Spotlight on… Andy Sankey, Chief Examiner for Music, Performance & Production

Tell us about your role at UAL Awarding Body and what it involves.

The role is varied but to summarise it the purpose is to work with Senior Moderators and External Moderators to ensure academic and assessment national standards are being achieved, assessed and delivered accordingly. Lead various training and seminar events including; development groups, delivery group meetings, standardisation events, subject conferences, sharing good practice events etc. with an aim to support and build relationships with Centres and delivery teams working with them and the UAL awarding body teams to develop and produce high quality, innovative and sustainable qualifications.

How long have you worked at UAL Awarding Body and what was your previous role?

I started working with UALab in 2014 and before this I was the Curriculum Development Manager at a large FE college.

What is your proudest moment at UAL Awarding Body?

Developing a qualification and supporting centres to help them develop and deliver engaging and realistic curriculums and then to experience this happen across the country and influence hundreds of students and get positive feedback from your peers and students.

What is your favourite thing about working for UAL Awarding Body?

A chance to develop, support and positively influence the delivery of music qualifications.

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

Solar powered iPod
Swiss Army Knife

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

I would want to be the Minister for Education, to ensure true diversity and equality is implemented within education.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I started my career as a session guitarist and have released two albums a collaborative album with Ray Brown titled Never to Fade and solo instrumental album titled Marked Card. I have recently released a single – Hummingbird and continue to perform this and other original songs and arrangements with Chloe Hazel in an acoustic duo called Scarlet Coast, I also perform as a solo ukulele instrumentalist nationally and internationally. I have published composition which are used for TV, radio and film including; National Geographic, BBC, Absolute Radio, ITV, LCN etc. I write and review for magazines and have written academic papers on various subjects including; Acoustic Ecology and Baroque Composers and Musicians. All albums and singles available on the usual digital download and streaming sites, you will find more about me and my music here:

What is your favourite place in the world?

Where my family and dogs are, preferably outside in the sun, maybe on that island I am stuck on…

Spotlight on… Matthew Moseley, Chief Examiner for Level 3 Art & Design and Short Courses

Tell us about your role at UAL Awarding Body and what it involves.

My role at UAL Awarding Body is as Chief Examiner for Level 3 Art & Design and Short Courses. As a Chief Examiner, I am responsible for the quality assurance and standards setting for all UAL Level 3 Art & Design and Short Course provision delivered at our approved Centres. This quality assurance may come in many forms, from setting the expectations and standards of assessment and grading, to working directly with course teams and individuals to develop, support and share practice. At the heart of all of this work is the most important of UAL Awarding Body’s customers; the student. The core intention of all Chief Examiner work is to empower and equip Centres to offer the most expansive and positive learning experience to their students.

Alongside this academic standards work, Chief Examiners enjoy a multi finger/pie working life, collaborating closely with all UAL Awarding Body departments in activities including (but not limited to) new centre approval visits, events delivery and qualification development.

How long have you worked at UAL Awarding Body and what was your previous role?

I have been working for UAL Awarding Body for 20 months now. I have had many career incarnations before I answered my chiefly calling. My CV includes, green grocer, carpenter’s labourer, barman, tapas chef, t-shirt designer, printmaker and teacher. Most notably I was a Programme Leader at UAL Awarding Body approved centre Suffolk New College for 7 years. During this time, I managed areas including Art & Design, Performing Arts, Media, Games Design and Learning for Independence. Through this period, I learned a great deal about teaching, creative arts education, education in general, teenagers, parents, staff management, sausage rolls and trainers.

What is your proudest moment at UAL Awarding Body?

My proudest moment at UAL Awarding Body has been all of it; from getting the job of Chief Examiner to the parent email about UCAS points I sent yesterday. For me, achieving a role at UAL represents recognition for the years of hard work, skills development, grit and determination ploughing my trade as a creative educator. I see UAL as the flagship creative arts education institution in the world, and to have the opportunity to work in and amongst these great Universities brings me tremendous pride every single day.

What is your favourite thing about working for UAL Awarding Body?

