About us

The Cultural Learning Alliance champions a right to arts and culture for every child. 

We:

  • ADVOCATE for equality of access to arts and culture for every child
  • DEMONSTRATE why cultural learning is so important
  • UNITE the education, youth and cultural sectors delivering arts and cultural learning

We do this through:

  • Policy analysis and evidence gathering
  • Dissemination of advocacy materials, including briefing papers, evidence and statistics
  • Lobbying and advocacy
  • Building strategic relationships across arts, culture, education and policy, and supporting our members

We act as a backbone organisation for the arts and cultural education sector, and provide the analysis, evidence, and arguments that Alliance members and their wider sectors can use.

What we know

There is a wealth of evidence to show that studying the arts fosters creativity, innovation, empathy, and resilience; that the arts are crucial for our economic prosperity; and that the arts enrich lives, making us happier and healthier.

But children’s access to arts and culture is declining. In England’s secondary schools there were 20% less arts teachers and 21% less arts hours taught in 2017 compared to 2010. Arts GCSEs entries are declining, down by 34%, and access to arts provision for the most disadvantaged children is narrowing.

This is a social justice issue: research shows that children with an arts deficit are disadvantaged educationally and economically while their more fortunate peers who do participate in the arts are more resilient, healthier, do better in school, are more likely to vote, to go to university, to get a job and to keep it. Participation in the arts fuels social mobility.

Who we are

The Alliance includes a range of organisations working across the cultural and education sectors, including teachers, schools, non-departmental public bodies, philanthropists, umbrella organisations, cultural and arts partners, creative industry leaders, and education specialists. We have more than 2,500 organisational members, more than 5,000 individual members and almost 10,000 Twitter followers. We are run by two co-directors, who report to a Strategy Group of six members from across the education and arts sectors. In addition to its wide membership, the CLA also has an Advisory Panel of 30+ members.

How we are funded

The CLA is funded by a group of trusts and foundations, including the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Freelands Foundation, and the Clore Duffield Foundation.