The artistic life of Leith School of Art is rooted in studio-based teaching and learning. Studio practice, the handling of materials and the dynamic interaction between tutor and students and between students themselves are central to what makes classes at Leith so special.
All that stopped when we had to shut our campuses due to the Covid-19 emergency, although the School has remained very active by remote means in the months since. The commitment of students and the inspirational work of staff showed the capacity of the School in a new light as Year-Long Courses and a reimagined Summer School were successfully completed online.
However, our aim and desire has always been to enable studio-based teaching to resume as soon as possible. We have been clear throughout that re-opening would depend first of all on it being permissible under Scottish Government guidelines. It would also depend on our ability in practical terms to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection on our premises and give students and staff confidence in the School’s care for their health and safety.
At the beginning of the new academic session, Scotland is moving towards Phase 4 of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 Route Map. The current Phase 3 provisions allow for the re-opening of schools, colleges and universities with appropriate protections against Covid-19 in place.
With the expert support and input of the School’s Health and Safety consultant, the Principal and his team have carried out a thorough Covid-19 Risk Assessment of our premises and working practices. They have worked extremely hard to develop arrangements and protocols designed to give the best possible protection against Covid-19 while maintaining a welcoming environment for studio-based work.
The Board of Directors of Leith School of Art takes its duty of care to all our staff, students and visitors very seriously and receives regular reports on health and safety matters in the School. All Directors have received copies of the School’s Risk Assessments and documents relating to the re-opening of the School. We have reviewed these and as Chair I am happy to confirm the Board’s full support for the School’s arrangements to re-open the School for studio-based teaching.
It will be wonderful to have the studios alive once more with the creative energy of tutors and students working together in person. On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to wish all our students and staff all the very best for session 2020-21.
Chair of the Board of Directors