My favourite things about working at UAL Awarding Body are:

  1. The opportunity to have a direct and meaningful impact on the creative education of thousands of budding artists and designers. I fundamentally believe in the transformative nature of creative arts education, and to have a say in the content and direction of Art & Design education means a great deal to me.
  2. The people I work with. I am a people person and I very much draw my enjoyment at work from the professional and social interactions I have with my colleagues. I find everyone at the Awarding Body to be a talented and inspiring personality in their own right and I genuinely look forward to my days in office to see them all.


If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

  1. A magic sandwich making machine as sandwiches are my favourite food group
  2. My son Beau, as there is never a dull moment when he is around
  3. A boxfresh pair of air max 1’s, as you don’t want to be caught repping a dodgy pair of palm leaf sandals when the rescuers turn up.


If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

As a child, my dream jobs included; magician, actor, pilot, astronaut, truck driver, doctor, lawyer, footballer, artist. When I was about 6 I started designing my own versions of my favourite trainers, so for a day I would like to work with Tinker Hatfield designing my own signature Nike shoe. That would be a bit of a dream come true.

What would surprise people to know about you?

That I am a relatively accomplished juggler and I have performed in a contemporary dance performance three times to more than a thousand people.

What is your favourite place in the world?

My favourite place in the world is Christchurch Park in Ipswich. Ipswich is my home town and is a place with its highs and lows. In the middle of the town, there is a beautiful park which are the gardens of a Tudor mansion. This place has punctuated so many important and happy memories for me. I go there at least once a week every week, and still it brings me immense joy.

Sarah Atkinson to join government’s T-Levels panel

UAL Awarding Body is delighted to announce that their Head of Academic Standards, Sarah Atkinson, has secured a place on the Department for Education’s (DfE) new T-Level employer panel – for Craft and Design.

The government’s plans to overhaul technical education with T-Levels which are 2-year technical study programmes for 16 to 19 year olds. T-Levels will include a qualification and an industry placement.

The employer-led panels will develop new standards to help shape the technical routes – with these standards underpinning both the T-Levels and apprenticeships.

The employer panels are made up of experienced professionals working in industry or a profession and are intended to provide government and, in the future, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) with independent, professional advice.

In total the DfE has unveiled nine new panels which will work towards the T Levels that are due to start in 2022, to join the 16 existing T-level panels for the 2020 cohort.

Sarah said: “UAL is delighted to be involved with the development of T levels, which will provide a new and valuable route into employment in a number of specific occupations in the creative industries. They will form part of a broader offer, alongside successful A Level and Applied General qualifications, which will meet the needs of young people wishing to progress into employment or into higher education.”


Spotlight on… Jakki Rossiter, Events Coordinator

Tell us about your role at UAL Awarding Body and what it involves.

As the Events Coordinator I manage the planning, coordination, delivery and evaluation of the annual cycle of UAL Awarding Body; conferences, arts festivals, performance events, exhibitions, delivery and training events. It is a very diverse role with lots of exciting projects happening throughout the year.

How long have you worked at UAL Awarding Body and what was your previous role?

I have worked at the Awarding Body for 3 years. Prior to that, I worked at a private country club designing and managing special events for various clients, thanks to this position I know the wedding industry like the back of my hand (which comes in handy when you are planning your own!)

What is your proudest moment at UAL Awarding Body?

When we successfully held the first UAL Awarding Body Creative Arts Festival, it was a cross collaboration event and showcased the depth and breadth of student work from all levels. On display were a range of paintings, drawings, sculptures, videos and fashion work, complemented by a programme of music and performing arts. In particular the private view opening event was brilliant, it’s so rewarding to see how excited and proud the students are to have the opportunity to be involved in this marvellous event!

What is your favourite thing about working for UAL Awarding Body?

I really enjoy the variety of my role; no two days are the same in the events department. One day I can be venue searching around London for a quirky exhibition venue and the next I can be half way up the country at a college planning a standardisation event agenda.

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

My fiancé, my bunny and an endless supply of Mexican food.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

Sir David Attenborough, first, he has seen some of the most beautiful places on the planet. Second, I would just talk to myself all day because I love the sound of his voice!

