Changing Lives: the social impact of participation in culture and sport: Government Response to the Committee's Eleventh Report

Ninth Special Report

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee published its Eleventh Report of Session 2017–19, Changing Lives: the social impact of participation in culture and sport on 14 May 2019. The Government’s response was received on 23 July 2019 and is appended to this report.


The DCMS Select committee’s enquiry into the social impact of participation in sport and culture resulted in a series of recommendations and conclusions, each of which is addressed below. These responses have been developed with input from government departments including the Department for Health and Social Care, Department for Education, the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation service. DCMS will continue to work closely with departments across Whitehall to ensure that absolutely everyone is able to benefit from participation in sport and culture.

Breaking the cycle of crime

The Committee’s visit to the Brandon Estate showed that communities often have a good understanding of the challenges they face, and the positive role that sport and culture can play in changing the life chances of young people. How then can we fund initiatives from the cash rich world of elite sport to support these organisations? The Government should consider how funding can be made available to community initiatives and organisations to create targeted interventions to help young people who are at risk of becoming involved in or the victims of criminal activity. And experienced groups such as Clinks, a membership body for voluntary organisations in the criminal justice sector, might be well-placed to administer such a funding scheme, for instance. (Paragraph 17)

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, published in April 2018, places a greater emphasis on early intervention and prevention in order to tackle the root causes of serious violence, and provide young people with the skills and resilience to lead productive lives free from crime. The Early Intervention Youth Fund, which was part of a package of measures to support young people in the strategy, has awarded £22million to 40 projects across England and Wales, including sports themed projects, such as a mobile boxing gym and sports activities delivered through networks of local organisations. The anti-knife crime Community Fund, also part of the strategy, provided £1.5 million in 2018/19 to support 68 projects, including sports-based diversionary activities. The £1.5 million Community Fund will continue to be delivered for a third year, in 2019/20, which will go towards small community projects to reduce knife crime.

Building on the Serious Violence Strategy, in October, the Home Secretary announced the £200 million Youth Endowment Fund, which will be delivered over the next 10 years, targeting those children most at risk of becoming involved in serious violence, and focusing on early intervention and prevention.

The fund will support programmes and community partnerships working with children at risk of being drawn into crime and violence. It is run independently by the charity Impetus, working in partnership with the Early Intervention Foundation and the Social Investment Business across England and Wales. The first funding round is open for applications from 28 May until 23 July, with funds going out to successful applicants in October 2019.

On 13 March the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Spring Statement that there will be £100 million further funding in 2019/20 to tackle serious violence, including £80m of new funding from the Treasury. A third of the funding, £35m, will support the setting-up of Violence Reduction Units (VRUs). This will bring together a range of agencies to develop a multi-agency approach in preventing serious violence altogether. VRUs will ensure there is effective planning and collaboration to support a longer-term approach to preventing violence, including funding early intervention and prevention initiatives in order to address local need.

Following the Prime Minister’s Serious Youth Violence summit in April this year, government has also been working with the Premier League, Sport England, National Governing Bodies and other organisations in the sport and physical activity sector to explore what more can be done to use sport and physical activity to tackle serious violence, including knife crime.

Using Sport England insight and Home Office hot spot data, action will be targeted at the areas that need it most. Building on the practice of working with locally trusted organisations, funding decisions have been made to 47 projects across potential hotspot areas. This equates to an initial total investment of just under £400,000. Further announcements on additional projects are currently pending and will be made shortly. Projects will offer a range of multi sports provision, delivered through informal and formal settings, including mentoring and coaching sessions targeting young people/young adults throughout the day and in the evening.

The delay in publishing the independent review of sport in youth and adult prisons demonstrates the precarious political capital invested in sport and criminal justice. The life-changing opportunities offered by sport like those afforded to John McAvoy cannot be left to chance. There is a suspicion that Government is influenced still by wariness of press headlines suggesting that use of sport in the justice system is inappropriate. The Government must rebut robustly these suggestions. The Ministry of Justice should establish permanent cross-government structures to focus action on sport and criminal justice, and add this to the list of ministerial responsibilities in the Department. (Paragraph 34)

While we would not agree with the Committee’s analysis that the Government has been reluctant to promote the role of sport in Justice System, we do accept that it has a much greater role to play and is an important approach in reducing offending for nearly all groups, particularly, but not exclusively, young men.

Following the success of the existing Arts Forum, the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service (HMPPS) set up a Sports Forum in early 2019. This is jointly chaired by HMPPS and the National Alliance for Sports in the Desistance of Crime; the umbrella group for the voluntary sector.

The purpose of the Forum is to identify how the development of sport can be supported strategically, and to build effective partnerships between other Government departments and leading organisations in the sector, such as the larger grant making bodies. Members of the forum include, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Youth Justice Board, Public Health England, Home Office, CommonWealth Secretariat, Sport England and Comic Relief. The forum is in its early stages and we will keep its work under review.

During 2019, the Government has committed to monitor progress on the recommendations made in Professor Meek’s report. This work should involve both the MoJ and DCMS and also be subject to independent scrutiny. It is regrettable that coverage of this wide-ranging review was overshadowed by press leaks about one aspect—the potential role of boxing and martial arts in prisons. Rather than rejecting the suggestion out of hand, the review should also include a comprehensive evaluation of their place among other sports helping rehabilitation and stopping re-offending, both within the prison estate and in the community. (Paragraph 35)

The government accepted 11 of 12 of the recommendations in Professor Meek’s report and are making progress to achieve each one. However, we are clear that the priority when reviewing prison policy must be the safety and security of staff, participants in sports programmes and other prisoners.

