Ellesmere College has been named the first independent school in the Midlands to win the Arts Council’s new Artsmark Platinum Award recognising a strong cultural education.
Ellesmere was invited by the Arts Council to pilot the new initiative following a successful bid last year where the school received the highest accolade possible, the ArtsMark Gold Award.
Only nineteen primary and secondary schools in the Midlands took part in a nationwide pilot supported by Arts Connect West Midlands and The Mighty Creatives, two of the ten regional organisations across the country helping connect schools, children and young people with the arts.
A school that just focuses on the academic side is only half a school – Brendan Wignall
Deputy Head Vicky Pritt-Roberts, who helped co-ordinate the school’s bid for the award, said: ‘I’m delighted that Ellesmere College’s dynamic arts education has been nationally recognised. Holding Artsmark status means we are leading the way in providing children and young people with excellent arts and cultural experiences.’
Artsmark is Arts Council England’s flagship programme, which enables schools and other organisations to evaluate, strengthen, and celebrate their arts and cultural provision. The core of the Platinum Level Award demonstrates Ellesmere’s commitment to supporting and inspiring other schools and creative groups in the wider community. It also recognises the schools arts provision, which seeks to meet new challenges and push boundaries.
Ellesmere was praised for the high quality of education in all the key art subjects, including art, creative writing, dance, drama, music, technical theatre and media technology. The assessment also highlighted the schools nurturing environment for artistic talent, which encourages progression towards professional success in the arts.
Headmaster, Brendan Wignall, explained: ‘It’s really important that all of the hard work from staff and pupils is recognised. A school that just focuses on the academic side is only half a school.’