love it, how independent it makes you, and how proud you are of what you have achieved through it.

4. Make it clear that you would have done it at school if you had the choice:

Knowing it's something you would have taken on as an extra-curricular activity in school if it had been offered is a great comfort for a teacher who doesn't know much about Arts Award. For those of you who did Duke of Edinburgh, the line 'I could have considered this over Duke of Edinburgh' speaks a thousand words. Remember a lot of schools put a lot of emphasis on DofE, so for a student to bring them something they would rather have done has quite a large impact.

They got teachers in Art, DT, Drama, Sport and English at my school to train as Silver advisors and started running Silver in September. I recently found out that they are now planning to run Discover or Explore (maybe both) with the Juniors and may even introduce Bronze at some point.

So, if nothing else, though making this happen isn't like trying to end world hunger, this article is proof that you can make it happen if you want it to, and it is worth it if you can make it happen. Who knows what else you'll be able to make happen?

Header image courtesy of Flickr/InnovationSchool

Author

Jo Nead

Jo Nead Contributor

I am a Hertfordshire based RADA graduate working in Stage Management. I like to knit, cook and travel and I can always be found in or talking about a theatre!

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