Current policy prohibits the delivery of combat sports in custody such as boxing, boxercise, martial arts or any similar activity. We accept that there are some strong arguments about the respect and discipline that combat sports can instil, and how it can be a constructive outlet for aggression, but we also have to consider the frequency with which people use violence on other prisoners or staff in custodial settings.

At present, we do not feel it is necessary, or conducive to our duty of care, to have a strand of activity that can be linked to fighting and fighting skills, when we are trying to reduce violence. We acknowledge there is some evidence as to the efficacy of these programmes in the community, but we do not believe there is yet a strong enough case that combat sports have such a better success rate at engaging prisoners or leading to rehabilitative outcomes than other sports programmes as to justify this potential risk of harm. We will, however, continue to monitor the evidence in this field.

The government strongly believes in the rehabilitative power of sport. In custody, all sports have consistently high levels of appeal and engagement relative to other interventions, and participation in sport can help tackle and alleviate many of the root causes of offending behaviour by improving physical and mental health, enhancing social and behavioural skills and providing a constructive outlet and positive identity.

We believe these benefits can be found across all sports to varying degrees, and are not exclusive to combat sports. Team sports such as football and rugby, for example, naturally teach important values of teamwork and respect for others, whereas individual sports such as indoor rowing and running instil positive personal motivation, discipline and ambition.

That is why we are taking a strategic approach to our sports provision in custody, developing new partnerships and improving our ability on the ground to capitalise on new opportunities to ensure a wide range of sports activities, and their attendant benefits, are available to the offenders in our care.

Some examples of national initiatives include:

The Twinning Project—Launched on 31 October 2018 by HMPPS and David Dein MBE. 42 Premier League and EFL Football Club are now signed to the scheme. This delivery will vary depending on the needs of the prison and club but will range from professional coaching qualifications, refereeing and employability skills. There are also plans to build on the successes of the Saracens ‘Get Onside’ Rugby Union course extend this further into other sports Premiership Rugby Union Clubs and into Rugby League. HMPPS are gathering data which will help the quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation by Loughborough University Department of Criminology and Oxford University Department of Anthropology.

Parkrun—HMPPS and Sport England have been working together to review the provision of sport in custody to match the activities available in the community. The exemplar in this approach is Parkrun. With the support of Sport England and in partnership with Chrissie Wellington Head of Health and Wellbeing, HMPPS now have Parkruns in 15% of the prisons in England and Wales which mirror Parkruns in the community. In addition to running or walking 5k every Saturday morning the prison model allows participants to volunteer as marshals, timekeepers etc and critically, allows them to exercise alongside guest parkrunners who are members of the public who take part in local Parkruns in the community. This has proved invaluable as by establishing strong community links we are having successes in participation in custodial Parkruns onto community ones.

‘Boats not Bars’ is an innovative new programme which is being piloted at HMYOI Feltham using professional rowing coaches and PE staff and linking to community rowing clubs to deliver powerful programmes to prisoners. This is due to be rolled out more widely in the estate and will be supported by regional PE managers to develop more widely.

All of these will be subject to evaluation by independent academics and HMPPS psychologists to assess the effectiveness of these programmes in changing behaviours and helping to identify barriers to participation so that engagement with sports based programmes can be developed further.

Violent incidents in prisons appear to be at an all-time high and the report’s recommendations reflect the need to consider alternative violence reduction strategies. Given the positive impact of boxing and martial arts programmes in our communities, as reflected in the evidence we have received, prison governors should be given the option of using similar approaches in their establishments, if they so wish. The review should also identify the measures needed to more systematically harness the significant contribution that sporting clubs are making to reducing reoffending in their communities. It is vital, in particular, that MoJ and HM Prison and Probation Service provides the leadership to make wide-ranging and high quality sports and physical education provision a reality—including effective liaison with local clubs and national initiatives—with a senior prison manager taking responsibility at each establishment. (Paragraph 36)

HMPPS have introduced a number of measures to enhance the leadership and prominence of sports in custody.

These include increasing the number of Regional PE Managers (RPEMs) to 3 and all will be in post as of 1 July 2019. There has been a review of the organisation, including of regional operation and reporting structures to ensure all prisons have a designated point of contact and that these RPEMs will be responsible for effective liaison on national initiatives.

An Acting Head of PE has been put in place to provide the leadership, stakeholder engagement and communication at a national level to enable high quality sports and PE provision.

Further, HMPPS are developing a new job role of an on-site PE Custodial Manager on which they are currently consulting unions. Governors will have discretion to implement the role depending on the needs of the establishment and, once embedded, the PE Custodial Manager will become the prime link with local and national sports initiatives.

In January 2019, HM Prison and Probation Service updated its ‘Strategic Review of Physical Education in Prisons’. Welcome as this was, this replicates a number of Professor Meek’s recommendations, without acknowledging the ‘A Sporting Chance’ report at all. This is a missed opportunity to demonstrate joined-up working and underlines the importance of independent scrutiny to monitor substantive progress in the prison establishment. (Paragraph 37)

As outlined above, HMPPS have developed new strategic forums for engagement and partnership-working across the sector and the monitoring of progress.

HMPPS’ internal review of sports took place and completed in February 2018. The update referenced in January 2019 did not make any changes to the recommendations made in the first iteration.

