Artsmark FAQs


What is Artsmark?

Artsmark is an award for schools who demonstrate their commitment to embedding arts and cultural provision at the heart of their school.

What's 'new' about Artsmark ?

Artsmark has existed for some time, but it was, to use their own term, ‘refreshed’ in 2015.  The now not-so-new programme is more forward thinking, and requires settings to set specific arts and cultural priorities that align with their school development plans.

The Artsmark Journey now involves the whole school with the approval and support of the headteacher and chair of governors and the newer process is far more flexible with far less form-filling as well as lots of support available from the Bridge organisations network. 

Why should I do The Bowdleflodes Wildlife Project?

By participating in The Bowdleflodes Wildlife Project, you will be providing children with a rich learning experience. The Project not only encompasses key areas of the National Curriculum but facilitates learning about conservation and endangered species. The activities have been developed to utilise art as the vehicle to carefully teach children about these serious issues in a fun and engaging way.

The Bowdleflodes Wildlife Project contributes to raising the standard of artistic work being produced as well as creating opportunities to both share and celebrate that work.

How long does the whole Artsmark process take?

From registration to submitting your first formal document, your Statement of Commitment, it usually takes two academic terms. After that, you have up to two years to develop, deliver and evaluate your provision and submit a Case Study, your second formal document. You are notified of the outcome of assessment no later than the end of the following academic term. Your Artsmark Award is then valid for two years.

What do you mean by 'Art'?

Art is a seen as a broad term that extends across art and culture.  Examples may include dance, drama, visual arts, digital media, film, cultural heritage, music.

Do we need to offer all of the arts?

It is not necessary to cover all artforms within your school’s curriculum, but it is expected that your school strives for a broad offer of high quality arts and cultural experiences for your pupils.

How much does it cost?

The standard application fee is £500, but small schools of under 100 pupils are eligible for a reduced fee of £250. This fee gives you access to a network of arts and cultural organisations and like-minded schools, as well as CPD training for two members of staff, ongoing support, advice and resources.

The fee covers two years from the date on which you are awarded your Artsmark, so it’s £250 a year for most schools, but £125 a year for small schools.

What are the criteria for each level?

There are three levels: Bronze, Gold and Platinum.  To get guidance on the criteria for each level, please click here.

How do I determine which level to apply for?

The Self-Assessment framework allows you to audit your existing arts and cultural provision and establish how you can develop towards a particular level. Each setting needs the flexibility to have its own Artsmark journey and the programme is designed to accommodate this.

Can we go straight to Platinum?

Yes, if this is a realistic stretch for your school and you feel it can be achieved within two years, your school may aim for any level.

How do we evidence our journey?

You write a Case Study that demonstrates the impact the arts and cultural provision of your school has had on its students. Your Case Study will also clearly show your school’s Artsmark journey by providing a sense of the distanced travelled from setting your original objectives in your Statement of Commitment.

Do we have to collect lots of data?

In short, no, but we do expect you to collect sufficient data to allow you to demonstrate in your Case Study, the impact of provision on students.

We’ve already got Artsmark, do we need to reapply? Is our Artsmark still valid?

Your Artsmark Award lasts for two years.  As the process takes up to two years to complete, we recommend you re-register when you receive your level so you can start working towards your next award.  If you received an Artsmark Award before 2015 and have not re-registered, your award will have expired as the programme was refreshed in 2015.

How long does an Artsmark award last for?

Schools who have achieved an Artsmark after September 2015, hold their award for two years from the date they are awarded a Silver, Gold or Platinum level.

Schools who achieved an Artsmark more than two years ago and have not re-applied will have lost their Artsmark.

Who in my school should be responsible for applying?

The responsibility of the Artsmark Award should be held by the whole school, with the support and approval of the headteacher and chair of governors. Which individual you choose to conduct the application is entirely your decision.

What support is available to help us to apply

You can contact the Artsmark team via artsmark@artscouncil.org.uk with initial registration queries.

Your regional Bridge organisation is also on hand to provide initial advice and, once you register, these Bridge organisations will provide support throughout your whole Artsmark journey. You can find out who your regional Bridge organisation is here

Is there an application form?

You can apply on the Artsmark website.

Can anyone apply?

Artsmark is open to the following education settings in England:

  • primary schools
  • secondary schools
  • independent schools
  • special schools
  • pupil referral units​
  • youth offending teams
  • sixth form colleges
The educational settings below are not eligible to apply: 
  • schools outside of England unless they are British Forces posted overseas (BFPO) establishments
  • early years settings (0-5) unless they are attached to a school with Key Stage 1 pupils
  • further education colleges 
  • higher education

When is registration open?

Registration is always open.  You can apply at any time.

Who should attend the Development Day?

Each school must send a member of their SLT (Senior Leadership Team) and a member of teaching staff to the Development Day.

How do I submit my school’s Statement of Commitment or Case Study?

All documents should be emailed to artsmark@artscouncil.org.uk. The Statement of Commitment must be signed and dated by both the headteacher and chair of governors.  The Artsmark team aims to respond within five working days to confirm receipt of your submission.

When does the Artsmark levelling panel meet?

The levelling panel meets once a term.

Do we need to deliver Arts Award to get Artsmark?

No, but schools which are aiming for Platinum level would normally be expected to be offering Arts Award to their pupils.

Is Artsmark the same as Arts Award?

No. Arts Award is a range of qualifications that support individual young people up to 25 years to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with, and take part in, the wider arts world.  Artsmark awards a whole school for its arts provision. 

Changes to Case Study submissions?

There are no longer half-termly deadlines for submitting your Case Study.  Settings can now submit their Case Study when they’re ready, within two years of submitting their Statement of Commitment.

Artsmark notify settings about their Artsmark Award as soon as it has been assessed which is no later than the end of the next academic term following submission of their Case Study. 

How do I contact Artsmark?

Click here to go to the Artsmark page.