Achieving independence appears to be a significant concern for education. This is particularly evident in discourses pertaining to art education in England where the aspiration to become independent appears to be synonymous with successful learning. Drawing on disability studies, and more specifically crip theory, this paper offers a Critical crip Discourse Analysis of documents reporting on the quality of art education in England. Here the independent learner emerges as a desirable norm and pupils with special educational needs are made visible through their apparent dependency. As a consequence of this emphasis on independence, dependency is framed as exceptional, undesirable, burdensome and valueless in pedagogic terms. Acknowledging the dominance of independence as a culturally determined fiction frees us to acknowledge problematic depictions of dependency and enable us to create alternative pedagogies that recognize the role of interdependence in learning with and through art.