Annual Report 2003/4 Learning and Interpretation Division



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Annual Report 2003/4

Learning and Interpretation Division


Contents


1 Executive summary 4

2 Table of L&I achievements against V&A objectives 5

3 Individual Department reports 7

3.1 L&I Management 7

3.2 Access, Social Inclusion and Community Diversity 7

3.2.1 South Asian Programme 7

3.2.2 Chinese programme 8

3.2.3 Black Heritage 9

3.2.4 Intercultural 10

3.2.5 Language and Literacy 11

3.2.6 Social Inclusion 11

3.2.7 Disability 12

3.2.8 Inspired By … 13

3.2.9 Work with the Museum of Childhood and the Theatre Museum 14

3.2.10 Strategic Work on Access, Inclusion and Diversity within the V&A 14

3.2.11 Staff 15

3.2.12 Finance 15

3.2.13 Next Year 15

3.3 Learning Services 16

3.3.1 Learning Administration Team 16

3.3.2 Adult Learning Team 17

3.3.3 Families & Young People’s Team 20

3.3.4 Family programme 21

3.3.5 The Activity Cart 21

3.3.6 Activity Back-Packs 21

3.3.7 Special events for families 21

3.3.8 Young People's programme 23

3.3.9 Formal Education Team 24

3.3.10 Schools Service 26

3.4 Gallery Interpretation, Evaluation and Resources 34

3.4.1 Gallery Interpretation 34

3.4.2 Resource Centre 34

3.5 Systems and Administration 36

3.6 On-line Museum 36

3.6.1 Content development 37

3.6.2 Secondee scheme 37

3.6.3 New site design 38

3.6.4 Site usage 38

3.6.5 Services to the V&A 41

3.6.6 Services outside the V&A 41

3.6.7 Research and development 41

3.6.8 Staff 41

3.7 Services to the V&A 41

3.8 Support for L&I Work 42

3.9 Regional Work 42

3.10 International Work 42

4 Appendices 43

4.1 Publications 43

4.2 Professional lectures and conference papers 43

4.3 Audience research reports 44

4.4 Other professional activities 45

4.5 Professional lectures and conference papers 45

4.6 Other Professional Activities 45




1Executive summary

This report provides a summary of the activities of the Learning and Interpretation Division over the year. The quantitative and qualitative data it contains can be compared with that of previous years to identify trends.


Highlights of the year include:


  • The education programmes for the exhibition, The Adventures of Hamza and the London Mela.

  • Expansion of the Museum’s Black Heritage programmes, attracting 13,000 people.

  • Appointment of a new Social Inclusion post, and a new Disability and Access Officer, with resulting improvements in the service.

  • Development of Image and Identity in partnership with regional museums in Preston, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and Brighton.

  • Launch of a new year course, Visual Arts in Europe 1500-1720: High Renaissance to Baroque.

  • Improvements to the training of casual staffing working for the Division.

  • Launch of Every Object Tells A Story, the DCMS-funded online project.

  • The growing professionalism in delivery of services of the Administrators Team in Learning Services.

  • Increased attendances for family events (up to 28,000 in 2003-4, compared with 18,000 in the previous year).
  • Extensive requests to L&I staff for expert advice and information by museums, city and national governments and other cultural organisations from across the world.


  • Launch of Joust, a participative website developed in partnership with the Public Record Office.

  • Increase in the number of web users to over 4 million in the year.



2Table of L&I achievements against V&A objectives

The V&A Plan 2003-04 contained several key aims and objectives directly related to the work of Learning & Interpretation:



Access: to increase the number and range of people who use the Museum, both on-site and remotely.

Learning: to expand the range of learning opportunities open to our users and to develop high quality digital educational resources.

Inclusion and regeneration: to harness the potential of our collections to produce displays and programmes relevant to audiences that are currently under-served.


V&A Aims

L&I Objectives

L&I Achievements

Delivering the FuturePlan and other developments:




Progress the flagship gallery project, Medieval & Renaissance Europe.

Place Learning & Interpretation representative on Gallery Development team for audience advocacy and to develop interpretation strategy, opening education programme.

Seconded Head of Schools Service to be Gallery Educator: Stuart Frost

Progress other FuturePlan Phase One projects: Learning Centre, Architecture for All, Sacred Silver & Stained Glass Gallery, Islamic Gallery, catering facilities.


Clarify and develop the role and contribution of interpretation in FuturePlan projects:

  • develop an implementation plan for the Gallery Interpretation Strategy.

  • clarify the role of educators.

  • clarify the budget (including for web and disability access).

  • agree requirements for training and development on interpretation for all staff (not just L&I) on gallery project teams.

  • Secure remaining funding for the Learning Centre.

Placed Head of Gallery Interpretation, Evaluation and Resources – Juliette Fritsch

Placed Learning Centre Project Manager – Caroline Lang

Embedded Gallery Educators onto Concept Teams

Drafted Gallery Interpretation Strategy

A major anonymous £4 million donation was obtained for the Education Centre.


Focusing on people and service:




Build the organisational identity across all V&A museums (including the Online Museum) and communicate it with clarity and confidence through all that we do.

Secure funding for Learning History Online.

Develop Intellectual Agenda.



Secure funding for the Museum of Childhood Phase II Development.

Funding was sought but not yet obtained. Most, if not all, funding was obtained for MOC.

Sustain high numbers of visitors and increase the diversity of our users.

Museum-wide development of Access, Inclusion and Diversity strategy.


Access, Inclusion and Diversity presentation to Strategy Management Board in June 2003.

Target events and promotion at identified audience groups whom the V&A is particularly well-placed to serve or who are currently under-represented.

Sustain and develop work with culturally diverse communities and people with disabilities. Initiate work with the Socially marginalised.

Presentation of Disability Action Plan in March 2004; work with South Asian community alongside Adventure of Hamza & Chinese festival , and expanded Black Heritage programme. Launch of Social inclusion programme and work with World in the East End Gallery, Museum of Childhood.

Understand the needs of people in our various target audiences.







Enhancing access to the collections:




Continue to develop the Online Museum and individual museum websites as rich resources for information and learning.

Increase usage of the V&A website

Funding and launch of Every Object Tells a Story.

Consolidating our national and international role:




Agree a Regional Policy that builds on current good practice and supports the Government’s Renaissance in the Regions project.

Increase the V&A’s regional audience (that is, outside London and the South East of England) through:


  1. Strategic Commissioning

  2. Every Object Tells a Story

  3. V&A website




DCMS funding obtained for Image and Identity and Every Object Tells a Story.

Maintain and develop our partnership with the Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust through exhibitions and sharing expertise.

Support the V&A’s regional partnership programme in Sheffield

David Anderson replaced Deborah Swallow as V&A Trustee for Sheffield Museums and Galleries Trust

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