The Ministry of Justice should work with the Home Office, DCMS, Department of Health and DfE to establish the best way to create a nationwide equivalent to the Mayor of London’s map of activities for young people, which could help them to find sporting development opportunities and positive role models. (Paragraph 38)

As referenced above, government departments are working together to explore the options for scaling-up successful sport and physical activity interventions to tackle knife crime and serious violence. Hotspots data has been used to map existing provision and to consider options for how existing interventions could be expanded in specific priority areas.

Government are currently developing a longer term approach which identifies existing effective practice in terms of interventions, research and understanding. Representatives from the Sport for Development sector, National Governing Bodies, Active Partnerships and members of the voluntary and community sector are involved in this work, which also includes developing opportunities for young people to work with role models.

The DCMS has recognised the role of the arts in reducing reoffending, but the Department’s activity in this area is far less developed than the work championing the role of sport in tackling criminality. This is despite the existence of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance, an umbrella organisation representing a large number of groups operating in this sphere. We recommend the DCMS and MoJ jointly commission a review of arts in the prison estate, along a similar model to Professor Meek’s review of sport in youth and adult prisons discussed in Chapter 2. (Paragraph 47)

The Government’s view is that the role of the arts has been recognised and actively celebrated. Through the grant that supports the development of the voluntary sector’s capacity, funding for the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance (NCJAA) has been in place for over a decade, and sustained during a period of budget cuts. Because of the work this investment has supported, we feel that Arts has a relatively strong evidence base, and a great deal of the familiarity and support it needs to further develop.

Where we do agree with the Committee is that access to arts across the prison estate, and for those under community supervision, is not as consistent as it should be. The Government is therefore proposing to undertake a stocktake exercise, with the NCJAA and other leading arts organisations working in this arena, to establish what the current barriers are that may be preventing its wider, routine use and what actions may be necessary to increase access. This work will be conducted with the existing Arts Forum, which includes representation from the NCJAA, MoJ, DCMS, Arts Council England and other relevant organisations.

The DCMS and Arts Council England should also work with cultural organisations, including National Portfolio organisations to collate and develop the evidence base for the role that the arts can play in behaviour change, reducing reoffending and rehabilitating offenders. (Paragraph 48)

In their November 2018 publication, Arts and culture in health and wellbeing and in the Criminal Justice System, Arts Council England provided an overview and assessment of the current evidence base for the role that arts and culture can play in behaviour change in the context of criminal justice, looking particularly at desistance. Research, best practice and policy are increasingly being brought together across the sector, in particular through the work of the Arts Forum of which DCMS is a member. We are also happy to note that the NCJAA, an Arts Council England Sector Support Organisation, has received a grant through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to progress a large-scale research project and coordinated programme of activity that will help further understand how and in what way arts interventions can contribute to the lives of those in contact with the criminal justice system and the wider community. DCMS will support this research through the Arts Forum and continue to work with stakeholders such as ACE and the NCJAA to collate the evidence base in this area.

The NCJAA also receives some financial support through the Clinks grant which is provided by HMPPS. In addition, HMPPS manages a grants programme to encourage innovation and a strategic grant programme including for example the Listener Scheme (Samaritans), the Koestler Trust, Prison Radio and Prisoners Abroad.

Evidence from the Justice Data Lab and the NCJAA evidence library, shows that working with offenders in arts-based activities contributes to preventing re-offending and improving wellbeing for offender learners with a range of complex needs. In over 200 studies the voluntary community sector has the largest proportion of results showing a statistically significant decrease in reoffending.

Creating opportunities through education

We are deeply concerned by the evidence we received around the downgrading of arts subjects in schools, with all the consequent implications for children’s development, wellbeing, experiences, careers and, ultimately, life chances. It is not enough for the DCMS and DfE to simply expect schools to provide a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’: they need to take action to ensure that this is actually happening. The Government has not shied away from a prescriptive approach to other facets of education policy, for example specifying which times tables primary school children need to learn. (Paragraph 74)

We are spending almost £500 million of funding between 2016–20 for a range of music and arts education programmes that are designed to improve access to the arts for all children, regardless of their background, and to develop talent across the country.

This includes £300 million for music education hubs, almost £120 million for the Music and Dance Scheme—which allows exceptionally talented children to attend specialist music and dance institutions—and over £16 million for cultural education programmes including Saturday Art and Design Clubs, the National Youth Dance Company and the BFI’s Film Academy programme.

On 11 January 2019 DfE announced an additional £1.33 million funding for music education hubs and that an independent panel would be working with government to create a model music curriculum.

The department has also recently announced that it plans to refresh The National Plan for Music Education in 2020 which will aim to provide a flexible template for high quality music provision throughout a pupil’s education.

DfE continues to support the Museums and Schools programme delivered by the Arts Council, helping local museums partnerships to encourage more children, particularly in disadvantaged areas, to take part in curriculum-linked education programmes.

Ofsted’s new inspection arrangements, which will be introduced in September, place a renewed focus on schools ensuring all pupils receiving a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum, as exemplified by the national curriculum.

There is also evidence from Wales that, with pressure on schools budgets, it is not just in England that down grading of arts subjects in schools has occurred and long established support for music services has declined in recent years. (Paragraph 75)

Education is a devolved policy area, and therefore it would be inappropriate for DCMS to comment.

