Last week myself and others were invited to talk to someone from Ofsted about the Flying Start course. For those who don’t already know what it is, here’s the blurb:
An accredited training scheme for artists – working in any art form – who want to gain workshop planning and delivery skills and experience of community arts and participatory arts work.
The inspector was very clear to note that whilst she was from Ofested that this wasn’t actually an inspection. In the five years the course had been running it was identified as an example of good practice* and she was here to get feedback for their website from people who were on the course.
Overall it was really great to talk to her, but I think the general consensus is that it’s a crime that this course wont be carrying on as there is nothing quite like it anywhere else. Sure, you could attend the MA in Community Arts at Staffs Uni, but there’s only so much studying you can do before being thrown into the workshop delivery world. In the three months of the course you really do learn not only how to deliver a workshop, but also a bit about finance, networking, project planning and self promotion, which is something I feel university doesn’t cover enough.
The course is obviously needed, so if anyone from Birmingham City Council is reading this, sort it out and get Flying Start back!
*I may have got the actual terminology wrong, but you get the idea.