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Proposed Qualification for Creative Practitioners Working with Children and Young People

Archived news: 1 June 2012

Arts Council England, in conjunction with CCSkills, has drafted a consultation document regarding a proposed qualification for creative practitioners working with children.

If you would like to offer your own response, please click here to complete the consultation survey.

We will be meeting with Arts Council England next month to discuss the certificate and how ACE can advocate author visits in schools. We have some strong reservations with the current drafting and would appreciate your comments (via the link below) to add to our response.

If you would like to offer your own response direct, please click here to complete the survey.

NAWE is concerned that schools may expect visiting authors to hold this certificate and has responded negatively to the consultation document. Click here to find out more.


Non-member comment:
Craig Simpson
June 22, 2012, 2:26 pm

Proposed Qualification for Creative Practitioners......

Some thoughts..... having just returned from a school visit...

Given that the SofA and NAWE weren't consulted, is it meant or intended to include 'author visits'?

The introduction to the consultation document refers to an 'audit' of available training - presumably they discovered limited sources or relevant courses. However, it is unclear how such an audit can lead to the conclusion that there is a clear 'need' or 'demand' for a vocational qualification. This can only be stated if they have accumulated evidence that a lack in qualification has led to problems in the delivery of sessions by 'creative practitioners'. Is this evidence (if any) widespread and verifiable - they should be challenged to produce it. And from where/who comes the demand for a qualification - the young people? (I very much doubt they were even asked) - or did it just seem a good idea,..... or was it their intention all along?

I have already seen many 'quotes & comments' from other authors varying from the generally negative to the derisory. Authors have commented that they are not 'teachers', that to control or define their methods of delivery defeats the object of their 'creative' visit, that as they have school staff present they aren't responsible for Health & Safety etc., etc.

All entirely valid, and my own knee-jerk response was similar. And yet..... I think the situation is a little more complex. I do a good many school visits, the vast majority of which are talks about my books and being a writer, or Q&A sessions, even fun activities - yes, I want to inspire students to read, and I especially want to inspire them to read my books! Sound familiar? But there are many other writers who spend a great many days a year doing creative workshops and classes or activities that are far more specific in the sense that, effectively, it can be argued that they are 'teaching'. It might be reasonable to expect such individuals to be able to demonstrate the necessary skills and knowledge to do this - great or venerable writers do not necessarily make great teachers.

However, gaining a certificate to fill that space on the WC wall you'd kept free for that next literary award is just one way of going about it. I suspect a more effective approach is as currently operates - if you're any good they'll invite you back. If you're rubbish, they won't!

And this is where I see the biggest hole in the argued need for such a qualification - where are the teaching staff in all this? Is it not also their responsibility to work with a visiting author to define what will be covered and how it will be delivered, especially in the case of classroom sessions or workshops? Surely they need to satisfy themselves that bringing in an author is money well spent.

Less bureaucracy please - and as for the suggested purpose D2 'licence to practice' - to have a course available for those who feel the need to acquire skills is one thing, but to edge towards the possibility of it being mandatory is ludicrous for the majority of most author visits. If they don't understand this then I politely suggest the wrong persons have been looking into the subject.



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