Select Committee on Education and Skills Minutes of Evidence

Joint memorandum submitted by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)


  1.  The Government welcomes this new inquiry which provides an opportunity to set out the importance which it attaches to creativity in the curriculum as a means of supporting children and young people's personal development and the standards of achievement which they reach. It is important that young people gain the creative skills that will help them excel in their studies and their future working life.

  2.  Creativity is a wide ranging agenda that is being pursued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). We will continue to build on those things that make creativity thrive so that all children and young people have the opportunities to develop their creative abilities in and out of school and to access high quality arts and cultural activities.

  3.  This evidence is in five parts:

  The first part sets out the background context provided by last year's report by Paul Roberts, Nurturing Creativity in Young People and the Government's response;

  The second discusses the nature of creativity in education;

  The third considers the place of creativity in the foundation, primary and secondary curricula and the importance of the debate around personalisation;

  The fourth addresses the issue of working with creative partnerships, particularly but not solely through the Creative Partnerships initiative; and

  The fifth examines the relationship between creativity in schools and the creative industries.


Creative and Cultural Education

  4.  The National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education's (NACCCE) report published in 1999 All Our Futures: Creativity Culture and Education was influential on subsequent efforts to promote creativity in education. The Committee was established in 1998 to make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport "on the creative and cultural development of young people through formal and informal education: to take stock of current provision and to make proposals for principles, policies and practice."

  5.  Its 59 key recommendations were welcomed by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Although the Government did not implement all of the report's recommendations with regard to the National Curriculum, there was much in the report which was taken forward. The NACCCE report has led directly, or indirectly, to initiatives such as Creative Partnerships and Artsmark.

  6.  In 2000 the review of the National Curriculum emphasised the importance of creative and cultural education and there are explicit references to creativity. The Schools White Paper, Schools: Achieving Success, launched in September 2001 raised the status of creativity and the arts by pledging to provide a range of additional opportunities for creativity and curriculum enrichment.

  7.  The educational debate has moved forward considerably since the NACCCE report was published, and there is now much wider acceptance that a broad and enriching curriculum goes hand in hand with high standards.

  8.  QCA's Creativity: Find it, Promote it has built on our knowledge of creativity in education and helped spread good practice. The website shows how to maximise the impact of creativity in the curriculum, identifies best practice and provides case study examples for teachers containing practical suggestions for promoting creativity across the curriculum.

Creativity Review

  9.  In June 2005, the DCMS and the DfES (now the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)) asked Paul Roberts, one of our leading educationalists and current Director of Strategy at the Improvement and Development Agency, to lead an independent review of creativity in schools.

  10.  In carrying out this Review, Paul Roberts was asked to provide a clear set of assumptions on which to base future policy in this area. Ministers welcomed his report, Nurturing Creativity in Young People published on 19 July 2006. The Government's response to the report was published in November 2006. It demonstrated the importance that Ministers place on creativity; showed how we believe creativity can contribute to other key agendas such as Every Child Matters; and highlighted the main actions that we will be taking to ensure that creativity can flourish in the areas of:

    —  Creative portfolios;

    —  Early years;

    —  Extended schools;

    —  Building Schools for the Future;

    —  Leading creative learning;

    —  Practitioner partnerships;

    —  Pathways to creative industries; and

    —  Frameworks and regulations.

  11.  A full version of the Government's response is at Annex A. [1]A key element was the decision to set up a joint DCMS/DCSF Advisory Board for Creative and Cultural Education. It is the responsibility of this Board—chaired by Paul Roberts himself—to ensure that we drive forward this agenda together and continue to develop the creative potential of our young people and the future workforce.

The Nature of Creativity in Education

  12.  In our response to the Roberts report the Government endorsed the definition of creativity developed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). This makes clear that:

    —  Creativity involves thinking or behaving imaginatively;

    —  This imaginative activity is purposeful: that is, it is directed to achieving an objectives;

    —  These processes must generate something original; and that

    —  The outcome must be of value in relation to the objective.

The Contribution of the Arts to Creative Education

  13.  This response stated clearly that creativity is not limited to the arts but should be embedded across the whole curriculum.

  14.  Involvement in the arts (and other cultural activities) does, however, offer opportunities to stimulate children's creativity and imagination by providing a unique way of understanding and responding to the world. The arts can enrich pupils' educational experience by increasing self-esteem and by developing transferable skills. An active engagement with the arts can be hugely enjoyable and motivating. It promotes self-discipline and team work; it helps to develop self-confidence and the ability to actively listen and communicate. All of these are essential skills within and beyond the school environment.

