19 May 2016

The ABC Awards Level 2 Certificate in Art, Design and Creative Studies has now been approved for funding by Qualifications Wales.

Willows High School, a secondary school in Cardiff with more than 100 registered learners for the Level 2 Certificate in Art, Design and Creative Studies, recently wrote to Qualifications Wales to provide evidence to support our application.

This means the qualification is now approved for funding in Wales, in line with its approval by Ofqual for delivery in England. This funding eligibility makes it easier for schools, as well as colleges and training providers, to offer Level 1 and Level 2 art and design qualifications which are suitable for all ages and abilities.

The Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates have proven increasingly popular among schools because of the flexibility the framework provides, allowing the same qualification to be adapted to a wide range of art and design disciplines including fine art, ceramics, leather work, jewellery making and graphic design.

Both of the qualifications are at the equivalent level to students working towards GCSE qualifications, with the Level 2 producing the same standards as A* to C GCSE grades.

At Willows High School, the Level 2 Certificate in Art, Design and Creative Studies has proven to be instrumental in supporting young people into the workplace.

You may know Willows High School from Channel 4 television series Educating Cardiff, one of the shows which takes viewers inside real schools in the UK and follows the progress of some of its teachers and students.

Despite being in one of Cardiff’s deprived inner-city areas, the secondary school has recently been recognised as having some of the best teachers in Wales.

Ian Whittaker, Head of Art at Willows High School, said:

“We find the Level 2 Certificate in Art, Design and Creative Studies invaluable for our learners as it offers a perfect introduction to work opportunities in the sector. We use art as part of our NEET [not in employment, education or training] strategy, so we have a strategy of running the ABC Level 2 to support progression onto Level 3. This course has been a contributory factor to the school reducing its NEET figures from 17% in 2011 to 2.1% in 2015.

“We have worked closely with the Arts Council of Wales on their Inspire strategy. As a school we see future labour market information predicting creative arts as a growth area in our locality. With the opening of Porth Teigr and the location of the Roath Studios within one mile of our location we see this area as a key employment opportunity for young people between the ages of 14 and 18.

“By offering this qualification we believe we can create for our learners, 67% of whom come from the 20% most disadvantaged areas of Wales, a pathway into future employment and prosperity for them and their families.”

If you are interested in providing our Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates in Art, Design and Creative Studies, please get in touch with our Centre Support team by calling 0115 854 1620 or email centresupport@abcawards.co.uk.