News from Sunningwell School of Art


Sunningwell School of Art is hoping to re-commence normally as soon as government guidelines regarding social distancing allows, in the meantime we want to continue to inspire everyone with new learning, projects and techniques, all on-line.

The on-line courses are proving to be very popular but don’t despair if you’ve missed your opportunity to join one, we are constantly adding new on-line courses as the lock-down continues, so do contact us if you would like to express an interest and we will keep you informed. 

Although we are operating on a reduced staff, with one of the directors on furlough, we do have some administrative capability and aim to respond to voice mail and email messages within 24 hours.

We will make announcements here on a regular basis as we receive new information and in the meantime we want to continue to inspire everyone with new learning, projects and techniques, all on-line of course, so please watch this space for details.

Sunningwell School of Art is your school so if there is anything you would like to see, revisit, learn, please let us know at

Allyson Austin and Vanessa Woodward (Directors)


The Art School seeks new Chair of Trustees . .

Are you interested in being part of an exciting, creative thinking art school? We are looking for a new Chair of Trustees to help steer its future direction together alongside our enthusiastic directors and trustees

Sunningwell School of Art, in the delightful village of Sunningwell near Abingdon in Oxfordshire, is a unique centre for the tuition of art to students of all ages and abilities. It is a small educational charitable organisation that started in 1977 and has grown to provide drawing, painting, sculpture and pottery courses for over 400 students a term including children. It is funded by fees, fundraising and small grants with a revenue of c £270K p.a. It was established as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in 2019. 

We are currently seeking a new Chair to lead the team of voluntary trustees following the retirement of the current chair. The trustees work closely with the Artistic Director and Administrative Director to deliver an exciting programme of creative courses across the visual arts and crafts.  

Chair responsibilities:  

  • Chair the Board of Trustees, taking responsibility for directing its affairs, ensuring that it is solvent, well-run and delivering the charitable outcomes for which it has been set up. 
  • Lead its strategic development and enable it to reach sound decisions using your skills, knowledge and experience. 
  • Act as an ambassador for Sunningwell School of Art, safeguarding its good name and its long established values. 
  • Ensure an effective relationship between the trustees, the staff and the students 
  • Ensure that the School has appropriate policies and procedures commensurate with a CIO including safeguarding, health and safety, financial controls etc. 
  • Oversee and monitor the management and administration of the School. 

The essential attributes needed are: 

  • Commitment to the School, its vision and values 
  • Understanding of both charity governance and business practices. However, previous experience of being a trustee or governor is not essential. 
  • Integrity, strategic vision, good independent judgement, leadership and a willingness to contribute 

Personal Commitment 

The Trustees meet six times per year often followed by a combined meeting with the Directors. Trustees are encouraged to support the School at informal art open evenings, fundraising and other functions as part of their ambassadorial role. As the School is involved in teaching children, you will need a DBS Certificate, if you join our organisation. 

For further information please visit the website or arrange to speak to the Acting Chair of Trustees by contacting the school. 

Please apply by sending your CV and a covering letter giving details of your relevant experience, attributes and declaration of any possible conflicts of interests to Vanessa Woodward, Administrative Director, Sunningwell School of Art, Sunningwell, Abingdon, OX13 6RD. Email:  

We are committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or age. 

New Pottery Classes now available ..

We’re delighted to announce that we will be welcoming Graham Hudson as our new pottery tutor for the Tuesday and Wednesday classes at the Art School, in time for the commencement of the spring term, from Tuesday 14th January, Pam Foley will now be the pottery class teacher for the Monday evening classes. The other great news is we have been able to open up the classes now to new students who have been waiting to enroll on a pottery course, in many cases for several years! Do contact us soon if you would like to book one of these places, we suspect we will soon be over subscribed again!

For more information on Graham and Pam, do check out our tutors page.

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