Rejoice! It has been announced that the Art history A-level has been saved in the UK. In October this year examination board AQA announced its plans to discontinue art history at A-level. However, due to the result of a campaign by the Association of Art Historians, supported by The Courtauld Institute of Art, the University of York, the National Gallery, Tate, and the Royal Academy of Arts, alternative examination board Pearson has confirmed to run a new A-level in the subject. Thankfully just in time for students beginning their AS levels in 2017.
The controversial decision by AQA caused an outcry from students, teachers, campaigners and artists who have welcomed the news of the art history qualification continuing. “Art history is a discipline that opens doors to history, geography, social and economic issues and aesthetics,” says Nicholas Serota, director of London’s Tate gallery on the good news. “I am delighted that it will continue to be offered as an A-level for the benefit of young people in the future. We are grateful to the Department of Education and the culture minister for their work in making it happen.”
Sculpture artist Cornelia Parker also commented on the course’s importance to enrich and encourage learning: “As a working-class girl, receiving free school dinners, I studied art history. It has hugely enriched my life and career and hopefully those of countless students I passed the knowledge on to, during the 15 years I spent teaching at art school. I use references to art history all the time in my work, germs of knowledge that were planted in my impressionable mind at school."
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