This is the area in our broad-ranging inquiry where there was the largest gap between government’s policy intentions and statements and the lived experience of organisations submitting evidence. This gap urgently needs to be closed, including through a clear explanation from the DfE and the DCMS of the figures on cultural education that they hold, and why these seem to differ from those used by cultural organisations concerned about arts education. The DfE should also set out how schools can find out about inspirational approaches such as that taken by Feversham Primary Academy. (Paragraph 76)

The percentage of time spent teaching the arts subjects in secondary schools has remained broadly stable between 2010–17;

The proportion of young people in state maintained schools in England taking at least one arts GCSE since 2010 has fluctuated across years, but has remained broadly stable. Early entry data from Ofqual suggest that the proportion of pupils taking GCSE Art and Design has increased this year.

Although the proportion of pupils taking Arts A levels have declined, these subjects, including music, dance and drama have relatively small cohorts where a small change in the number of entries can have a large impact on the percentage change.

The Education Minister told us that Ofsted will be ‘strengthening’ its inspection regime during 2019. The DfE and DCMS should work alongside Ofsted to design an inspection regime for primary and secondary schools that measures the volume of cultural education; the integration of cultural education with other areas of the curriculum; and the universality of schools’ cultural offers in ensuring that all children have access to the benefits that cultural participation can bring. The DfE should make sure that case studies sharing the experiences and results of schools like Feversham are readily available for other headteachers and leaders in education. (Paragraph 77)

Ofsted recently published its new framework and inspection handbooks. This follows an extensive consultation process, which attracted 15,000 responses. The new arrangements will be introduced in September.

At the centre of the new inspections will be a renewed focus on ensuring that all pupils benefit from a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum.

As part of its section 5 school inspections, Ofsted is required to consider pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC). The new school inspection handbook sets out areas considered under each of these aspects. In relation to cultural development this includes: an understanding and appreciation of cultural influences; the ability to recognise and value the things we share in common across cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities; interest in exploring and showing respect for different faiths and celebrating cultural diversity; knowledge of Britain’s parliamentary system and its place in shaping our history and values; and pupils’ willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities.

School’s support for pupils’ SMSC development is particularly relevant to the new graded judgement on pupils’ personal development. Inspectors will expect a good school to be enhancing pupils’ SMSC development; nurturing pupils’ ability to be confident, resilient and independent; preparing them for life in modern Britain; and supporting them to become responsible, respectful and active citizens who contribute positively to society.

Ofsted’s new inspection framework will also give greater recognition to schools’ work to support the personal development of pupils, such as the opportunities they have to learn about eating healthily and maintaining an active lifestyle. Inspectors will expect to see schools offering children a broad, balanced education, including opportunities to be active during the school day and through extra-curricular activities.

The Minister for School Standards told us he wanted to see an increase in the number of pupils taking arts subjects at GCSE and A Level. The best way to ensure that this happens is to add these subjects to the EBacc, as recommended in our recent Live Music Inquiry and by our predecessor committee in 2013 in its Supporting the Creative Economy inquiry. (Paragraph 78)

Art & design and music are compulsory in the National Curriculum from the age of 5 up to 14. The national curriculum does not apply in academies, but all state-funded schools have to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. At key stage 4 all pupils in maintained schools have an entitlement to study an arts GCSE if they wish.

The Government wants to ensure that all students have the opportunity to study arts subjects at A level if they wish to do so, regardless of their background or geographic location.

It is up to individual schools and colleges to decide which A level courses to offer, and as part of that they may wish to work together with other providers in the area to combine resources and maximise their curricula. Arts subjects are not limited to the classroom. Many schools will provide extra-curricular arts activities for their pupils: for example choirs, orchestras, dance clubs, drama groups and film clubs.

The subjects that make up the EBacc are based on those which best equip pupils for further study or the workplace, and are considered essential for many degrees. They provide a sound basis for a variety of careers beyond the age of 16. In 2018, on average, pupils in state-funded schools entered eight GCSEs and equivalent qualifications, rising to nine for pupils with high prior attainment.

The EBacc does not mean that pupils can no longer take GCSEs in arts subjects. It was specifically designed to be limited in size, consisting of five subject areas: English, maths, science, history or geography, and languages. This enables pupils to have the opportunity to continue to study other important subjects such as music and art & design at GCSE.

We reiterate the conclusions from our Live Music Report in respect of music education, in schools and through Music Hubs, and look forward to the Government’s response.1 We remain deeply concerned about the gap between the Government’s reassuring rhetoric and the evidence presented to us of the decline in music provision in state schools, for which the Ebacc is blamed and which affects students from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds disproportionately. We commend, therefore, the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Music Education in pursuing these issues further and would welcome sight of the Government’s response to each of the 18 recommendations in its recent report ‘Music Education: State of the Nation’.

The Government welcomes the Committee’s report on Live Music, to which a response has now been sent.

We agree with the All Party Parliamentary Group’s report on the importance of music, and that all children should be able to receive a high-quality music education. We also note the acknowledgement of government funded initiatives supporting music provision for disadvantaged groups of children and young people. We have provided £2m to In Harmony, to inspire and transform the lives of children in six areas in England through community-based orchestral music-making in areas of exceptional deprivation through high-quality musical education. We will consider some of the recommendations made in the APPG report in our refresh of the National Plan for Music Education. This includes the recommendation that the National Plan for Music Education provides clarity on the roles and responsibilities of schools and hubs for delivering a high quality music education for all pupils.

