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Save Art History A level

This petition had 8,109 supporters

Despite widespread approval of the new, exciting global syllabus for AS and A level Art History, the AQA examination board has dropped this unique, intellectually challenging programme. AQA were the only body to offer History of Art A level.

The course was designed to develop skills of visual analysis, research and communication as well as build on empathy, tolerance and mutual respect for world cultures at a time when it is most needed.  

The A-level had already been launched in the summer to unanimous support from teachers, students and parents.

The decision by AQA to axe the Art History A-level was taken on economic grounds as they say it is “challenging to mark and award because of the specialist nature of the topics" and also cite "difficulties in recruiting sufficient experienced examiners".

Galleries have never had more visitors, young people have never been more curious to access and explore the world of visual culture, and it has never been more accessible to them through new technologies.

How can we, as a country that values our contemporary and historic culture, now deny young people access to their multiple histories?

Art History teachers recently set up Art History in Schools CIO precisely to alleviate this problem in a time of austerity by training teachers to both teach and mark the new syllabus. We are now campaigning to save the AQA A level. If you would like to support cultural education for all, rather than a tiny minority who might be able to study the Pre-U syllabus, please support us.

We therefore need you to help in the following ways:

Sign this petition - we will deliver it to ministers at the Department for Education, The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) and the awarding body, AQA to encourage a U-turn on the decision to scrap Art History A level.

Lobby AQA:

  • Email Kevin Philips, CEO AQA at (click here)

Email AQA urging them to reverse the decision to scrap Art History A-level on what is clearly economic grounds. Stress the importance of offering an A-level for those wishing to study art history in state education, the impact on those who were going to study it starting in 2018 and the significant cultural loss that dropping the course entails.

Lobby State Ministers:

  • Contact Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, Minister for Women and Equalities (click to email) or call her office on 020 7219 8300. You can tweet the DfE here and Justine's own account here
  • Contact Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture (click to email) or via twitter here
  • Contact Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Standards (click to email)
  • Contact Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (click to email)
  • Contact Caroline Dinenage, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years (click to email)
  • Contact Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System (click to email)
  • You can write to your local MP using WriteToThem 

Remember we want to effect a U-turn on the decision to scrap Art History at A level.

Engage with the campaign through social media - help to share this petition as much as possible on Twitter, Facebook and anywhere you think it might get a response using the hashtag #SaveArtHistory. Britain has a long been a hotbed of artistic endeavour, and there are many people who will care about this cause - so please share it with them.

Support the campaign on Twitter, on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Thank you!




Today: Art History in Schools is counting on you

Art History in Schools needs your help with “AQA: Save Art History A level”. Join Art History in Schools and 8,108 supporters today.