Head of Learning Programmes, Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)
Sarah joined the V&A in 2013 as Head of Schools, Families and Young People, Learning Department, and since 2016 has been Head of Learning Programmes and Deputy Director of Learning and Visitor Experience. She worked previously at Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge (2006-13), The New Art Gallery Walsall (2004-06), and the National Galleries of Scotland (2002-04), always in education/learning departments. Sarah has an MA (History of Art) from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ, and a BA (History of Art and Psychology) from Victoria University, Wellington, NZ.
Sarah has been actively involved with Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, for over a decade, volunteering as an Area Representative for the West Midlands and East of England, and currently contributing as Chair of the Engage Journal Editorial Advisory Board. She is an RSA Fellow, and was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship in 2016 to spend a month in the US, researching the creative process of museum educators and new approaches to museum learning. She has a long-standing interest in creative learning and experimental, playful and unexpected approaches to programming for art museum audiences.
Connect with Sarah:
The Quiet Revolutionaries: How Learning Can Reshape Museums
Portland Art Museum
When museum learning methodologies are integrated across a whole museum, amazing things can happen.
Learning teams are a massively under-utilised asset in the brave new world of museum practice. They are people-oriented by nature, highly adept at collaborative practice, and attuned to audience needs and motivations. Their programming is the reason why families arrive expecting to be told what activities are available, why young people give up their evenings and weekends to join teen councils, and why young professionals consider museums a great place for a night out.
The contribution of learning staff goes beyond the instrumental practicalities of programming, and extends to a way of thinking about and engaging with audiences that museums are not harnessing effectively – find out how they can!