However we do not agree with the report’s statements that Government policy, particularly around accountability measures like the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), have had a negative impact on music education in schools in England. As we have stated above, the subjects that make up the EBacc are based on those which best equip pupils for the future and are considered essential for many degrees. English, mathematics, science, history or geography and languages provide a core that is a sound basis for a variety of study and careers beyond the age of 16. The EBacc was designed to allow space in the timetable, beyond this core, for pupils to study other subjects, including music. Looking over time, the proportion of pupils taking Music GCSEs has remained relatively stable (at 6% to 7% since 2010) whilst primary schools responding to the Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey indicated that they tend to allocate a similar amount of time to teaching music as they do to other important subjects such as history and geography. Additionally, the percentage of time spent teaching music in secondary schools has remained broadly stable.

Whilst high rates of childhood obesity, coupled with low levels of physical activity, are rightly the policy driver for sport in education, it is important for the DCMS to champion the wider benefits including tackling social exclusion, supporting employability and increasing educational attainment. (Paragraph 92)

Physical activity and sport are a key part of our strategy ‘Childhood obesity: a plan for action’, published in 2016, and have an important role in maintaining and improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Through the plan we committed to invest revenue from the soft drinks industry levy in child health and physical activity, including doubling the primary PE and sport premium to £320 million a year from the 2017–18 academic year and £100 million in 2018–19 for the healthy pupils capital fund. Through the second chapter of our plan, published in 2018, we are promoting a national ambition for every primary school to adopt an active mile initiative.

We agree that sport and physical activity can enrich young people’s lives, and its role in helping young people to develop skills such as confidence, self-belief, dedication and resilience is central to the new School Sport and Activity Action Plan. The plan sets out that in an increasingly digital world, sport plays a key role in giving children and young people opportunities for face-to-face engagement with their peers in their own and other communities, which is vital in developing socially as well as tackling loneliness and social isolation. We also include actions to encourage volunteering through sport, which can help young people to give back and play a role in their communities.

While we welcome the forthcoming school sport and activity action plan, the Government must ensure that this does not simply perpetuate existing fragmentation between school and out of school sport. The DCMS and DfE should also ensure the plan emphasises the wider benefits of sport to children and young people, and highlights best practice evidence. (Paragraph 93)

The Department for Education, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Department for Health and Social Care have committed to continuing collaboration on developing and delivering the new School Sport and Activity Action Plan which was published on Monday 15 July and can be found at the following link: We are clear on the need to encourage children to develop a healthy relationship with exercise and build a habit of daily physical activity that will benefit them throughout their lives.

This collaborative approach reflects the fact that we cannot expect any single group or organisation—schools, parents, sports clubs or activity providers—to shoulder the responsibility for improving access to sport and activity on their own. Schools play an important role in young people’s lives, and it is important that they are supported to provide high quality, modern PE lessons that engage young people as well as opportunities for them to be active throughout the school day. We must ensure that teachers have the knowledge and skills they need to teach PE effectively. Ofsted’s new inspection framework reinforces the need for children to have access to opportunities to be active during the school day and through extra-curricular activities.

Government will work with Sport England to develop the actions further in consultation with sector experts such as the Youth Sport Trust, Active Partnerships, Association for Physical Education, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, ukactive and leading sport organisations (including National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs)), to ensure that the plan is focused on the right areas and builds the strongest possible case for a new, joined-up approach to sport and physical activity.

This must be supported by high quality clubs, competitions and activities outside school, which are easy to find and access. And the role of parents is crucial in encouraging and supporting children to develop healthy habits that will benefit them throughout their lives. Sport England is investing over £194 million (2016–21) of government and National Lottery funding into projects focused on improving children’s capability and enjoyment of physical activity, including projects which directly support schools and parents to help young people get and stay active

An updated further version of this plan will be published later in the year, after the broader government spending review.

The Government should commit to extend funding for the Primary PE and Sport Premium beyond 2020. The DCMS and DfE should work with Ofsted to ensure that their new inspection framework assesses how this money is used to further the widest social impact that sport can have on children, as well as contributing to tackling childhood obesity. (Paragraph 94)

Improving health and wellbeing

The full health impacts of cultural programmes are far from being reached. The DCMS should take the opportunity of the expansion of social prescribing to work with the Department of Health and Social Care to test how far prescription of arts and sports interventions can be mainstreamed in the 23 areas; to develop closer links between commissioning decisions and arts and sports programmes and organisations; and to assess how self-reported wellbeing can be better integrated into health commissioning processes. At present, there appears to be little collection of evidence by Government of the cumulative benefit of cultural programmes, despite the enthusiasm of the organisations who have seen huge benefits. (Paragraph 106)

DCMS sit on the Social Prescribing Taskforce and is committed to working with DHSC and NHS England to highlight the role of arts and sports as they continue to develop their plans for increasing access to social prescribing.

We agree that there is a wealth of evidence about the benefit of culture in wellbeing. We welcome the reports like Creative Health, which provide key evidence as to the benefits of cultural programmes. In November last year, Arts Council England also published their report: Arts and Culture in Health and Wellbeing and in the Criminal Justice System, A Summary of Evidence Report, which highlighted the rapid growth of research and programming in arts and health work.

DCMS has also been involved with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing since its inception, working with arm’s length bodies and other government departments to examine the impacts of culture and sport on well-being. Previous work has examined music, dance and visual arts with adults, young people and people with mental health conditions respectively and the production of a methods guide and tools to support organisations in measuring wellbeing. Public Health England has supported this work, including their commissioning of the Arts, Health and Wellbeing Evaluation Framework. Currently DCMS is involved in a number of workstrands with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, a key one being around loneliness which is known to have a detrimental impact on an individual’s health. DCMS is working with the centre on conceptualising loneliness and looking at the interventions that have, in countering loneliness, enhanced wellbeing through community participation in culture and sport.

