Saatchi Gallery/Deutsche Bank Art Prize for Schools External Project Evaluation

Funded by Deutsche Bank, this research looked into artist-led workshops devised by the Saatchi Gallery, as well as raising awareness of the Deutsche Bank Art Prize for Schools.

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Research background

To support and encourage young artists to enter artwork into the Saatchi Gallery and Deutsche Bank Art Prize for Schools, the Saatchi gallery offers artist-led workshops. These workshops aim to make the Art Prize more accessible to schools who have not previously considered entering by:

• Offering students and teachers the unique experience of working with a practising artist to develop their own ideas in an inspiring and creative setting.

• Giving teachers and students the time, space and materials that is often lacking in schools- to explore their ideas more fully.

• Giving students one-to-one feedback and assistance with their works.

• Acting as an incentive for the students to dedicate more time to their art and take pride in their achievements.

To support teachers, additional continued professional development (CPD) sessions were devised to help strengthen support in and beyond the artist-led workshops. Alongside this, priority schools were identified. Priority schools list is provided by Deutsche Bank and is based on level of students eligible for free school meals and number of those in care, as well as school attainment. The CPD sessions aimed to conjoin experience of leading schools, with identified priority schools.

Research aims

The evaluation aimed to explore practice within both the artist-led and CPD sessions and investigate their impact on teaching, learning and entry into the Art Prize. The Saatchi Gallery and Deutsche Bank outlined nine key indicators for investigation:

1. Have the artist-led workshops and CPD sessions made the Prize more accessible? If so, how?

2. Did the sessions act as an incentive to enter the Prize?

3. Did the CPD sessions introduce art teachers to new ways of thinking?

4. Do the art teachers feel that their approach to materials has changed as a result?

5. How effective is the delivery model for enabling students from less privileged (such as state schools) to improve their art learning and apply to the prize?

6. Do young people now feel more able to produce ‘short-list worthy’ artworks using inexpensive materials/ current school resources, or do they still see barriers? What are they?

7. Has there been a lasting impact on the artwork produced in the classroom (both students and teachers) following both sessions?

8. What was the impact of drawing together teachers and students from both priority and leading schools?

9. How can we adapt this model to reach more schools/teachers/students in the future?

How is the research being carried out?

This independent evaluation was undertaken between November 2015 and March 2016. It was agreed that the research would have three strands; observations of CPD and artist-led sessions by the researcher, interviews with teachers and students and perceptions surveys. The evaluation utilised these methods to develop rich descriptions of practice. There are many challenges when trying to understand teaching and learning, where history and context are central to the learning environment. Meaning is created individually and collectively but also governed by structural contexts. Engaging in activities therefore requires not just one way of knowing and valuing but methods that take into account diversity and difference. The researcher therefore identified a qualitative methodology as most suitable for this evaluation.


Deutsche Bank, £5,000


Please see the final report for the full findings. As part of the final report, a series of recommendations were made for future practice. These included:

•The development of networks is important for increased awareness of the Art Prize and wider implication for school art practices. Thus it would be suggested to build networks of schools and increase awareness of the prize through more workshops and CPD sessions.

• CPD and artist led workshops are vitally important for student and teacher development. Therefore holding more CPD sessions, potentially in schools, would allow teachers and students to situate their practices and explore how Art Prize worthy pieces can be created in school contexts.

• Collaboration could also be encouraged between schools and students. Many of the students worked on a collaborative piece for the exhibition, it would be suggested that priority and leading schools worked collaboratively to create artwork entered into the Art Prize.

• Redefine the purpose of the workshops away from just gifted and talents students’ towards a wider range of students’, making it more inclusive. This would require Saatchi to open up more spaces for students to come to the workshop to increase its reach.

• The students attending the workshops could develop their skills further by becoming leaders back in their schools. They could be trained as art leaders and return to their school and primary schools and lead other students to create work for the Art Prize.

• A critical aspect of the CPD were the critical conversations had between the teacher and artist. It would be suggested that these conversations could continue allowing the teacher to reflect in and on practice.

• Increase outreach of the Art Prize by engaging young people more via social media. Could a platform be created in which students could receive feedback on their work during the creating process?

• The creation of family workshop to engage communities and families in the Art Prize.