Although emanating from a common source the statutory requirements for art in the National Curriculum in England and Wales have gradually diverged. This article will consider the current differences and argue the case for art education in Wales to be viewed as a distinct entity. Particular reference will be made to concerns about the provision of the Cwricwlwm Cymreig in art, the status of the subject and perceptions of unwillingness in schools to address contemporary aspects of art. Reports from two major research projects which focused on the state of art education in England and Wales will be reviewed and discussed in the light of their relevance to the situation in Wales. This will be followed by a brief account of a significant Welsh initiative, the Opt For Art Wales project which has tackled these issues. A summary of research evidence from this project will be presented and evaluated. Preliminary evidence suggests that Opt For Art Wales has succeeded in enhancing the quality of art education in Wales insofar as it has provided a large body of pupils with positive and first-hand experiences of contemporary art in Wales and has raised their perceptions of the relevance and status of the subject. Further research is, however, required to investigate the longer-term impact of the project. Recommendations will be made that the full outcomes of the project be researched and disseminated and used to inform and enrich future policy and practice.
How to Cite:
Carter P., (2003) “Art Education in Wales in the Secondary Sector: An Investigation into Current Concerns and a Recent Initiative”, Wales Journal of Education 12(2).