Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Polaroids taken by Jenny over the last few days...

Charter Sent to Deputy Rector, Head of College, and Principal - awaiting their response

Charter Sent to Deputy Rector, Head of College, and Principal - awaiting their response, which we wilol hopefuly have by midday tomorrow.


The University will make every effort to find staff to enable a return to 5 day access; the Digital Workshop will be opened 5 days a week from 10 am till 5pm and cover will be found to enable access to the Printmaking workshop on Mondays in addition to its current opening. This is to be implemented by 20th April 2009.

2 Elthorne Road

Studio opening times will be reviewed to provide appropriate equitable access.
In practice this means 9am - 8pm on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and 9am - 6pm Friday.
On occasions when ‘Byam Bar’ takes place on a Thursday in 2 Elthorne Road, and all BA Fine Art students attend, Elthorne Studios will close by 6pm. This is to be implemented by 20th April 2009.

Communication between CSM and Students at Byam Shaw

Better communication at College and local level is required. The Head of College will attend an all student meeting before the 20th March 2009 to discuss the ‘vision’ for the future and explain the overall budget and the budget setting process.

Revalidation of courses

Byam Shaw Alumni and Student Representatives will be involved in the revalidation consultation of the BA Fine Art course. Effective immediately, in all revalidation of courses across Arts London, Student Representatives will be given a meaningful chance to contribute to the development and drafting of validation documents well before the final stages.

Changes in course provision from handbook materials

All future changes in teaching hours and resource allocation for courses, as a minimum, must be passed through a course committee in the academic year prior to the changes being applied, with Student Representatives present and able to respond with their input, and influence the decisions.

The provision of cleaning and estates services at Byam Shaw

The University of the Arts London/Central Saint Martins will ensure students receive payment for cleaning services as soon as possible (based on students’ submission of information to the Principal of Byam Shaw), this is to be finalised by 20th March 2009.

The University will provide, by the 20th March 2009, a comparison of the costs of in-house maintenance and cleaning at Byam Shaw (as was previously in operation), against the current/future out-sourced structures to ensure best value and service for students.

Student Representatives’ feedback and involvement will be prioritised, and influence the final decision in the estates evaluation before April 2009.

The opportunities for students to work within the University of the Arts London estates department will continue to be championed.

Shortfall in tutorial hours for existing Byam Shaw students

Based on a suggested stimulus ‘package’ to be assembled by the Byam Shaw Student Representatives in the following days, the University will act to provide support in way of contact hours leading up to degree shows as a compromise/injection to cope with cuts in teaching budget and hours. This ‘package’ will be finalised, including the finance involved, before 20th March 2009, and will not have to be refunded at a later date.

Ensuring the strength of the Student Voice/Student Representatives

The Students’ Union in partnership with the University will pilot a project in the academic year 2009/2010 working on the democratic management of its committees. It is likely this will require additional funding from the university towards the development of Student Representation and engagement, and will specifically include work at Byam Shaw. The emphasis will be on moving towards the scenario of providing Student Representatives with the equivalent of a “vote, but not a veto”.

Senior Staff and high level finance for the University

The Students’ Union will analyse financial data on senior management pay and publicise to Student Representatives. If there is difficulty in interpreting data, the University’s finance department will provide appropriate support.

“Byam Shaw School of Art”

Throughout the revalidation process the strength of the contrast between Fine Art provision at CSM and Byam Shaw should be reinforced and maintained. The name of the “Byam Shaw School of Art”, the site in Archway, the small number of students attending the school, the character of the space and studios, the broad portfolio of exclusively Fine Art courses (whilst independent from the Fine Art courses offered at CSM), the leading role that practicing staff play, the library and workshops offering students continued engagement with one another, all contribute to the identity of Byam Shaw School of Art, which will not be compromised in any way. We thus intend to safeguard the unique identity and community for future students at Byam Shaw School of Art.

Student Representation

In line with the SU Governance review, local Byam Shaw representative elections will be held as soon as possible, and the input of the representatives formally recognised by the Students’ Union structures.

Statement from Byam Shaw Staff

As staff members of the Byam Shaw School of Art at Central St Martins we acknowledge the current student occupation. This comes at the end of a series of student initiatives voicing disquiet to University management about recent cuts and decision-making processes.We respect the serious and creative spirit in which the student action has been conducted and share a commitment to the educational provision and particular approaches that shape the Byam Shaw.


Professor Douglas Allsop, Margot Bannerman, Sharon Beavan, Angelina Bianchi, Sylvie Borel, Jon Cairnes, Stephen Carter, Mikey Cuddihy, Paul Dewis, Adrian Di Duca, Esi de Moralis, Stuart Elliot, Deb Froome, Mami Fujita, Anna Hart, Christabel Harley, Andy Healy, Marigold Hodgkinson, Sandrine Jambert, Paula Kane, Peter Kennard, Christopher Kul-Want, Lynn Hewitt, Sophie Horton, Sarah Leontovitsch, Dave McKeran, Guy Mortimer, Steve Murray, Tim Peacock, Elle Reynolds, Helen Robertson, Trevor Shearer, Nicola Shilcock, Dave Stewart, Jamie Wagg, Eva Weinmayr and Stephen Williams

Media Project: Interviews

As a media project, linked to the documentation of the Occupation, we stared to interview students from different courses that are being offered at Byam Shaw. This project is a means to introduce an understanding of each course from a student’s perspective and also to communicate more personally to equal individuals. Furthermore we asked for feedback on their opinions about the Occpation.