  15.  At a whole school level an arts-rich curriculum can help raise pupils' attainment across the curriculum, contribute to school improvement and improve links with the community.

  16.  Because of this we are committed to working towards a position where all children and young people, no matter where they live or what their background, have the opportunity to follow their interests and talents and experience the rich cultural life they deserve.



  17.  More and more young people are finding ways of exploring their own creativity outside of formal education settings—not just through traditional forms of arts and culture but increasingly through the use of new technology, which allows them to shape their own creative experiences. This interest and enthusiasm needs to be harnessed and translated into the school setting. Engagement can boost self-confidence and motivation and helps young people to achieve their goals, especially those who for whatever reason are disengaged from the learning process. Our education system, with the involvement of a wide range of partners in the Arts and Cultural sectors, already enables creativity to flourish. As our education policies develop we need to do all we can to ensure that fostering children and young people's creativity continues to remain a priority within our schools.

  18.  Building on the above definition of creativity the QCA goes on to say that when pupils are thinking and behaving creatively in the classroom, they are likely to be:

    —  questioning and challenging

    —  making connections and seeing relationships

    —  envisaging what might be

    —  exploring ideas, keeping options open

    —  reflecting critically on ideas, actions and outcomes

  19.  These opportunities should be available, in an age-appropriate way, throughout children's schooling. Creativity should be embedded across the whole curriculum.

Creativity in Early Years Settings

  20.  Creativity is strongly embedded throughout both current and developing policy in the early years. For the youngest children the Birth to Three Matters—A framework to support children in their earliest years is organised around four main principles, one of which focuses directly on children's developing creativity and imagination.

  21.  The guidance for practitioners within this framework discusses how to encourage children to become creative through exploration and discovery as they experiment with sound, media and movement. There is also a range of advice on how practitioners can provide resources which support imaginative learning. Birth to Three Matters is non-statutory; however it is taken into account by Ofsted inspectors in the case of registered providers, including Children's Centres.

  22.  The Foundation Stage Curriculum, a distinct phase of education for children aged three to the end of their reception year, is the first phase of the National Curriculum. It is organised into six areas of Learning, one of which is Creative Development, and is delivered though planned play activities. The Early Learning Goals within the Foundation Stage Curriculum Guidance clearly state that creativity is fundamental to successful learning.

  23.  All early years settings in receipt of government funding to deliver free early years education, including Children's Centres, are required to deliver the Foundation Stage. Local authorities are responsible for training and development in all settings to support Birth to Three Matters and the Foundation Stage.

  24.  In the case of the Foundation Stage QCA guidance states that creativity is fundamental to successful learning. Being creative enables children to make connections between one area of learning and another and so extend their understanding. Art, music, dance, role play and imaginative play are key aspects of this area of learning. To give all children the best opportunity for effective creative development, practitioners should give particular attention to:

    —  a stimulating environment in which creativity, originality and expressiveness are valued;

    —  a wide range of activities that children can respond to by using many senses;

    —  sufficient time for children to explore, develop ideas and finish working at their ideas;

    —  opportunities for children to express their ideas through a wide range of types of representation;

    —  resources from a variety of cultures to stimulate different ways of thinking;

    —  opportunities to work alongside artists and other creative adults;

    —  opportunities for children with visual impairment to access and have physical contact with artefacts, materials, spaces and movements;

    —  opportunities for children with hearing impairment to experience sound through physical contact with instruments and other sources of sound;

    —  opportunities for children who cannot communicate by voice to respond to music in different ways, such as gestures; and

    —  accommodating children's specific religious or cultural beliefs relating to particular forms of art or methods of representation.

  25.  The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the new regulatory and quality framework for the provision of care and education for children between birth and the academic year in which they turn five (0-5). It was launched in March 2007 and will become statutory in September 2008. It will replace Birth to Three Matters and the Foundation Stage.

  26.  Creativity is at the heart of the EYFS approach to play-based learning. The education programme includes creative development. EYFS obliges providers to ensure that practitioners extend children's creativity by actively encouraging curiosity, exploration and play. Units of training under development are designed to help them do so effectively.


  27.  The EYFS states that parents should be treated as partners in their children's learning and we will be looking to practitioners to share developments in their children's progress with parents in a way which enables them to carry on this learning at home.

