We were able to come up with a set of recommendations which we think will have a real, practical impact on the ability of all of our members to deliver cultural learning across the country - should they be adopted by Ministers and the team.
The Henley Review of Cultural Education is due to report all findings in October.
Department for Culture, Media and Sport Recommendations
- Every publicly funded cultural organisation delivering learning should have at least one Learning Trustee or board member. This should be someone who understands learning policy and practice, and who can represent the interests of children and young people, learning and education. The appointment of this trustee should be monitored through funding agreements.
- The DCMS should task and resource the Collections Trust to develop the MLA Schools Database. The existing data should be expanded to include all cultural learning organisations and should provide additional details of Arts Mark, Arts Award, and details of partnerships. This database will allow organisations to effectively target their activity.
- Cultural organisations should be set key performance indicators which assess depth of engagement, outcome and impact, and which encourage progression and long term engagement between children and cultural organisations. These KPIs should be indicators for young people’s achievement.
- DCMS should convene a cross-departmental ministerial working group for cultural learning. The group should work to strengthen and capitalise on the personal, social and economic benefits of cultural learning and its intrinsic value to our national life. The group should include representatives from the Cabinet Office, DfE, DoJ, BIS, CLG and DoH.
- The new ‘Catalyst Arts’ fund should be opened up to children’s service professionals and teachers to help increase their capacity to commission and fundraise for cultural learning.
Department for Education Recommendations
- No Children’s Centre, School, Youth Service or Academy or other setting should be judged beyond ‘satisfactory’ by Ofsted unless they provide a broad and balanced curriculum / offer which includes the arts and culture (see point 2).
- The CLA to work with Ofsted to develop criteria for this assessment and work to integrate cultural learning specialists and Specialist Subject Associations into the assessment process alongside inspectors. Suitable indicators will be local and bespoke to different communities and arts organisations, but examples of commitment will include Artsmark and Arts Award.
- Headteachers and Centre Leaders should be required to report regularly to Governors on cultural learning experiences and partnerships. They should report on cultural learning to parents in their annual report, and should make a statement about cultural learning in their school brochure and on their website.
- All learning settings should appoint a governor with responsibility for cultural learning. This should be someone who can monitor, champion and oversee the role of cultural learning and of cultural partners, and who has an understanding of the impact of provision.
- The arts should remain statutory to the National Curriculum at Key Stages 1-3.
- Arts subjects should be included as a formal strand within the English Baccalaureate.
- The National Curriculum Review team to meet with the Cultural Learning Alliance to discuss curriculum plans.
- Ensure Arts Award maintains a contribution to School Performance Tables.
- The SEFs (Self Evaluation Frameworks) of schools and other learning settings should include information on the role of the school library and cultural partners in achieving objectives.
- Comprehensive LA School Transport Strategies should be developed to help schools with transport to visit cultural organisations and to help them offer opportunities to parents.
- Initial teacher training of specialist arts teachers should be maintained. All schools should have teachers with relevant and recent arts education training.
- All Teaching Schools and equivalent early years training settings should offer comprehensive training in using culture across the curriculum and should offer tailored and excellent training to specialist arts teachers.
- A number of Teaching Schools and equivalent early years training settings should be designated as specialist Cultural Learning Teaching Schools. These should be charged with developing innovative partnerships with specialist HE partners and with developing and disseminating new models of training.
- The NPQH (National Professional Qualification in Headship) and NPQICL (National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership) should include an optional module on cultural learning.
- Teachers to receive on-going bespoke support on cultural learning through their existing CPD providers, such as the National College and the new Teaching Agency. This support should be offered incrementally throughout their careers.
- Every ITT provider should publish a list of their cultural learning partners.
- The new 4Children Foundation Stage information website should include links to quality cultural learning activities and providers in every area.
Department for Community and Local Government Recommendations
- Commissioning for children’s, learning and cultural services should all be advertised and published in a central, accessible database.
- Specific support and capacity building should be offered to cultural organisations wishing to form collaboratives, mutuals or other formal partnerships with voluntary, private or public sector local service providers.
- Leadership programmes for local community champions of cultural learning should be developed and delivered as part of the localism agenda.
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Recommendations
- All specialist cultural learning HE courses should receive extra funding ensuring that the full cost of delivery can be covered through subsidy and fees.
- Funding for the Dance and Drama Awards that provide scholarships for young people’s participation on specialist FE courses should be maintained.
- The language used to refer to the Creative Economy should be changed to the ‘Cultural and Creative Economy’.
These recommendations were submitted following our full written submission back in May and alongside our formal response to the National Curriuclum Review.