Secondary and middle schools across the county shut their doors to pupils on Friday 14 March in an unprecedented day of teacher training and collaboration.

All the work planning the programmes and much of the work in delivering them was done by Somerset teachers themselves.

Spaeda were nvolved in the arts event at The Blue School, and our director Alice Crane said: “The event was a first for Somerset. Inviting all subject leaders for the arts; Dance, Drama, Music, Art and Design to one big event has not been attempted before. Professional development opportunities for staff leading small departments, often single handedly, are rare, and the event gave a vital chance for Arts staff to share ideas and air common issues in a really positive environment.

With the dedication of the Blue School staff, a vibrant workshop programme and support from partners like inspirED and Sound Foundation Somerset, we hope we have created a recipe for success to be savoured again by Somerset staff.”

Jennifer Weare, Team Leader for Art at The Blue School in Wells added: “The event saw us seize an opportunity to open our doors to teaching professionals across the county and host an Arts training day for arts teachers in Somerset, with more than 150 from Art and Performing Arts encompassing Art, Music, Drama and Dance. The aim of the day was clear from the planning stages, to raise achievement as part of the Somerset Challenge.

“We also had a social lunch with the emphasis on sharing and reflecting on the day. The food was delicious, created by BTEC catering students training at the Blue School.

“It is important that we maintain the networks that are established at such events and that we are all active in the planning of the next opportunity to come together as a county.”

Sarah Lithgow, Head of Art Bishop Fox's Academy, attended the event at The Blue School training day and described it as “the best INSET I have been on for a very long time”.

The Schools for Schools training day is part of The Somerset Challenge, an initiative aimed at raising academic achievement across the county.

Read the full press release here