Like everyone, I was looking forward to a well-deserved holiday after such a roller coaster of a term. With the expectation of being able to plan for a new but different academic year that can support children and young people to return to school – a school where they can get back into a welcome routine with familiar and friendly people, with all their friends, where it is exciting to learn and to be creative, where they can share their experiences, and also to begin to look forward to a better future.

I am sitting here, however, writing this and considering the possibility of a return to school in September with a recovery curriculum of only the core subjects- English, Maths, Science and for two full terms! It is just so hard to imagine how this will feel for children already traumatised from four months of an ‘altered reality’ and for teachers who are dedicated to providing children with a balanced learning experience.

Then I think of all the incredible leaders of education, the inspirational teachers, and supportive school staff and I know that whatever happens next year that children’s experiences coming back to school will be the best it can possibly be and that the arts and creativity will still be part of this.

Thank you to all of the educators who throughout this ‘strange’ period have managed personal challenges to ensure that their students have continued to have learning opportunities in the arts and feel connected to their schools. I, and everyone at Arts Connect, look forward to supporting and working with you next academic year and making sure that children and young people do still have access to quality arts and culture.

Pepita Hanna

Arts Connect,  Associate Director, Partnerships and Investment