  28.  Sure Start Children's Centres Practice Guidance (issued November 2006) offers some good practice examples on how children's centres might support creativity or the development of creative practice for pre-school children and their families. Examples include:

    —  when consulting with families and communities, seeking views from children under five about the services they receive through the use of painting, music, cameras, story-telling; and

    —  ideas for engaging fathers—such as running music/photography projects involving dads and their children, developing a play area or working together on an allotment.

Primary and Secondary Curriculum

  29.  The QCA Creativity: Find it, Promote it guidance states that opportunities for young people to develop their creativity can be provided in many different contexts and can be integral to many activities both within and beyond the classroom. For example, in order to help learners make connections and solve tasks with novel, unique and original ideas it is necessary to:

    —  find ways to capture learners' interests and fire their imaginations by providing stimulating starting points (for example through role play, visits to local places of interest or by watching and working with creative people)

    —  provide the time for them to think, explore and experiment, to play with ideas, try alternatives, adapt and modify their ideas and thoughts

    —  value and praise what learners do and say, establishing an atmosphere in which they feel safe to say things, take risks and respond in different and surprising ways

    —  encourage learners to be adventurous and explore ideas freely

    —  be willing to stand back and let learners take the lead, join in with activities and model creative behaviour

    —  help learners to appreciate the different qualities in others' work and to value ways of working that are different from their own.

The New Secondary Curriculum

  30.  The secondary curriculum has been reviewed to create flexibility for schools and allow teachers to develop a more personalised approach to learning. By reducing prescription over subject content, time has been created for a greater focus on English and mathematics for pupils who are falling behind; and to offer more stretching opportunities for pupils with particular gifts and talents. The new secondary curriculum will offer more flexibility to tailor teaching to pupils' needs, interests and aspirations.

  31.  There is more emphasis on using the whole curriculum to develop general skills such as initiative, enterprise, ability to work in teams, and the capacity to learn independently. There is growing evidence of the importance of these non-cognitive skills in all walks of life, and they are particularly valued by employers.

  32.  The new curriculum will allow schools greater opportunities to support creativity and to draw on local resources. Cross-curriculum dimensions, including creativity and critical thinking, are aspects of learning that provide a focus for work within and between subjects and across the curriculum. Schools are encouraged to build the dimensions into their curriculum in a way that reflects the specific needs and interest of their learners. In order to develop creativity and critical thinking pupils should have opportunities across the curriculum to:

    —  use their imagination to explore possibilities

    —  generate ideas, take risks and to learn from their mistakes

    —  refine, modify and iteratively develop ideas and products

    —  make connections between ideas

    —  engage in creative activities in all subjects, exploring links between subjects and wider aspects of learning

    —  work in relevant contexts, with real audience and purpose

    —  work with a range of creative individuals, both in and out of the classroom

    —  encounter the work of others, including theories, literature, art, design, inventions and discoveries, as sources of inspiration

    —  discover and pursue particular interests and talents.

  33.  To achieve this, pupils should learn outside the classroom as well as in it—in museums, art galleries, sports centres, theatres, and through fieldwork in different localities—and work with artists, scientists, sports people, mathematicians, musicians and writers, as well as a range of people in workplaces. Where relevant, there are also references to our diverse cultures and how they can be recognised and valued.

  34.  The revised secondary curriculum will become statutory for Year 7 pupils in September 2008; from September 2009, it will apply to all Year 7 and Year 8 pupils; and from September 2010 it will apply across Years 7, 8 and 9. Changes to the Key Stage 4 curriculum begin to roll out in September 2009.

Creativity and Standards

  35.  Basic literacy and numeracy skills are a fundamental building block: without these children do not have the skills to express themselves fully or to access material and activities that will stimulate their creativity. To be creative children need to draw on a secure base of knowledge and skills they can use and apply in familiar and new contexts both in and out of school.

  36.  However, creativity is also a key component of English and other curriculum subjects. All subjects offer children the opportunity to be creative and to foster children's creative skills. Creative thinking and behaviour encourage the development of young people's personal, learning and thinking skills which underpin the characteristics of a successful learner and enable them to produce independent, thoughtful and original work.

  37.  The National Primary and Secondary Strategies for school improvement encourage and support collaborative thinking and enquiry based learning. The Strategies' materials promote the importance of teaching that develops the creativity of young people.