Jacob: Fine Art Foundation

The course offered at Byam Shaw, is very good! This last term we particularly concentrated in life drawing and a self conducted project. We are given a lot of support by the tutors, which always go this extra mile to give support. The course is structured very freely, yet lies in conducted boundaries of research. In response to the Occupation, I think it is very good to get students involved in university politics, because they are an integral part of the system. Without students there is no need for an university. Students should be obliged to be part of discussions.

Laure, Chike and Anna: Fine Art Foundation and Art and Architecture Foundation

In the beginning of this course, students are lead through given tasks to respond and develop through to the final stage of the year where they are asked to create a final major project. This project is self initiated and is used for the final exhibition in May. We are defiantly receiving a great support from our tutors. Additionally to your personal tutors, you can see any tutor in a drop in session, even if he/she is not you personal tutor. Tutors are themselves practicing artists, so they have a lot of experience and actually are the BEST resource to learn from! It is difficult to comment on the Occupation because we have been so involved with our work, we kind of don’t know what is going on. We would like to get more involved, and agree and support this movement, mentally, not actively. “We kind of feel that we are not part of it, because we are not on the BA course.”

My response was that there definitely should be an improvement of communication with the foundation years. A lot of interaction happens during Byam Bar, but this is not enough. We agreed to pick this issue up in future and work on integrating the foundation year more to the overall college, student feeling.

Patricia, Maria, Oliver and Jenna: Fine Art Skills and Practices (FdA) First year

In short: Print making, drawing, sculpture, work based program, communication, tutor are great active, present, and filled with information.The Occupation is no hostile action. It is a creative and positive intended movement. Alone that a collaborative exhibition was created within one weekend shows a lot of potential. Via Byam Shaw! We LOVE Byam Shaw!

Peter Kennard: Visiting Tutor at Byam Shaw

Peter Kennard was a student at Byam Shaw in the ears from 1965 till 1967. He has been teaching at Byam Shaw for thirty years and has a strong involvement with the college. It is an important, amazing place. The fact of organizing an occupation is a powerful statement. The students are organized and show functioning communication skills, which are brilliant. Seeing that from written documents, no responses were received, the occupation is a result of that. Byam Shaw has an amazing history of being an independent art school. The management of the University of Arts is taking over everything. This is a modern world reality- they have no understanding of what an art school, creativity, is about. Were hours are being cut, being called and the staff has no comment to make and is left with 25% cut off their teaching hours. They are treated like fodder, they are not important. And the students are thought of like that. And now. That students step back, and do act. It is a historic moment. Within the traditions of British culture, getting all students that can create; challenging the bureaucracy of the University of Arts- they have no clue of what art school is about.

Original demands and responses from Jane Rapley, Head of CSM

1. A reinstatement of the budgets and a return to the tutorial hours as they were for the academic year 2006‐2007, when the current Stage 3 students on the BA first enrolled on their course.
Not agreed - Not appropriate in relation to the College positions on funding all students.
NB Most other areas have seen some reduction in teaching hours budgets (payrise impact) unless off set by over recruitment to international targets - not the case at BS.

2. A reinstatement of the budget for teaching and materials that was cut on the FdA course.
Not agreed - as above

3. A reinstatement of the budget for materials in the different workshops.
Not agreed - as above. Alister may have some flexibility in BS budget to mitigate 1, 2 or 3 but not to replace.

4. For all workshops to be open from Monday to Friday for a minimum of 6 hours per day.
Workshop access has been compromised by staff sickness 1 day per week since January and the lack of suitable temporary cover. Undertaken to make every effort to find staff to revert to 5 day access. Subsequent meeting between students and Alister have established that the Digital Workshop will be opened 5 days a week and cover will be found to cover the Printmaking workshop to allow access on Mondays in addition to its current opening. Alister reports students are satisfied with this arrangement and don't need Saturdays.

5. For studio opening times in 2 Elthorne Road to be brought in line with those of the BA Studios which are open from 7am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
Studio opening times should be reviewed to provide appropriate equitable access - agreed by me.
In practice this means 9am - 8pm (not 7am) on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and 9am - 6pm Friday. On occasions when events take place on Thursdays at the main building and all students attend them Elthorne Studios would close by 6pm

6. A return to the more economical, direct employment of the students by the Byam Shaw School of Art and a cessation of the outsourcing of school staff in regards of maintenance and cleaning duties.
Not agreed: Outside College remit.

7. Adequate communication with the student body regarding matters like the allocation of funding and any proposed changes to it.
Agreed at College and local level that more communication required. Definition of "adequate" not agreed. Students requested representation and veto vote on all budget setting groups - not agreed. I have undertaken to hold an all student meeting at a later date to talk about the "vision" for the future and explain the overall budget and the budget setting process.

8. That students be represented by an elected officer for the Byam Shaw site in any forthcoming meetings about the future of their course and be given the right to veto any major changes to the way their course is run, ie. The merging of the BA Fine Art course with the other BA Fine Art course offered at CSM.
Not agreed. Explained course development was discursive and iterative not a "voting" scenario but there was and should be consultation and discussion with students as the revalidation developed and that recent graduates had representation at the validation events. Also confirmed that at the introduction of a new course they would be asked if they agreed to move to the revalidated course or remain on their current one.

9. According monetary compensation of all the already lost hours of tutorials in proportion to the tuition fees with regard to the number of tutorial hours specified in the course handbook given to each of the students when we originally joined the course.
Not agreed. specific 1x1 tutorial entitlement in both the 06/07 and 08/09 handbooks is the same and has been delivered. Explained that the taught contract could be delivered in a variety of ways not just 1x1. Final years expressed their frustration that they were getting less support in year 3 than year 1 (though I did refer to the relationsahip of student achievement and quality versus quantity of teaching and did not enter into the pedagogic strategy of progressively developing independent learning - not the time, place or temperature!