Managing Time – An arts policy for your school

Why do you need an arts policy for your school?

An arts policy provides an overarching framework for delivering quality arts education. It requires careful planning and consideration to capture the information necessary to inform the school community of their various arts needs and draw attention to the demands of the arts curriculum.

Arts on the Move (UK) indicates that an arts policy should ensure that:

  • all pupils are given an entitlement to a range of high-quality arts experiences, whatever their background and ability
  • arts provision doesn't just rely on the enthusiasm of individuals and is embedded in the school's ethos and planning mechanisms
  • resources are allocated to arts provision, including staff, continual professional development, materials, facilities and equipment
  • there is a strategic approach to arts provision, which takes into account the curriculum, out-of-hours opportunities, sharing and celebrating achievements in the arts, visits and partnerships with arts organisations outside school, and the contribution of the arts to the school environment.

(Source: 'Writing an Arts Policy', (2002, 2008).)

What do I need to include in an arts policy?

An arts policy does not need to be a long document, and will be supported by other forms of planning, such as year plans and unit plans (see the planning document in this package for individual arts subjects).

The policy should identify a number of key areas. The following sections are suggestions, with schools free to decide on a format and integration of headings that best suit their school context.

  • Background
    • A definition of the arts understood by the school
    • A mission statement explaining why the school provides the arts
  • Aims and objectives
    • A few key aims accompanied by objectives that indicate how high-quality arts learning will be provided
  • Curriculum organisation
    • Links to Australian Curriculum: The Arts and other support documents
  • Cross-curricular links
    • Links to other learning areas
  • Planning
    • An overview of long-term and short-term planning
  • Teaching and learning
    • Key teaching and learning strategies to be employed
  • Assessment and reporting
    • Guidelines for arts assessment and reporting
  • Resources
    • Identifying staff, professional development, materials, facilities, equipment, community partnerships
  • Responsibilities
    • Identifying key stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities
  • Implementation and evaluation
    • Key strategies for supporting implementation and monitoring and evaluating progress, planning and programs
    • Measurements of success, such as data collection, publications and celebrations


This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.