  38.  Schools that are effective in implementing a creative curriculum whilst maintaining a strong focus on high expectations and high quality teaching and learning see significant impact on standards in literacy and mathematics. The Strategies support schools in involving parents in their children's learning and encourage schools to make the most of initiatives and organisations which can contribute to creative teaching and learning and help to release the potential of their pupils.

Initial Teacher Training (ITT)

  39.  The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) has encouraged innovative practice from ITT providers. The Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Standards are outcome statements. They are statements of competence that trainees must demonstrate by the end of their training. Therefore providers are given discretion to design their training programmes in any way they wish to enable trainees to meet the standards.

  40.  The guidance for initial teacher training which accompanies these allows for time to be spent in appropriate settings other than schools, such as theatres and museums, which can help develop the ability of teachers to develop young people's creativity.

Personalised Learning and Creativity

  41.  Personalising learning and teaching means taking a highly structured and responsive approach to each child's and young person's learning, in order that all are able to progress, achieve and participate. It means actively engaging pupils—and their parents—as partners in learning and helping them to reach their full potential.

  This includes:

    —  using curriculum flexibilities to engage with individual interests and needs

    —  ensuring all children have equal access to cultural and enrichment opportunities

    —  helping them to discover or develop new interests and talents

    —  developing "soft skills" that employers value, such as communication and working in a team

    —  pupils taking ownership of their learning.

  42.  The promotion of creativity in the curriculum as described earlier in this response, goes hand in hand with the emphasis on flexibility, relevance and more responsive, innovative forms of curriculum organisation.

  43.  Personalised learning is an underlying approach to education that shapes everything a school does and stands for. It looks different in every school—but the principles driving it are consistent. Many schools are personalising learning. We will support all schools to take a personalised learning approach and encourage them to lead the way in meeting local needs.

Assessment and Achievement

  44.  Assessment also needs to be personalised to ensure that individual learners have the opportunity to make progress and achieve. More flexibility in the curriculum will give teachers additional time to focus on assessment for learning strategies and to provide more targeted assessments to meet individual learners' needs.

  45.  As with curriculum design, teachers will have greater freedom to use their professional judgement to decide how to assess their learners, taking into account the personalisation agenda. They will be able to personalise assessment, ensuring that it supports learning and enables all students to make progress and achieve. They will also be able to help learners recognise the progress they are making within, across and beyond subject disciplines, broadening the measures of success.

  46.  Greater personalisation of assessment will increase learners' engagement, enable them to show what they can do and open doors to higher achievement. With more ways to demonstrate progress and more pathways to choose from at Key Stage 4, learners are likely to find something that motivate them, continue learning for longer, and gain the qualifications they need to progress into further and higher education.

Other Aspects of Creativity in Schools

Building Schools for the Future

  47.  The Government is committed to improving educational achievement, and to providing capital funding to improve schools. Research shows that improved buildings can lead to improved pupil performance and that investment is a strong lever on pupil and teacher motivation. Capital investment underpins the Government's drive to raise standards of education, provide high quality services for children and families, and put schools at the heart of the community.

  48.  Building Schools for the Future provides an opportunity to produce inspirational learning environments that develop creativity in young people and the wider community. DCSF encourages and supports schools and local authorities to create functional and inspirational school environments that reflect local need and support creativity and individual learning styles. The design of a school can develop creativity in young people in a variety of ways, in particular:

    —  the environment enables a range of teaching and learning styles;

    —  the design itself providing an inspirational example; and

    —  pupils are involved in the design process from the earliest stage.

The Extended Services Core Offer

  49.  Extended schools engage children, helping them flourish through arts, sports, homework clubs and special interest clubs. Extended schools tailor services according to children's needs, so for younger children especially, there will be time for the child to play.

  50.  The Government has set out a core of extended services that it wants all pupils and their families to be able to access through schools by 2010. An extended school works with the local authority and other partners to offer access to a range of services and activities which support and motivate children and young people to achieve their full potential. For mainstream and special schools this is:

    —  a varied menu of activities, combined with childcare in primary schools

    —  providing community access to ICT, sports and arts facilities, including adult learning

    —  swift and easy access to targeted and specialist services

    —  parenting support.

  51.  Provision will vary according to the needs of each community. Schools must consult and work closely with their community, including parents, pupils and others to shape activities based on their community. However, this core offer ensures that all children and parents have access to a minimum of services and activities.