Sport England and Public Health England’s Moving Healthcare Professionals programme supports healthcare professionals to promote physical activity to their patients. The programme provides peer led training and practical resources to support healthcare professionals implement the NICE guidance on physical activity, and guidance for treatment of a breadth of conditions that recommend physical activity. Sport England are keen to extend this programme and change the culture of the NHS, through a wide range of methods (including training) so healthcare professionals raise physical activity and more people can experience the health benefits of physical activity.

The Arts Council also continue to invest in projects, programmes and organisations that produce work that uses arts and cultural interventions to impact health and wellbeing. In 2017/18, the Arts Council spent around £7.33 million on 326 projects classified as including health and wellbeing. In their most recent National Portfolio, they are spending £12.94 million a year on 54 organisations identified as having a significant health and wellbeing focus, while further National Portfolio Organisations are understood to undertake a portion of work in this area. Arts Council also point to their strategic programmes that benefit the case for health and the arts, with relevance across all the work they do to invest in arts and culture. These have made possible programmes like Celebrating Age, Arts and Care Homes and Creative People and Places. The Arts Council now also fund the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance as a national sector support organisation, alongside a number of regional infrastructure organisations (eg London Arts and Health Forum, Arts and Health South West), to better link healthcare and cultural partners locally, regionally and nationally.

In addition, DHSC awarded grants to 23 social prescribing schemes through the Health and Wellbeing Fund in 2018. In opening the fund to applications, the DHSC developed clearly defined criteria applicants would meet in order to be considered for funding including plans for measuring the impact of the scheme, including the impact on the wider health service. All 23 selected schemes include a ‘connector role, who works with service users to jointly develop a care plan that meets their needs, connecting them with relevant local services based in the community. The effectiveness of the funded schemes is being independently evaluated. Whilst this not a fund specifically for arts and sports, some of the 23 social prescribing schemes supported by the £4.5 million fund do have an arts or sports focus. Three examples are:

What is available in each area ultimately depends on local interests and activities, as well as the voluntary sector groups in those areas and services they wish to provide. As such the types of social prescribing activities available will vary across the country.

NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are responsible for commissioning the vast majority of service in the NHS. Local CCGs are best placed to design and deliver services that best meet the needs of local populations; commissioning in line with the best available evidence and delivering value for money. The assessment and achievement of agreed outcomes are usually a key part of any service contract, with wellbeing measures included as appropriate.

The NHS Long Term Plan announced £4.5 billion for primary and community care to fund expanded community multidisciplinary teams aligned with new primary care networks. This will support the recruitment of over 1,000 trained social prescribing link workers—in place by the end of 2020/21 rising further by 2023/24, with the aim that over 900,000 people are able to be referred to social prescribing schemes by then. To measure the impact and build the evidence base, NHS England has developed a Common Outcomes Framework for social prescribing to enable consistent measurement of the impact on: the person; the health and care system; and on voluntary sector organisations receiving referrals.

The DCMS and DHSC should ensure that NHS England’s forthcoming outcomes framework and guidance on social prescribing includes information about the power of arts and sporting interventions to improve both physical and mental health, and work to extend the availability of cultural benefits to more people affected by such conditions. The DCMS should track the evidence base on cost effectiveness that develops as a result of the use of this guidance. (Paragraph 107)

DHSC is using the Health and Wellbeing Fund projects to add to the evidence base for social prescribing and has commissioned an independent evaluation of the Health and Wellbeing Programme that will assess the effectiveness of the social prescribing schemes. The evaluator has worked with NHS England to develop a Common Outcomes Framework for social prescribing to enable consistent measurement of the impact on: the person; the health and care system; and on voluntary sector organisations receiving referrals. The Framework will enable local social prescribing connector schemes across the country to capture core impact data, in order to create a consistent evidence base, support the business case and build a national picture on the impact of social prescribing.

To complement the outcomes outlined in the framework and encourage a consistent approach, NHS England has suggested all social prescribing connector schemes need to measure a range of additional outputs, including the nature of the community groups people are referred to, and what kind of support they provide. More information on the Common Outcomes Framework is available in the social prescribing summary guide at the following link:

As above, DCMS are working in collaboration with DHSC and NHSE to ensure there is a role for arts, culture and sport as their plans for social prescribing develop.

We reiterate our earlier recommendation about the importance of Government support for social prescribing. We also recommend that DCMS approach sporting organisations to encourage their participation in social prescribing schemes, which can go beyond physical health benefits to include social impacts such as tackling loneliness. (Paragraph 117)

The arts and sports sectors are already playing an important role in social prescribing across the country and will continue to be involved as work on expanding these schemes progresses. As above, DCMS is committed to working closely with DHSC and NHSE to highlight the role of arts and sport in social prescribing. We are pleased to see the committee’s recognition of the broad range of benefits that being physically active and engaged in culture can have, from improved physical and mental health to opportunities for developing social connections. This was highlighted in Sporting Future and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism’s speech at the Creative Health Conference.

