The role of the subject leader in art and design often goes beyond the usual remit of key responsibilities that are common to all subject co-ordinators. The visual nature of the primary school learning environment means that the subject leader in art and design has a very important function in helping teachers to create a vibrant, attractive and welcoming atmosphere both in their classrooms and in communal areas.

Whilst emphasis and status of the subject will vary, often depending on priorities determined by individual schools Development Plans, enthusiastic and committed subject leaders can support and inspire less confident colleagues to deliver an imaginative and exciting art curriculum.

The likelihood is that the subject leader will be expected to provide in-service training for the staff in their schools in terms of techniques, introducing new materials, and initiating ideas, therefore it is essential that the art coordinator has access to high quality CPD in order to expand and develop their own expertise and knowledge.

Roles of the subject Leader:

  • Understanding and knowledge of the subject
  • Understanding and knowledge of high quality teaching and learning.
  • Influencing practice - leading by example
  • Keeping up to date with current thinking and initiatives
  • Staff development
  • Understanding of school policy / creating school policy
  • Monitoring and evaluation of practice
  • Negotiating and advocacy for subject needs with senior managers
  • Providing good quality resources within budget
  • Developing assessment procedures
  • Monitoring displays
  • Parental involvement through exhibition of children’s work, competitions etc.
  • Initiate community links, for instance with galleries and museums, employing an artist in residence etc.

Subject Leaders Handbook