  52.  Extended schools offer increased opportunities for young people and those working with them to be creative in more informal learning environments where risk taking and imaginative responses can be encouraged. Play should support these main elements of the core offer as a central element of `wraparound' childcare and as part of the varied menu of activities.

  53.  Guidance sets out what schools might offer as part of the varied menu of activities element of the core offer, which include arts and creative activities. It shows what the benefits of delivering extended services can be and how they can best be achieved. The investment of £1 billion in the extended schools programme over the next three years announced in July 2007 will enable all children to access breakfast clubs, out-of-hours tuition and after-school clubs in sport, music and drama.

Working with Creative Partners

  54.   Nurturing Creativity in Young People highlighted the importance of practitioner partnerships in providing relevant enrichment and challenge to schools and increased understanding of the importance of the creative industries.

  55.  As the Roberts report noted, a rich array of partnerships already exists. Within the arts for example over 90% of the Arts Council's Regularly Funded Organisations offer schools education sessions and last year three million school children took part in educational sessions with DCMS sponsored museums and galleries. In addition, through the DCMS funded Renaissance in the Regions programme there were a further 1.2 million facilitated learning contacts between school age children and regional museums and galleries across England in support of the curriculum (on and off site).

  56.  The Government is committed to supporting all schools to develop such arrangements. Through the New Relationship with Schools (NRwS) we have given schools greater certainty and control over their core budgets. This, together with the focus on creativity in the revised curriculum, gives them greater freedom to employ outside specialists. Schools are also able now acquire Trust Schools and this provides another (more formal) mechanism for schools to cement partnerships with external partners.

Creative Partnerships

  57.  One significant contribution in this area is the Creative Partnerships programme (CPs). CPs gives school children aged 5-18 and their teachers the opportunity to explore their creativity by working on sustained projects with creative organisations and individuals. Through its approach, the initiative aims to raise attainment across the curriculum and encourage the take up of creative careers to ensure the UK's position as the world's creative hub. Managed by Arts Council England (ACE) it currently operates in 36 of the most deprived areas of the country.

  58.  The programme has started over 7,000 projects involving over 800,000 student attendances, 70,000 teachers, 2,000 schools (with a further 1,000 receiving CPD) and 6,000 creative individuals and organisations. Recent evaluation reports from Ofsted, British Market Research Bureau, the Burns Owens Partnership, and National Foundation for Educational Research indicate that the programme has had a positive impact on the creative economy and in helping pupils to meet all five of the Every Child Matters outcomes.

  59.  The executive summaries of these reports are attached at Annex B. Funding for the programme at the current levels (£34.7million from DCMS; £2.5million from DCSF) is only guaranteed until 2007-08. A decision on the shape of the programme beyond this point will be taken in light of both Departments' Comprehensive Spending Review Settlements.

Learning Outside the Classroom

  60.  In recognition that partnership working does not have to take place on school premises in 2006 we launched the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Manifesto. Good quality learning outside the classroom adds much value to young people's education, and provides support for many different curriculum areas. When such experiences are well planned and run, they can bring a wide range of benefits such as improved academic achievement, confidence in a widening range of environments, greater engagement and motivation in learning, and enhanced creativity. Creativity and the arts is an important aspect of the Manifesto vision.

  61.  Through the Manifesto, we are forming a broad partnership of organisations that are aiming to give all children and young people high quality learning experiences across the curriculum outside a classroom environment. These might include theatre workshops, or visits to music venues, museums, galleries and the local built environment. The Manifesto is a joint undertaking which anyone, including providers, charities, schools and local authorities can sign up to.


  62.  Analysis arising from the joint DCMS/DTI Creative Economy Programme has identified education and skills as one of the key drivers of the success of the creative industries both over the last 10 years and in the future. While fostering creativity in schools is not solely focussed on producing employees for these industries it is important that all young people have access to the experiences that will provide them an appropriate mix of hard (technology and sector-specific) and soft (communication, teamworking and creative) that they require.

  63.  The Government is committed to working with key stakeholders to develop appropriate mechanisms to do this. This includes the Learning and Skills Council and the Sector Skills Councils that represent the 13 sectors included within the Government's definition of the Creative Industries[2] (Skillset, Skillfast, Creative and Cultural Skills, E-Skills, and Construction Skills).

  64.  While recognising this strong foundation, a Creative Economy Green Paper planned for later in the year will set out emerging proposals on how the current approach might be further improved.


