Opinion Former Article

Gok's high praise for Arts & Minds

TV presenter and stylist Gok Wan has praised the NASUWT’s Arts & Minds competition and said it should be rolled out to schools around the world.

Gok is the Chief Judge of the annual competition which features artwork and creative writing from schools across the UK promoting issues of race equality and diversity.

He has now picked the overall winner which will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 10th October.

All the pieces he had seen were “poignant and creative” and the standard was incredibly high. “It has been very difficult to choose a winner but equally amazing,” he said.

Gok reviewed the winning entries and picked out the overall winner which this year have concentrated on the theme of Windrush and have seen powerful pieces or art and writing from pupils in primary, secondary and special schools.

This year Arts & Minds is in its 15th year and Gok said he wished he had such an outlet when he was growing up.

The Say Yes to the Dress presenter said: “If I had this available to me when I was younger I would have felt that I was good at something. I would have felt I belonged or that I would be good at something or that I was equal to all of my peers around me.

“The loneliness you can feel sometimes within academia can traumatise you for the whole of your life.

“To be given an outlet, a space where you can go to every single year where you can creatively express yourself and feel like you belong I think is as important as maths or science or English.

“I think the template what you have got here should be incorporated into every school and every education system around the world without question.”

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