Arts & Minds competition awards mark Black History Month

Pupils, teachers and parents from across the UK will be gathering in London this afternoon (Thursday) for the 2014 Arts & Minds competition, organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK.

Arts & Minds is an annual, UK-wide competition aimed at promoting race equality and diversity in schools.

The work of children and young people from primary, secondary and special schools are judged in two categories: art and creative writing.

The national awards ceremony, which is taking place in Black History Month, will be held at the St James’ Court Hotel in central London today.

Over 1,000 entries were received from schools for this year’s competition, with more schools entering than ever before.

The overall winner was chosen by TV presenter and Arts & Minds judge Gok Wan.

The competition is sponsored by Love Music Hate Racism, SecEd, Primary Teacher Update, The Anne Frank Trust UK, Unite Against Facism, Think Global, VSO and the Youth Music Theatre.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“This is the eleventh year of the competition and each year it goes from strength to strength. We were delighted that once again this year Gok Wan was prepared to give up his time to judge the overall winning entry.

“The Arts & Minds competition represents a very important part of the NASUWT’s programme of work across the UK to celebrate cultural diversity and promote racial equality in schools.

“Once again the standards of the entries were very high, displaying incredible talent and creativity.

“The children and young people have a very realistic perspective on issues around diversity, a refreshing awareness of the subject in its widest perspectives and their work generates a strong sense of hope and optimism.”

Notes to editors

Further details of the winners will be available after the ceremony. Contact Lena Davies on 07867 392 746 for more information.

The awards ceremony is being held on Thursday, 9 October at the St James’ Court hotel, London.

The Arts & Minds competition is divided into early years, primary, secondary and special school sectors. Within each sector there are separate creative writing and art categories with individual and group prizes being awarded in each.

The overall winning school receives £1000 and each finalist school receives £350. Every winning child receives a gift voucher.

The 2014 competition is the 11th Arts & Minds competition.

The competition was conceived for the purpose of celebrating teachers’ and pupils’ artistic and creative writing skills as a powerful way of promoting discussion and debate among young people about important social and ethical issues. It takes place in October every year to mark Black History Month.