The Government is committed to ensuring everyone who could benefit from social prescribing can access it by 2023, as set out in the Loneliness Strategy, published on 15 October 2018. The NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January 2019, announced £4.5 billion for primary and community care to fund expanded community multidisciplinary teams aligned with new primary care networks (PCNs). This will support the recruitment of over 1,000 trained social prescribing link workers—in place by the end of 2020/21 rising further by 2023/24, with the aim that over 900,000 people are able to be referred to social prescribing schemes by then

The Five-Year Framework for GP Contract Reform, published on 31 January 2019, gave clarity on the funding of link workers. NHS England will reimburse PCNs 100% of the actual on-going salary costs for social prescribing link workers, up to the relevant maximum amounts as set out in the contract reform guidance Every PCN of at least 30,000 population will be able to claim for one whole time equivalent (WTE) link worker. Beyond 100,000 network size, the 2019/20 reimbursement scheme doubles to two social prescribers; with a further WTE for every additional 50,000 network population size. The Framework for contract reform can be found at the following link.

Regenerating communities

We heard about the success stories that City of Culture initiatives can generate, including additional funding from the DCMS, Arts Council England and other sources. But these initiatives shouldn’t just be limited to forward-thinking local authorities and communities. (Paragraph 126)

Arts Council England’s ‘Creative People and Places’ programme focuses on parts of the country where involvement in arts and culture is significantly below the national average. Creative People and Places currently funds 21 projects to transform access to arts and culture. In January 2019, Creative People and Places was extended so that 79 new places will be eligible to apply for £24m of funding between 2019–2024, and six existing projects will be granted further funding totalling £3m.

The bidding process for UK City of Culture is creating real benefits for the communities that take part, and not just for the winning entries. The Government should consider how towns and more rural communities can be incentivised to work together to develop strategies for culturally led regeneration. We welcome the recent suggestion of a “Town of Culture” award to extend to towns the proven concept of a cultural benefit to communities of artistic activity. (Paragraph 127)

We understand the power that arts and culture has in towns and communities, which is why towns can enter the UK City of Culture competition.

Arts Council England and the Centre for Towns are currently conducting a research project into cultural engagement in towns, called ‘Creative Towns’. The findings will help to build the evidence base on culture in towns.

DCMS is currently delivering the Cultural Development Fund (CDF), a £20m fund to support culture and creative-led growth. Five projects are being funded in towns and cities across England: in Grimsby, Wakefield, Worcester, Plymouth and the Thames Estuary. The investment is expected to create over 1000 jobs, train 3000 people, support over 700 businesses and leverage £17.5m of additional public/private investment into the five places.

Local Enterprise Partnerships should be required to identify opportunities for cultural and creative industries led regeneration as part of their local growth strategies. (Paragraph 128)

Local Industrial Strategies (LIS) are locally-led and agreed with Government. It is important that this type of activity is driven from the grassroots up to ensure it is compatible with an area’s regional and local priorities and needs. Government is then ready to engage accordingly and potentially provide appropriate support. For example, DCMS has developed a Connected Growth Manual for local places to help Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) design strategies and interventions to support the cultural and creative sectors—amongst others—as part of LISs.

The forerunner LISs have already demonstrated the appetite that LEPs have for promoting the growth of local cultural and creative industries. For example, Greater Manchester’s LIS reflects the area’s history and strengths in the creative industries. As well as cultivating high-growth firms, the LIS makes clear the role of creative and digital entrepreneurs in revitalising town centres and high streets; enhancing digital skills; and putting public trust at the centre of developing technologies and uses of public data.

We recommend that DCMS commission organisations who have been in the vanguard of culture-based regeneration to produce detailed guidance and best practice for local authorities at city, town and borough levels on how they can leverage culture to revitalise their areas, irrespective of whether they have benefited from specific funding to do so. (Paragraph 129)

The UKG Connected Growth Toolkit for LEPs is paving the way on providing guidance for towns/cities on how they can use culture to revitalise their areas. We will continue to share best practice for local growth through this toolkit in collaboration and close consultation with arms-length bodies such as Arts Council England.

DCMS is currently delivering the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) which we see as a demonstrator for the role of driving local growth via place-based cultural interventions. DCMS has commissioned an evaluation of these projects, which we hope will yield best practice for how local places can leverage culture to transform their areas in the future.

Following a recommendation of the Mendoza Review of museums published in November 2017, Arts Council England and the Local Government Association are working together on guidance to help councillors to understand and leverage the impacts of museums that local authorities operate, fund and support.

Ahead of Coventry’s City of Culture in 2021 and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, the DCMS should set out detailed policy and funding structures for building a lasting legacy in the West Midlands. In its response to this Report, the DCMS should also detail how they will use these opportunities to showcase the wider social impact of investment in culture and sport, make the case for public investment in culture and sport, and work with local partners to champion lasting change. (Paragraph 134)

At Autumn Budget 2018, the UK Government invested £8.5 million towards capital preparations for the city of Coventry to help create a lasting success from their title year.

DCMS fully support the Coventry UK City of Culture Trust, the independent delivery body delivering Coventry 2021, in helping to build a lasting legacy in the region and were impressed by their bid’s focus on youth, diversity and the scale of impact not only in Coventry but across the UK as a whole.

The Trust are in the process of developing a 10 year business plan which includes its plans on legacy in Coventry and the West Midlands after its tenure as UK City of Culture 2021. They are also developing detailed plans for monitoring and evaluation for 2021 and beyond, in partnership with the University of Warwick, to capture the economic and social impacts for future policy makers.

DCMS also fully support the implementation of West Midlands Combined Authority’s Cultural Leadership Board, to encourage a sustainable, entrepreneurial and diverse cultural sector which is accessible to all residents across the region and to explore the potential in the West Midlands for new approaches to funding.

