Peckham Platform

Southwark Education Research Project:


Southwark Education Research Project:


Adaption to Change: A New Approach to Understanding in Education


This Collection shows the archive of O+I's original project to find a New Approach to Understanding in Education. You can browse all the archives to discover the process of the project and the data collected by SERP for their feasibility study.
History of the Southwark Educational Research Project (SERP)

O+I initiated the Southwark Educational Research Project, SERP, in negotiation with the Inner London Education Authority [ILEA] and London Borough of Southwark during the latter months of 1989. The project coincided with a seminal change in education as responsibility for education was being being passed from ILEA to the new LEAs [Local Education Authorities] and as the new National Curriculum was introduced. The project was approved  at a first meeting of the new education inspectors of the Inner London Boroughs in County Hall on 15 March 1990. 

Piloted in Southwark as a typical microcosm of contemporary British society, O+I was asked to address 'Change' during the educational restructuring from the perspective and function of the role of contemporary art in education, its relevance to motivation and learning. 

The objectives of SERP are outlined in their proposal document were compatible with the educational aims of the London Borough of Southwark which identfied a need for 'Education for All'. 

The O+I artists team consisted of Rita Keegan, John Latham, Carlyle Reedy and Barbara Steveni. They spent 18 months working in co-operation with the Inspectorate, Southwark Education Department, ILEA, Heads, teachers and pupils in a cross-section of Southwark's schools.

SERP's work resulted in a feasibility study, containing data for future application of their work - both in Southwark and for educations' relationship with the arts generally. The project was presented as an installation on 13 November 1991 at Southwark Town Hall.

SERP introduced, what they termed, a new function arising from a recognition of a fundamental change in 20th century thought. This affected language and art as media and consequently on change in education. O+I initiated the approach 'Recycle and Discuss') a process of making and questioning) as a prototype adaptable to educational administrative policy, across most age groups and subjects in the classroom. The procedure made individual images followed by specialised questioning to develop understanding and meaning of life. This approach focussed on the act and value of creation rather than the product.

SERP's data includes video interviews with ILEA's leader, Neil Fletcher and other ILEA Officers in the last day of County Hall, photographs, records of meetings, correspondence with Southwark Education Officers and politicians, Heads and teachers of the schools involved and related papers - a selection of which have been digitised for SERP REACTIVATION. They exist as a resource for future development.

O+I only received a third of the budget they were promised at the start of the project and funding mainly came from ILEA. Southwark Council provided a base at Collingwood Centre.

Funding was not found to continue the project at that time, SERP wrote 'Practicalities of interacting with two authorities, one in dissolution, the other defining new perameters, appointing staff, setting budgets in the context of poll tax capping and other crash programmes, have affected the project in three main areas: funding, timing and access to media resources.'

The reactivation of SERP'S potential through the archive provides a rich source for developing the issues piloted by SERP around creativity and art within education, in a similar context of widespread change.


O+I Archive, Barbara Steveni

Items in the Southwark Education Research Project:

Collection (0/139)

O+I: The Approach

O+I c.1996
O+I: The Practice

O+I c.1996
Incidental Person theory

John Latham c.1989
Incidental Person theory

John Latham c.1989
Collage image representing SERP

Rita Keegan [?] 1991
Order of meetings

[Barbara Steveni] c.1991
Telephone conversation with Lloyd Trott

Barbara Steveni 10 December 1990

Barbara Steveni c.1991
Meeting at GLA

O+I December 1991
'Art and Education meet in new project'

Southwark Sparrow 8 November 1991
Contact Prints

O+I c.1990
Exhibition booklet on SERP

O+I November 1991
O+I invitation to presentation

O+I November 1991
"A fault line -"

John Latham c.1991
Letter from O+I to Ms Wise

Barbara Steveni 20 October 1991

Last of ILEA

[O+I] c.1990
Southwark press release

Southwark Council 6 November 1991
Version A

O+I c.1991
Artist's statement on SERP: Rita Keegan

Rita Keegan October 1989
Artist's statement on SERP: Charlie Hooker

Charlie Hooker November 1989
The Role of the Incidental Person

[Carlyle Reedy] c.1990
The Incidental Person

John Latham c.1990
Minutes from meeting

9 July 1990
Letter to artists

[Barbara Steveni] 22 June 1990
Letter from Rita Keegan to Barbara Steveni

Barbara Steveni 21 June 1990
Letter to all artists from O+I

Barbara Steveni 26 March 1990
Visit to Sacred Heart School

[Barbara Steveni] c.1990
Notes and letter from Head of William Penn School

[Barbara Steveni]/Michael Houghman c.1990
In relation to Victory Primary School

Malcolm Macdonald/Barbara Steveni July 1990
Notes on Cobourg Primary School

Barbara Steveni 16 July 1990
Letter to Sheila Browning from Barbara Steveni

Barbara Steveni 20 January 1992
O+I Current School Contacts

12 December 1990
Conversations with Teachers

Barbara Steveni c.1990
Non-verbal Media as Language

[Carlyle Reedy] c.1991
Meeting with Teachers and Heads

Barbara Steveni c.1991
O+I letter to all Heads and Teachers in Southwark

Barbara Steveni September 1990
Letter from Barbara Steveni to Sheila Browning

Barbara Steveni 13 January 1991
Letter from Barbara Steveni to Mike Hussey

Barbara Steveni 2 September 1991
Letter from Barbara Steveni to Sheila Browning

Barbara Steveni 20 January 1992
Notes from Meeting with Mike Hussey

Deborah Brisley 29 March 1990
Correspondance between O+I and Susan Farnfield

Susan Farnfield 31 July 1990
Meeting Agenda and Notes

Carlyle Reedy 11 July 1991
Letter from Russell Profitt to Barbara Steveni

Russell Profitt 16 August 1991
Letter from Barbara Steveni to Russell Profitt

Barbara Steveni 26 July 1991
Correspondence between O+I and Southwark Council

Barbara Steveni, Russell Profitt July - October 1990
Letter from Barbara Steveni to Russell Profitt

Barbara Steveni 27 July 1990
Inspectorate Briefing

Michael Hussey 12 June 1990
Application form to GLA

Barbara Steveni/GLA 1989
Letter from Barbara Steveni to Lloyd Trott

Barbara Steveni 24 October 1989
Meetings at Dog Kennel Hill

Carlyle Reedy 29 September 1989
Letter from Brian Coxall to Lloyd Trott

Brian Coxall 11 December 1989
Notes on conversation with Lloyd Trott

Barbara Steveni 26 October 1989
Southwark Facts

London Borough of Southwark May 1990
Memos and proposals

[Barbara Steveni] 1989-1990
Adaption and Change

9 October 1989
Notes on discussion with Adrian Chappell

Barbara Steveni 27 June 1988
Objective of Meeting

Barbara Steveni
Meeting with Adrian Chappell

12 February 1988
Education News

July 1988
Letter from Barbara Steveni to John McTernan

Barbara Steveni 20 November 1986
Letter from Barbara Steveni to John McTernan

Barbara Steveni 13 May 1988
Letter from Barbara Steveni to Stephen Morris

Barbara Steveni 9 December 1988
"Brave New World", as promised

Adrian Chappell/Stuart Hall 13 October 1988
View all 139 items

Collection Tree

  • Southwark Education Research Project: 1989-1992

Social Bookmarking