This exhibition marks the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Artists Teacher Scheme in England on a model first discussed by representatives of Arts Council England, the National Society for Education in Art and Design and Tate Modern.
Since that time it has been steadily developed by the National Society for Education in Arts and Design, with support from Arts Council England and a growing number of fellow professionals in university and gallery partnerships.
The central ambition of the Artist Teacher Scheme is to dismantle the perception of contradiction between the complementary, symbiotic roles of artist and teacher. The Scheme rests on the premise that teachers in the various disciplines of the visual arts who maintain their own creativity within the context of contemporary professional artistic practices can be significantly more effective in the classroom or studio and more likely to be satisfied with their own work in education. It proposes the teacher as artist working alongside students in joint creative enquiry. The courses in its programme ? short, intermediate and award bearing ? are devised and delivered by unique partnerships between galleries of contemporary art and university schools of art and design and/or education and, though seldom full-time, offer ring-fenced time away from the school context. They become communities of learning in which teachers can immerse themselves and concentrate on developing personal thinking and practice in a focused and supported environment without distraction.
The Artists Teacher Scheme is fundamentally concerned to enrich and deepen subject-specific knowledge and to foster the confident adoption of the contemporary practices, thinking and theory which are bound up within that. The richness, quality and diversity of the work in this exhibition is a compelling demonstration of that.