  65.  A key area is the development of Diplomas at Level 2 (equivalent in size to five GCSEs grade A*-C) and Level 3 (equivalent in size to three A-levels). Of the first five lines of learning to be developed, available for first teaching in 2008, three have links to the Creative Industries (Creative and Media, Construction and the Built Environment and IT).

  66.  The Diplomas are an innovative new qualification which will blend general education and applied learning to provide a motivating and challenging programme of study, developing transferable skills that meet employer needs and ensuring clear progression routes into and beyond the Diploma. It is one of the most significant educational reforms; placing employers at the heart of qualification design for the first time.

  67.  It will provide another route into further and higher education or employment for the post-16 age group, alongside general qualifications, the international baccalaureate and work based qualifications.

Information Advice and Guidance

  68.  A key aspect of the Government's 14-19 reforms is the provision of high quality information, advice and guidance (IAG) to young people. As stated in Youth Matters: Next Steps, responsibility for commissioning IAG and the funding that goes with it, is being devolved from the Connexions Service to Local Authorities, working through children's trusts, schools and colleges. This transition is taking place through a phased approach, and the new arrangements will be in place by April 2008.

  69.   World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England announced the creation of a new, universal careers service for adults to provide comprehensive, labour market focused advice on learning, work and careers with linked support on childcare, funding and living costs and signposting to wider services such as health, transport employment law etc. The aim will be to help each individual put together the package that best helps them achieve their goals and ambitions, with a clear focus on sustained employment and progression. The new adult careers service will be fully operational in 2010-11.

Enterprise Education

  70.  The Government has committed £60 million a year from 2005-06 to 2010-11 to support a new focus in secondary schools on young people's enterprise capability—helping young people to be creative and innovative, to take and manage risks, and to do so with determination and drive. Both the definition and the delivery in schools of enterprise education emphasise links to the creativity agenda. We are supporting schools through the Schools' Enterprise Education Network (S'EEN), based on expert "hub" schools, embracing all secondary schools in their regions and offering enterprise training to all staff. We are networking support bodies, such as Education Business Partnerships (EBPs) and Young Enterprise, at local and national level. We aim in the next three-year spending period to support development of close enterprise partnerships between secondary schools, primary schools, and tertiary education.

September 2007




  This report has looked at data from a sample of Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 young people in three groups: those who are known to have attended Creative Partnerships activities; young people who attended a Creative Partnerships school but were not known to have attended CP activities; and all young people nationally.

  A statistical technique called multilevel modelling was used to examine the relationship between attendance at Creative Partnerships activities (or schools) and how well young people performed in subsequent examinations. The following sections summarise the key findings from this analysis.

1.1  Summary of the difference between young people known to have attended Creative Partnerships activities and other young people nationally

    —  There was a statistically significant positive association between average progress in Key Stage 3 of young people who attended Creative Partnerships activities compared to similar young people nationally. However, the effect size was small and cannot be said to be educationally significant.

    —  There was a statistically significant positive association between the progress in mathematics in Key Stage 3 of young people who attended Creative Partnerships activities compared to similar young people nationally. However, the effect size was small and cannot be said to be educationally significant.

    —  There was a statistically significant positive association between the progress in science in Key Stage 3 of young people who attended Creative Partnerships activities compared to similar young people in nationally. However, the effect size was small and cannot be said to be educationally significant.

    —  There was no statistically significant difference between the progress in English at Key Stage 3 of young people who attended Creative Partnerships activities compared to similar young people nationally.

    —  There was no statistically significant difference between the progress of young people in Key Stage 2 or Key Stage 4 who had attended Creative Partnerships activities compared to similar young people nationally.

1.2  Summary of the difference between young people who attended Creative partnerships schools and young people in other schools

    —  There was a statistically significant negative association between average progress, progress in English and progress in science in Key Stage 2 of young people who attended Creative Partnerships schools but were not known to have taken part in Creative Partnerships activities compared to similar young people in other schools. However, the effect size was small and cannot be said to be educationally significant.

    —  There was no statistically significant difference between progress in mathematics in Key Stage 2 of young people who attended Creative Partnerships schools but were not known to have taken part in Creative Partnerships activities compared to similar young people in other schools.

    —  There was no statistically significant difference between the progress of young people in Key Stage 3 or Key Stage 4 who had attended Creative Partnerships schools but were not known to have taken part in Creative Partnerships activities compared to similar young people in other schools.