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I grew up in the world of theatre and have performed in over forty musicals and plays on stage. I was the child at school whose appearance changed every few months depending on what show I was in, I will never forget having to use temporary black hair dye whilst performing in The King and I, I was glad when that show was over!

What is your favourite place in the world?

Maasia Mara National Reserve in Kenya, truly the most amazing place I’ve ever been! Nothing like waking up in the morning and walking out your lodge to be greeted by a wild elephant family standing metres away from you.

Back to school tips from our Chief Examiners

Student and tutor at BMet. Photo by Liz Carrington

Hoping to start the new academic year with a bang? Here are some top back to school tips from UAL Awarding Body Chief examiners to help you get the new school year off to a great start.

  1. Energy
    Start things off with a bang. Build in a few short, snappy, vibrant and exciting projects that get the students moving straight away. Get them producing some work to be proud of, working together and setting the pace and momentum for the year.
  2. Professionalism
    Set the level of professional expectation for the course early. Give initial projects a really strong vocational grounding to get the students dreaming of their perfect career. Get the students to start referring to themselves as an artist/designer/performer/professional from day one. We are preparing them for the world of work after all.
  3. Research
    Get started on research early. Build in wide-ranging research methods and methodologies from the start. Give them a rich and contemporary reading list to establish their contextual knowledge foundations: then get them off the internet and talking to one another, conduct interviews, surveying and going out into the community/world to gather information for themselves. Get them exploring and adventuring. An exciting trip or excursion in the first couple of weeks is always good to wet their appetites.
  4. Analysis & evaluation
    Your students WILL need up-skilling in this area. They need to know how to use personal, individualised, continuous reflection and evaluation to develop themselves and their work. This is a hard skill so give them examples of good practice, introduce them to wide-ranging techniques, set the expectation and then stick to it. Build it into every project to make it ‘just part of the process’.

Origins Creative Arts Festival 2018

people browsing Origins Creative Arts Festival 2018 work

Guests at the private view browse the wide selection of work on display at Origins Creative Arts Festival 2018

From 2-5 August, UAL Awarding Body took over Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf on London’s South Bank to reveal selected work from some of the UK’s most talented Further Education students studying UAL Awarding Body qualifications across the creative arts.

This is the first time that UAL Awarding Body has showcased work across all of its disciplines forming the Awarding Body’s first-ever creative arts festival.

Private view guests were entertained with live music performances from Jasmine Canham, West Suffolk College, Changing Currents, Northbrook Met, and BRUCH, Academy of Contemporary Music.

We would like to thank Helen Marriage, Director of Artichoke for delivering an inspiring presentation at our private view and for presenting prizes during our awards ceremony.

Congratulations to all students that performed or exhibited their work at Origins Creative Arts Festival as well as the following students that received prizes for their outstanding work.

Origins Creative Arts Festival 2018 Music Performance and Production prize winner, BRUCH

BRUCH, Academy of Contemporary Music, Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Music Performance and Production.

Origins Creative Arts Festival 2018 Performing and Production Arts prize winner, James Hopwood

James Hopwood, Conservatoire East, West Suffolk College, Maya Knight , Buckinghamshire College Group and William Ireton, Harlow College for demonstrating exceptional commitment to their Performing Arts work.

“Smile” by Jake Kevlin prize winner for Level 1 Art and Design

Jake Kevlin, Reigate School of Art, Level 1 Art and Design, for sophisticated use of print technique in their piece titled “Smile”.

“Improper” by Rio Ordoyno, prize winner for Level 2 Art and Design

Rio Ordoyno, Nescot College, Level 2 Art and Design, for fashion explored through textiles in their piece “Improper”.

Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design prize winner, Maya Edwards with her piece titled “Index of matter”

Maya Edwards, Leeds Arts University, Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design for her sophisticated and challenging conceptual investigation in her piece titled “Index of Matter”, which was realised to a very high standard.

