Minister praises Artsmark school on their commitment to cultural education










Students and staff at Ricards Lodge High School on Lake Road, welcomed a special visit from Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Arts, Heritage and Tourism Minister, Michael Ellis on Thursday 11 October as part of Artsmark Celebration Week, our national celebration of arts and cultural education.

Ricards Lodge is currently working towards their Artsmark Award. Having previously held Gold Artsmark for six years, the school has set themselves ambitious goals to continuously improve their arts provision across the whole curriculum for their next Artsmark journey. The school has a dedicated governor for the arts and work in partnership with a number of arts and cultural organisations, including their local Music Education Hub, Merton Music Foundation.

Last Thursday (11 October), Michael Ellis MP, accompanied by Anne Appelbaum, Director of Children and Young People for the Arts Council, met with Headteacher Alison Jerrard. He was taken on a tour of the school with staff and students, to witness first-hand, the impact and value of cultural learning within the school.

Michael Ellis, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, said;

"Ricards Lodge High School is doing brilliant work with Artsmark to ensure that their students benefit from high quality cultural education. Arts, drama and music has such a positive impact in developing children's creativity and key skills, and inspiring future careers. I was delighted to meet staff and students and see the school's commitment to the arts."    

Alison Jerrard, Headteacher of Ricards Lodge High School, said;

"Ricards Lodge is proud of its values, its students, staff and families. We were delighted that Mr Michael Ellis, MP came to visit our school with Anne Applebaum from the Arts Council. Our school is recognised as a centre of excellence for the Arts and we aim to deliver a broad and balanced education to all students. It was a fantastic opportunity to show how committed we are to cultural education and to give Mr Ellis the chance to meet and discuss our staff and students."

Anne Appelbaum, Director of Children and Young People, Arts Council England, said:

“It was an honour to give Mr Ellis a glimpse of the long-term commitment our Artsmark schools have to a rich cultural education for children and young people. Ricards Lodge is a prime example of how a broad, balanced and creative curriculum helps set young people up for adult life. With the support of their families and teachers, a high percentage of their students take up arts subjects at GCSE, many of whom go on to university and use the creative skills they’ve developed throughout their professional careers and the school is an excellent addition to the Artsmark community.”

published date: 
Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Cultural education gives children and young people the opportunity to develop their creativity, both individually and collectively, and that's why our goal is for every child and young person to have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts.

Darren Henley
Chief Executive
Arts Council England

It's vital that children have the opportunity to learn and enjoy arts and culture from an early age. It develops their creativity, inspires future careers and enriches their childhood.

Artsmark Award does brilliant work in schools and education to ensure young people access a broad and balanced curriculum that includes high-quality arts and culture.

Michael Ellis MP
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism
Department of Culture, Media and Sport