1.3  Summary of the difference between young people known to have attended Creative Partnerships activities and other young people in the same schools

    —  Young people known to have attended Creative Partnerships activities out performed those in the same schools (but not known to have attended Creative Partnerships activities) to a statistically significant extent at all three Key Stages. This was evident in average scores, English, mathematics and science in Key Stages 2 and 3 and in total points scores, best 8 points scores and science at Key Stage 4 (but not in English or mathematics). However, the effect sizes were small and the observed differences cannot be said to be educationally significant.

1.4  Conclusion

  This analysis has provided information about the sample of young people involved in Creative Partnerships and their academic progress.

  An analysis of the sample characteristics showed that, compared with the national population, the initiative has reached schools serving more disadvantaged communities and with a higher proportion of people from diverse minority ethnic backgrounds. At school level, however, the young people who attended Creative Partnerships activities tended to be less disadvantaged than those in the same schools—in terms of having a statement of special educational needs, eligibility for free school meals (at Key Stages 2 and 3) and prior attainment.

  When compared with national data, the analysis of young people's progress showed no evidence of an impact of attending Creative Partnerships activities at Key Stage 2 or Key Stage 4 and a very small positive impact at Key Stage 3.

  An analysis of within-school data revealed that young people who are known to have attended Creative Partnerships activities outperformed their peers in the same schools to a statistically significant extent at all three key stages. However, given the fact that the differences in progress are small, and that other factors which were not included in the analysis could have influenced performance, it cannot be concluded with any certainty that Creative Partnerships has caused the observed differences.


Key Findings

  1.  Overall, headteachers were very positive when rating the impact of Creative Partnerships on various aspects of school life.

  2.  Headteachers thought that their schools involvement with Creative Partnerships had improved pupils' confidence (92%), communication skills (91%) and motivation (87%).

    —  Ratings of improvement in these skills tended to be higher in schools where more projects had run and where there had been involvement for a longer period of time.

  3.  Headteachers also felt that involvement with Creative Partnerships had improved pupils' enjoyment of school (76%), ability to learn independently (76%) and behaviour overall (57%).

    —  The more projects and the higher the intensity of the involvement, the more likely headteachers were to report an increase/improvement in these attributes.

    —  Headteachers in secondary schools (70%) were significantly more likely than those in primary schools (53%) to report an improvement in the behaviour of pupils who had taken part in Creative Partnerships projects.

  4.  The majority (92%) of headteachers felt that taking part in Creative Partnerships led to an increase in the willingness of teachers to take a creative approach to teaching.

    —  Headteachers from schools in 30% most deprived areas were significantly more likely than those in 70% least deprived areas (94% compared with 88%) to report an increase.

  5.  About three quarters (79%) of headteachers felt that their schools' involvement with Creative Partnerships had led to an increase in attainment.

    —  Headteachers most frequently attributed this to the new found focus of both teachers and pupils on achieving high standards of work.

  6.  90% of headteachers interviewed agreed with the statement: "Creative Partnerships has created projects which are tailored to the individual needs of our school."

    —  Of these 75% agreed "a lot" and 16% agreed "a little"

  7.  Over three quarters (79%) of headteachers agreed with the statement: "being involved with Creative Partnerships has made a real contribution to raising the educational standard in our school"

    —  Of these 37% agreed "a lot" and 32% agreed "a little"

  8.  When asked about the best aspects of being involved with Creative Partnerships headteachers were most likely to say "being involved in more creative projects" (20%) and "working with creative professionals" (16%). This shows that headteachers fundamentally like and support the core idea behind the Creative Partnership programme.

  9.  When asked about the worst aspects of Creative Partnerships the most common response (17%) from headteachers was that they thought there were too much bureaucracy and paperwork involved.

  10.  A high proportion (84%) of headteachers thought that taking part in Creative Partnerships had increased their school's overall commitment to teaching the arts.



  1.  The cultural and creative industries are increasingly seen as key components of a modern, knowledge-based economy. Characterised by flexible, portfolio working, creative and cultural practitioners move between public and private sectors; demonstrating versatility, flexibility and adaptability. The attitudes, skills and characteristics of the industry are in high demand throughout the economy, and are seen as key to fuelling and driving the knowledge economy.

  2.  Creative Partnerships (CP) draws heavily on this labour pool in delivering its programme in schools. By opening up new markets for practitioners and providing them with opportunities for professional development, CP can be seen as an innovative economic intervention, developing local creative economies as well as contributing to educational outcomes.