Level 3 and Level 4 Diploma in Art and Design – Foundation Studies prize winner, Poppy Sullivan with her piece “The Wapping Regeneration Project”

Poppy Sullivan, UCA, Level 3 and Level 4 Diploma in Art and Design – Foundation Studies, for “The Wapping Regeneration Project” – a social innovation project showing the sophistication of concept and skills.

Level 3 and Level 4 Diploma in Art and Design – Foundation Studies prize winner, Maya Coleburn with her piece ” For summer is a-come unto day”

Maya Coleburn, Bristol School of Art, Level 3 and Level 4 Diploma in Art and Design – Foundation, for her piece titled “For summer is a-come unto day” – a piece comprising of large totemic structures made from recycled inner tubes.

Amy Parrack, City College Norwich, Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Creative Media, for her documentary titled “My Authentic Self” that explores transgender issues.

Zachariah Roper, Colchester Institute, Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Creative Media, for his music video inspired by Saul Bass’ set to a Coldplay track.

Level 3 Diploma Fashion Business and Retail prize winner, Caitlin Do, with her work

Caitin Do, Fashion Retail Academy, Level 3 Diploma Fashion Business and Retail, for her magazine ollection titled “mAPS7 – mUSIC aRT pUBLISH sPACE gLOBAL cONTINENTS”, which was contemporary and Fashion Forward. Caitlin has developed a strong aesthetic through photography and graphic design.

Spotlight on… Maisie James, Engagement and Experience Manager

Tell us about your role at UAL Awarding Body and what it involves.

My role is all about working with Awarding Body staff, UAL colleagues and external customers to give everyone the best experience! I manage a programme of learning and development training opportunities for our team and a host of activities with our centres to keep our people engaged and our customer experiences as great as they can be.

How long have you worked at UAL Awarding Body and what was your previous role?

I’ve worked for UAL Awarding Body for 6 years – time flies when you’re having fun! I started as an apprentice Admin Assistant in 2012, the sixth member of staff, and have had a few roles here including Project Officer and Office Manager. I spent two years looking after the Portal and also some time helping our Comms and Marketing team to deliver the exhibition, which I think has given me a good understanding of all of the areas of the business. Before that I was at uni, working in a well-known pub chain in the evenings and an opticians at the weekend…

What is your proudest moment at UAL Awarding Body?

My proudest moment has to be seeing all the hard work my team and I put in to investing in our staff coming to fruition when we increased our staff satisfaction scores by 20% in just one year. We joined the Institute of Customer Service in October 2016 and they’ve helped us to identify areas that we can work on for both staff and customer satisfaction so this was a great achievement just 12 months into our journey.

What is your favourite thing about working for UAL Awarding Body?

The team! I really value all of my colleagues at the Awarding Body; we are all experts in our areas and I love coming to the office and working collaboratively across projects, thinking up creative ideas and sharing knowledge with my peers. I also love seeing the amazing work our students produce at the end of each year, it keeps me inspired while sifting through emails in the office!

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

If I were being sensible, sun cream, a boat, and a magnifying glass to start fires. Though it would most likely be something a lot less practical and that doesn’t last more than five minutes!

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

Louis Armstrong; I love a good trumpet solo.

What is something about you that would surprise most people?

I’ve completed the highest tandem sky dive in Florida (amazing but also the most terrifying 9 minutes of my life).

What is your favourite place in the world?

I fell in love with Borneo and would go back in a heartbeat, but you can’t beat a day on Brighton beach in the height of the British summer!


Spotlight on… Claire Clark, Senior Quality Officer

Tell us about your role at UAL Awarding Body and what it involves.
As Senior Quality Officer I manage, maintain and develop the quality assurance processes that support UAL Awarding Body’s core business processes such as how we approve our centres, how we design and review our assessments for qualifications and how we ultimately ensure that the products we provide to our customers do what they say they do. My work is dictated by regulatory needs, which if met – help to assure us that our qualifications are robust and valid.

How long have you worked at UAL Awarding Body and what was your previous role?
I have been at UAL Awarding Body for just over 5 years and before that I worked in a similar quality and compliance role at an awarding body who managed business management qualifications.

