Friday, 27 February 2009

Charter of Resolutions

The Byam Shaw students agree to end their occupation of the Byam Shaw School of Art buildings on the condition of agreement and commitment to the following terms:


1. Workshops

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 10am 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. 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.


3. Communication between CSM and Students at Byam Shaw

Better communication at College and local level will be provided.  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.


4. Revalidation of courses

Byam Shaw Alumni and Student Representatives will be involved in the revalidation consultation of the BA Fine Art course from this point onwards.  At University-wide level, at the summer term meeting of the Arts London Academic Standards and Development Committee (ASDC) decisions will be taken with input from the Students’ Union and their Representatives on the best way to extend students’ opportunities to participate in the development of courses and their documents in a timely fashion – through informal discussion and formal structures for course development.


5. Changes in course provision from handbook materials

The University will introduce an earlier cycle of budget building and dissemination to Colleges and Courses, with the target that this year, budget transmission to CSM (and other Colleges) will take place 2-3 weeks earlier in spring/summer 2009 than in past years.  This will enable any proposed changes in course resourcing to be considered well before implementation by the appropriate committees, with student representatives present and able to respond with their views and input to decisions. The Students’ Union will channel any complaints from Representatives who do not feel properly engaged in this process directly to senior staff at the University, who will commit to acting swiftly to rebalance the debates at course level.


6. The provision of cleaning and estates services at Byam Shaw

The University of the Arts London/Central Saint Martins will ensure students receive outstanding 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, any and all information available on the costs of Byam Shaw maintenance and cleaning before and after ring-fencing.

Student Representatives’ feedback and involvement will be prioritised, and influence the final decision in the estates in-house model evaluation process which is due by April 2009. The return to an in-house facilities model. will not be excluded from the possible future provision at Byam Shaw.

The opportunities for students to work within the University of the Arts London, including Byam Shaw students involvement with any cleaning contractor will be championed.


7. 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 provide support in terms 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 assembled and agreed between the school principal and the group, its financial elements confirmed before 20th March 2009, and will not have to be refunded at a later date.

8. 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 increasing participation and democratic management of its committees.  The resources for this will be built into the University’s 2009/10 funding arrangement for the SU and a project which Arts London Deans are also mounting in this area, and any pre-agreed expenses incurred by the SU in progressing this project will be separately funded. The emphasis will be on moving towards the scenario of providing Student Representatives with the equivalent of a “vote, but not a veto”.


9. Senior Staff and high level finance for the University

The Students’ Union will analyse financial data publicly available on senior management pay – as published in the University’s Annual Accounts – and will consider its wider relevance.  If there is difficulty in interpreting this data, the University’s Finance Department will be available to provide officers of the SU with appropriate support and guidance.


10. “Byam Shaw School of Art”

Throughout the revalidation process, maintaining the distinctiveness of Fine Art provision at Byam Shaw will be fully addressed.  The name of the “Byam Shaw School of Art” and the association of the School name with relevant courses here, the site in Archway and its characteristic student population, a range of programmes in Fine Art, the leading role that practicing staff play, the workshops and other learning facilities offering students continued engagement, are key characteristics that all contribute to the identity of Byam Shaw School of Art, which will continue to be core provision of courses here.  The results of the revalidation process will reinforce the future direction of fine art education within Byam Shaw School of Art.


11. Student Representation

In line with the Students’ Union 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.

The results of the revalidation processes should ensure the distinct provision of Fine Art at Byam Shaw, including the maintenance of the main Byam Shaw School of Art, the site at Archway and its Fine Art community.


Alister Warman, Principal of Byam Shaw School of Art

Will Bridge, Deputy Rector, On Behalf of the University of the Arts London

Jane Rapley, Head of College, CSM, On behalf of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

Kit Friend, Campaigns & Communication, Officer On behalf of the Students’ Union of the University of the Arts London

Tarek Salhany & Laura Lenander, Elected Representatives of the Occupation, On behalf of the Students of Byam Shaw

OCCUPATION SUCCESFUL AFTER 9 days 0 hours 6 minutes 41 seconds !

we will upload the list of resolutions and signed charter very soon

Arts London News

photo by Oliver Lafci

Unhappy Sudents Occupy Byam Shaw
Steffan Thompson

25th of February 2009

Disillusioned students from the Byam Shaw site of Central Saint Martin's are staging an occupation of the building, over complaints about resources. The occupation of the Byam Shaw building, which began on Wednesday, February 18, is the last resort for the group of students at the college who say they have been "ignored for long enough" regarding certain issues at the college including alleged expenditures of students' money as well as the decrease of tutorial hours.Last week, the group, whose movement is known as the Byam Shaw People's University, sent a letter to Nigel Carrington, Rector of the University, Jane Rapley, Head of Central Saint Martin's, and Alister Warman, Head of college at Byam Shaw, with a list of demands including direct employment of the students and work studio opening times to be reviewed. They also stated that unless they received legally binding written confirmation of their stipulations they would not cease the occupation of Byam Shaw.The students occupying the building met with Jane Rapley, on Friday, to discuss the demands on the letter but the head of CSM turned down most of them. Rapley however, did apologise for the lack of effective communication between the University and the students. A statement from the group read: "The students of Byam Shaw have become increasingly dissatisfied with the way that higher education is being delivered. It was felt that joining the University of Arts London and in particular our amalgamation with Central St Martin's would provide a way to preserve the identity of the school within a higher education system where independent colleges are fast disappearing. What has instead resulted is a 16% drop in teaching hours, fewer resources and less access to facilities".Jenny Cumming, a BA fine arts student who is part of the group, believes the occupation shouldn't come as a revelation to anyone in the higher educational authorities, "We feel that the occupation is necessary and we're very determined to get what we want. There seems to be a general unrest in higher education so this really shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody." The university and head of college were unavailable to comment as the protest continues.