  3.  Although individual CP offices are given considerable autonomy, there is a discernible model of economic intervention at work. CP offices act as an intermediary between the creative and cultural industries labour market and schools, aggregating and purchasing services on behalf of schools. These intermediaries control projects, budget and delivery, and build a small trusted core of practitioners. Project delivery is typically achieved through agents. CP offices tend to focus upon practitioners in the visual arts, performing arts and film and video.

  4.  The activities and expenditure of CP offices have a significant impact upon individual practitioners and businesses, especially the "core" group around each CP office. Key impacts include increased income, the development of transferable skills, enhanced creative practice, and increased access to new markets.

  5.  The research has also found evidence of wider impact on local and regional creative and cultural economies, through the use of sub-contracting, increased collaboration, the development of networks and increased access to new markets.

  6.  Creative Partnerships has undoubtedly had an impact on creative practitioners. However, CP creates an artificial and temporary marketplace. CP and Arts Council England will need to consider its longer term implications for education sector capacity-building as they take CP ideas and practice into the future.



  1.  The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) set up Creative Partnerships in 2002 to increase opportunities for all children to develop creative skills by enabling children, teachers and creative professionals to work together in both education and cultural buildings such as museums, galleries and theatres. This report evaluates the effectiveness of Creative Partnerships initiatives in six areas of the country established as part of Phase 1, initially for two years.

  2.  Inspectors found good creative approaches and positive attitudes by school leaders, teachers and creative practitioners including, for example, writers, environmental designers, entrepreneurs, artists and performers. Pupils benefited from working with creative practitioners, particularly in terms of their personal and social development. In the schools sampled, involvement in the initiatives helped pupils to develop good personal and social skills. Some of the attributes of creative people were also developed: an ability to improvise, take risks and collaborate with others. However, pupils were often unclear about how to apply these qualities independently to develop original ideas and outcomes.

  3.  The most successful programmes were well led and had clear aims. However, where school aims were imprecise and insufficient thought had been given to the needs of groups of pupils, programmes were less successful.

  4.  Often the outcomes of programmes could be seen in changed attitudes and behaviours, and the demonstration of creative approaches to work. This represents a significant achievement; it included teachers who previously lacked belief in their own creativity and ability to inspire creativity in others, and pupils who were previously unconvinced by approaches to learning or the value of education.

  5.  The most effective programmes had a real purpose that motivated teachers and pupils, regardless of their prior experience. For many pupils, the high quality of the experience was directly related to the unpredictable approaches taken by creative practitioners working with teachers and the different relationships that developed. Pupils were particularly inspired by opportunities to work directly in the creative industries. Such involvement gave them high aspirations for the future, informed by a clear understanding of the relevant skills.

  6.  Programmes were less effective than they might have been because of uncertainty about pupils' starting points, and because activity that was insufficiently demanding of pupils' creativity went unchallenged. Nevertheless, a basis for further creative development had been established, and in several schools this stimulated improvement in pupils' key skills.


    —  Most Creative Partnerships programmes were effective in developing in pupils some attributes of creative people: an ability to improvise, take risks, show resilience, and collaborate with others. However, pupils were often unclear about how they could apply these attributes independently to develop original ideas and outcomes.

    —  Good personal and social skills were developed by most pupils involved in Creative Partnerships programmes; these included effective collaboration between pupils and maturity in their relationships with adults.

    —  For a small but significant number of pupils a Creative Partnerships programme represented a fresh start. In particular, opportunities to work directly in the creative industries motivated pupils and inspired high aspirations for the future.

    —  Schools offered evidence of improvement in achievement in areas such as literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT) which they associated with pupils' enjoyment in learning through Creative Partnerships programmes and their aim to develop thinking skills.

    —  Creative practitioners were very well trained and well matched to school priorities and needs. Most teachers gained an understanding about teaching that promoted pupils' creativity and creative teaching by learning alongside pupils.

    —  Programmes promoted good collaborative planning between subject areas in the majority of primary and secondary schools. However, in planning the programmes, pupils' starting points were insufficiently identified and sometimes in arts subjects creativity was assumed when it was not necessarily evident.

    —  Reasons for the selection of particular schools and individual pupils were unclear. This contributed to inadequate tracking of pupils' progress, particularly regarding their creative development or ability to transfer the skills learned in Creative Partnerships programmes to other aspects of their work.

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