The government’s significant investment, alongside regional partners, into the Birmingham Commonwealth Games will deliver a strong physical legacy for the West Midlands, which will include a brand new aquatics centre in Sandwell, a refurbished Alexander Stadium, 1400 new homes in the athletes village in Perry Barr and improved transport infrastructure. Games partners are working together to ensure this investment, and the power of the Games as a catalyst, is maximised to drive social change, further investment, and regeneration across the region.

We will be harnessing the opportunity of hosting the Games to promote community cohesion, social action, participation in physical activity and improved health and wellbeing, as well as a host of other ways for people to get involved. 2022 will be the Games for everyone and Games partners are committed to maximising the benefits of hosting for as many individuals as possible—ensuring the Games has an impact that is much greater than 11 days of sport. Planning for the activity across these workstreams is already underway and we are working across government to ensure the potential to deliver against our social policy goals through the Games is maximised.

DCMS is working closely with Games partners, including the Organising Committee, West Midlands Combined Authority and Birmingham City Council, to shape the legacy programmes to ensure the long-term social impact of the Games is felt across the region for years to come. This will include evaluation of Games legacy activity and monitoring and reporting on the economic impact of the investment, enabling lessons learned and opportunities to be shared across the region and more widely in the UK and to help inform our future approach to major sporting and cultural events as a means of triggering or accelerating social change. Officials are also working to align the Games with planning for Coventry City of Culture and ensure maximum impact from this dual opportunity for the region.

Any further evaluation of major cultural or sporting events commissioned by the DCMS should include an assessment of whether the integrated approach used for these exceptional situations could and should be replicated in routine policymaking structures. (Paragraph 135)

Regardless of scope, choices on policy evaluation design should be proportionate, and focus on those projects or programmes where good evaluation is feasible and cost-effective. When evaluating policy, the Government strives to build on previous learning and methodologies to the benefit of all parts of the economy. For example, DCMS is supportive of the Cities of Culture Research Network, which provides an exchange of valuable insights between policy officials, arts and cultural organisations, businesses, services and professions across public, private and voluntary sectors.

As far as sport is concerned, the ‘Gold Framework’, a joint publication by DCMS and UK Sport, recognises the importance of knowledge transfer to ensure that we keep building skills levels and approaches across major sporting events hosted in the UK to inform future policymaking.

Maximising social impact

During 2019, the DCMS should establish and lead a new standing inter-ministerial group on the social impact of sport and culture, using this as a platform to reset cross-government work with these sectors. The priorities for this new group should encompass the issues that we have identified in our report, including health, education, criminal justice and regeneration. (Paragraph 141)

Ministers across DCMS, MoJ, DHCS, DfT and DfE are already working closely across these agendas as evidenced by the headway we have made through the Arts Forum and other initiatives including the Ministerial School Sports Board.

However we acknowledge that there are benefits to even greater coordination in this area and will consider how Ministers can continue to work together.

Rather than making any further calls to strengthen the evidence base for the social impact of culture and sport, we recommend that DCMS audit what has changed as a result of the work that they have already funded, or been involved in. The Department should work with charitable foundations, academics and others to comprehensively understand, and champion, the current evidence base, and publish their findings within the next 12 months. (Paragraph 144)

DCMS plans to work closely with the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Centre for Cultural Value. The Centre will synthesise existing research and bring together organisations and sectors with an interest in using evidence about cultural value in their work .The centre is jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) and Arts Council England, with a major investment of around £2.5 million over five years.

Building on previous work, Sport England have commissioned the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University to quantify the financial, economic and social impact of sport and physical activity in England. The research will report in August 2019.

The refreshed Sporting Future strategy is an ideal opportunity for the Sports Minister to truly galvanise cross-government involvement in maximising the social impact of sport. While we accept that machinery of Government changes may not be the right mechanism, we support the calls made during our inquiry for sport to have a higher profile across Whitehall. We recommend that the DCMS establishes a pan-department ministerial implementation taskforce for the refreshed Sporting Future strategy before the end of 2019. We expect to see further details of how this will operate in the Government’s response to this Report. (Paragraph 153)

As above, Ministers across a number of departments including DCMS, MoJ, DHCS, DfT and DfE are already working closely together on the wider role and impact of sport.

DCMS will be publishing the third Sporting Future annual report shortly (not a refreshed Sporting Future strategy). This will include detail on progress made so far and priorities moving forward. This will include input from departments across Whitehall.

The DCMS should conduct a review of the funding streams offered by Arts Council England, Sport England and other statutory bodies funding culture and sport organisations to explore if they can move to a more long-term and sustainable approach. (Paragraph 157)

DCMS is in regular dialogue with its ALBs and has a clear overview of their funding streams. DCMS will continue to work with ACE and Sport England to ensure that they are adopting as efficient and sustainable an approach as possible.

The work that the DCMS is leading to bring social value into central government commissioning should include explicit consideration of the social value delivered by cultural and sporting organisations. The Department should build on existing evaluation frameworks in the sectors and ensure that their social value work connects cultural and sports organisations more readily to commissioners. (Paragraph 158)

DCMS is working to ensure that the work of the Office for Civil Society considers the role of culture and sport; for example, supporting local sports, arts and culture is an integral part of the Civil Society Strategy.

DCMS plans to work closely with the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Centre for Cultural Value to better understand the evaluation frameworks being used across the sector and where DCMS can ensure they fit with government objectives and evaluation standards and demonstrate the potential to add to the evidence base on social impacts of increased access to culture and heritage.

1 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Ninth Report of session 2017–19 Live Music HC 733, conclusions 16, 17, 18 and 19

Published: 9 September 2019