Top experts’ letter pleads for art history A-level – BBC News

Image copyright Katrina Campbell
Image caption The A-level thinks about how the most social and important and political problems
play out in art, state academics

Hundreds of academics have actually signed an open letter to an examination board, condemning strategies to axe art history A-level.

The AQA board revealed recently that it would not provide the A-level to brand-new trainees after this year.

The choice to cut the A-level comes when “society has actually never ever needed its insights more”, argues the letter.

AQA stated the modification “was not about cash or whether history of art is worthy of a location in the curriculum”.

The letter , to AQA president Andrew Hall, reveals “serious issues” about the relocation.

“As AQA is the only test board to presently use the art history certification, the choice will lead to a topic of extensive social, financial and cultural significance vanishing from the UK A-level landscape,” it argues.

‘Inspiring possibility’

The more than 220 signatories consist of leading members of university professors, museums and galleries in the UK and overseas.

They vary from world specialists such as Oxford University’s Prof Craig Clunas, Christina Prescott-Walker, senior vice-president of Sotheby’s New York, and Prof Julian Stallabrass of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, to emerging art historians “who represent the future of the topic”.

A reformed art history curriculum, due for very first mentor next September, would have offered trainees the “chance to study how the most important social and political concerns we deal with today; from war to ecological modification, identity to migration; play out and have actually played out through the visual and material world“.

It was an “motivating and interesting possibility”, they argue.

The strategy was to “motivate and support a higher number of colleges and schools, especially in the state sector, to use the based on 16 to 18-year-olds”.

The test board’s choice not to go on represents “an important loss for trainees”, they include.

Image copyright Katrina Campbell
Image caption AQA states the enormous variety of the subject makes it really hard to mark precisely

They argue that the A-level is a crucial path into a degree in the topic, while lots of directors, managers and teachers in museums, galleries and heritage markets, important to global tourist and the economy, studied the subject both at A-level and at university.

“By rejecting youths access to the research study of art history at a crucial point in their lives, the AQA choice will actively dissuade the next generation from pursuing professions in the arts and location existing successes in genuine risk.”

They prompt Mr Hall “in the greatest possible terms” to use up an invite to go over the best ways to make the brand-new curriculum work.

In action, AQA stated its choice not to provide the brand-new curriculum originated from worries that reputable and precise marking of such a comprehensive topic would be difficult.

“We wished to continue with history of art, and the very best professionals in the nation have actually aimed to produce evaluations that satisfy the requirements and can likewise be precisely significant and graded, however the threats are too expensive,” stated a spokesperson.

“We comprehend the frustration of the subject neighborhood and, having actually pursued the previous year to make the subject work at A-level, remorse that we weren’t able to accomplish this.”

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