What is your proudest moment at UAL Awarding Body?
Probably meeting my boyfriend who used to work in the Marketing team.

What is your favourite thing about working for UAL Awarding Body?
The people I get to work with, both in and outside of the office. The UAL Awarding Body team in particular are a great bunch of like minded people, filled with passion and creativity and they all believe in the benefit and positive enrichment of our qualifications.

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
1. A techno DJ armed with decks and a decent sound system
2. Factor 20 sun cream
3. Chilled Chablis

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?
Lizzie Deignan – Professional cyclist. I’d love to experience her speed and skill on the bike.

What would it surprise people to know about you?
I can squat 80 kg and have achieved Grade 8 in piano.

What is your favourite place in the world?
A Cos store on payday, post wine fuelled ladies lunch.

Student success stories: Past Origins prize-winner shares their experience


Work by Natasha Parker-Edwards, Origins 2016

UAL Awarding body caught up with Natasha Parker-Edwards, winner of  the Level 4 Foundation Origins award, 2016.

Name: Natasha Parker-Edwards
UAL Awarding Body Course & Level: Level 4  Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Institution when exhibiting at origins: Barton Peveril Sixth Form
CollegeCurrent institution/employer: Bath Spa University

How did you find out about Origins?
I was told about Origins by my Art Tutor Rob French on the Foundation course. He suggested to a few of us that we should apply.

Tell us about the piece of work that you exhibited at Origins?
My work throughout FAD responded to the theme ‘manipulation’, I was interested in exploring female sexual health and the ‘taboo’ associated with this. This led me to investigate the more sensitive issue of Female Genital Mutilation. I wanted to highlight that FGM happens on our doorstep in Western society and isn’t so far removed from England as people may think. The piece I submitted for Origins was my Final Major Project outcome. It was a triptych, two sculptures – one of which was interactive – made from ceramics, glass, and steel with a supporting handbound book of prints, photography and text. It aimed to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation and the consequences of it by using entropy and seriality as visual tools to reflect ideas of body manipulation.

What did you find most enjoyable about exhibiting your work at Origins?
The Foundation had given me the tools to create a piece which appeared refined and ‘gallery worthy’. I was excited to see other peoples work from around the country. I enjoyed setting up the end of year exhibition in college which involved plinth making, hanging and curating our work. It was following this that I was selected for the Menier exhibition. This was an exciting experience as it allowed me to set up and curate my work within another environment which made me have to consider a new space/restrictions etc.

What was your experience of exhibiting your work at Origins 2016?
I really enjoyed seeing my work displayed in a more professional manner. I was able to talk to students from UAL courses around the country and see all different types of work which had been made across the UK. It was also beneficial as a photographer took some photos of my work in the space, which was really useful for my portfolio.

Tell us the most rewarding thing about presenting your work at Origins 2016.
I was lucky enough to be awarded the Level 4 Art Foundation Origins Award by Bob and Roberta Smith at the award ceremony on the opening night of the exhibition. It was rewarding knowing the award had been given to me as they felt my piece had ‘the most impact’. This is something that I was hoping my piece would have as it aimed to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation in an approachable, sensitive and informative manner. Knowing it had been recognised and picked for the exhibition was incredible and it was made an even better experience being awarded the prize and hearing an established artist talk about my work.

Having won the award, I was asked to do a 30 minute presentation at the 2017 UAL Awarding Body Annual Conference in London about my work and my experience of the Art Foundation as well as what I hope to do in the future. This was part of the same conference that Grayson Perry was speaking at. It was very nerve wracking but such an amazing experience to have been given. It is something I am proud to talk about to employers when discussing my work and experiences and I now feel less daunted by public speaking and talking about my practice which has also been beneficial at university.

What would you say to students that are unsure about submitting work to this year’s event?
Go ahead! You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain if your work gets accepted for the exhibition.

