In the academic year 2010-11 funding constraints meant that the local authority were unable to continue to financially support the exhibition. There was a lot of determination amongst the art leaders to try and find funding for the exhibition. Several Primary School Art leaders got together to try and find a way to fund an exhibition.

We worked out what we had to pay for and what we could manage by volunteers etc. the University of East London were happy to accommodate us if we could find some funding. Having ascertained the minimum funding needed we asked for about 12 schools to volunteer to apply for a community grant. It was a slow and tortuous process particularly as we needed to get all grants agreed.

I think by the end of the process despite a sense of satisfaction about what had been achieved it seemed clear that the process was not a long term funding solution. In 2012 there was no exhibition ss the schools closed early in the summer for the Olympic Games. 

Catherine McGill SLE Art and Design 


Drawing Together Launch 2009



As a result of the success and continuation of the Exhibition and Newham’s growing reputation for good Art education, we were honored to be asked to host the launch of a Government review of Art and Design practice in UK schools.


Two of the recommendations of this report were that:

  • local authorities and head teachers should ‘promote further opportunities for schools to exhibit their work publicly and for talented pupils to meet and work together.
  • The Teachers Development Agency (now defunct) should provide CPD for primary teachers to establish a baseline of knowledge and skills that promote consistently high expectations. 

Both of these recommendations are still relevant today and the continuation of the exhibition goes some way toward addressing them.


Catherine McGill SLE Art & Design

London Wins Games 2005

The opening of the 2005 exhibition coincided with the announcement of the success of the London bid to hold the Olympic games. The announcement was made as the show opened and created a great sense of excitement and optimism. After the opening event mpost people who had been involved in the organisation of the exhibition and some teachers went to a local pub. I left my car there that evening as we were celebrating. It was a great night.

The next day as I walked back to collect my car, without watching the news first, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. It was like walking through a dream – no traffic, no buses, stations closed, streets deserted. It was only when I collected my car and heard the news that I understood why. From exhilaration to devastation in less than 24 hours. The 7 th July 2005 terrorist attack on London.  

Catherine McGill SLE Art and Design


The Culture Box

 One of the projects which took place in 2000, in only the second year of the show, Culture Box, a major multicultural piece, was exhibited. This had been a collaboration between the African and Asian Visual Arts Archive and Sarah Bonnell School. An image of the outcome was used as an example of good practice in the revision of the 2000 Art and Design National Curriculum, a copy of which was held by every school in England.

Andrew Mutter – Former Adviser for Art and Design and the Arts, London Borough of Newham