Specialist Status

Some background information on what it means for Chatsmore to have specialist arts status.

The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) is the leading national body for secondary education in England, part funded by the DfES, delivering the Government’s Specialist Schools and Academies programme. The Government’s aim is that by 2008 all schools will be specialist, except those planned to be Academies. 

The Trust seeks to give more young people access to a good secondary education by building networks, sharing practice and supporting schools. The Trust’s way of working is based on the principle ‘by schools for schools.’ The Trust is at the heart of a growing network of over 2900 schools including primary, secondary, special schools and academies. We believe it represents the largest network of its kind in the world.

Specialist Schools Programme

Specialist schools focus on their chosen subject area, providing enhanced learning opportunities in this field.

The Specialist Schools Programme helps schools to develop identities through their chosen specialisms. The schools achieve this in partnership with private sector sponsors and through additional government funding.

They must also meet the requirements of the National Curriculum, to deliver a wide and balanced range of subjects.

There are ten specialist areas: arts, business & enterprise, engineering, humanities, language, mathematics & computing, music, science, sports and technology.

Schools can opt to teach two specialist subjects (such as a humanities and media arts specialism or a science and engineering specialism).

Arts Status – What does this mean for Chatsmore?

We are an outward-looking and enterprising school working within a rigorous four-year development plan, designed to improve standards across the whole school and to raise performance and participation in the Arts. As an Arts College, we will make connections between the Arts and learning across the whole curriculum.

Teaching and Learning

We are committed to raising standards of achievement in the arts for all students. Each Arts College has to set realistic but challenging targets for achievement in one of the three broad areas of the arts, the performing arts, the visual arts or the media arts.

We will promote a creative arts educational culture which embraces new technologies and vocational approaches.
We will explore how creativity can enhance learning and through all of this, raise the post-16 participation rate in arts subjects.

Commnity Partnerships

We will develop an active learning community that involves other primary, secondary and special schools and community groups;
work closely with arts practitioners, arts industries and with the Regional Arts Offices and develop links with other education providers including adult, further and higher education.

There is a strong and vibrant culture generated within the community of Arts Colleges. Specialist Arts Colleges can provide a lead for all schools in developing high quality teaching and learning in the arts. Many Arts Colleges are already an essential element in providing arts activities within their local communities.

The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust works closely with aspiring and designated Arts Colleges through its regional and national networks and programme of seminars and conferences, working in partnership with the regional arts offices.