What are you currently working on at the moment and where?
I am currently at Bath Spa University studying BA (hons) Creative Arts: Art and Dance.
As a dancer and artist, I am passionate about cross art collaboration and how this can foster original, exciting outcomes. As part of my current art research project, I am collaborating with KT Yun a local glassblower. To explore ‘collision of the arts’ plus the collision of humanity and nature and the consequences that Western society has on the environment. I am creating a film and some photography which merges contemporary dance and glassblowing experimentation through the use of projection and video editing.

With my current dance focus on contemporary improvisation and somatic movement techniques as well as site specific performance art and Physical Theatre. I regularly work with postgraduate students, taking part in improvisation, gaga and site specific art workshops. I most recently participated in a two day ‘New Paths to Creativity: Somatic Movement Workshop’ exploring somatic improvisation, under the guidance of Karen Smith, an experienced and seasoned facilitator of this work. I was able to immerse myself into a world of movement exploration and creativity, learning how to release old habitual patterns and tensions and build confidence and originality in my own art and dance practice.

Furthermore, in February I choreographed and performed in a site specific piece at the Holburne museum, named ‘Dolly Mixtures’, which gave fresh interpretation to the museum exhibits in close collaboration with composers. It involved audience interaction and chance methods to decide particular movement, scores and locations in the venue.

I am performing in Bath Fringe this year in a contemporary dance/ physical theatre piece called ‘Remember to Smile’ based on desire, happiness and superficial utopia utilising the work of George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’.

I enjoy improvisation and experimentation, finding it a way of fostering unusual, relevant and exciting moments. I feel as though my experience of the Art Foundation really helped expand my ability to reach out to other artists and discuss my own work to help produce collaboration projects across the arts.

What are your educational and professional hopes for the future?
Currently, being interested in many areas of the creative world, I am fairly unsure. I know I want to work and study in Bristol, Glasgow or London (or perhaps Berlin). I am hoping to go on to study at postgraduate level once graduating from Bath Spa University. I am currently interested in the UAL Art and Science masters course. Or I may look into Art and/or dance psychotherapy courses. Professionally, I hope to be able to practice as an artist/ dancer and continue my collaboration with other creatives alongside perhaps becoming a university lecturer or psychotherapist. But my hopes for the future change regularly!

Click here to find out more about Origins Creative Arts Festival 2018

Spotlight on… Marc Mollica, Chief Examiner for Performing and Production Arts

Tell us about your role at UAL Awarding Body and what it involves.

I am the Chief Examiner for Performing and Production Arts and operate within the academic standards team here at UAL Awarding Body. My role primarily revolves around offering academic support for our centres and providing guidance on delivery and assessment. I work very closely with our quality and operations team during the moderation cycle and head-up a team of Senior and External Moderators. I also collaborate with our qualifications team in designing and developing a range of performing and production arts qualifications.

How long have you worked at UAL Awarding Body and what was your previous role?

I joined UAL Awarding Body three years ago, when the performing and production arts qualifications were first released. Prior to that, I managed a performing and productions arts dept. in a large FE / HE College and prior to that I worked within industry as a theatre director. I still manage to direct the odd theatre project here and there.

What is your proudest moment at UAL Awarding Body?

When I first joined the Awarding Body, we had 28 centres and 1500 students registered on performing and production arts qualifications; on the last count, we had over 100 centres and 6000 registrations – and this figure is constantly rising! Being part of a team that has seen such a meteoric rise and take-up of our qualifications has been very satisfying and it’s highly rewarding knowing that we are making a positive difference to creative arts education on a national and international scale.

What is your favourite thing about working for UAL Awarding Body?

The people – both internal and external. I work alongside an amazingly talented team who all have very big hearts and are passionate about arts education. I am also lucky that my role brings me into frequent contact with teaching teams from across the country who continually tell me that UAL qualifications are the best thing to have ever happened to their courses and a holistic, project-based approach really challenges and stretches their students.

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

Fishing boat, solar powered record-player and my complete David Bowie vinyl back-collection.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

My wife – it would be marvellous to experience the feeling of being in charge, even if it is for just the one day!

What is something about you that would surprise most people?

I used to be a nifty football player back in the day.

What is your favourite place in the world?

New York City – no other place like it!