Background: where we came from

The ‘Get It’ Report

Get it the power of cultural learning, 2009 was published by the Cultural and Learning Consortium in April 2009, and gave feedback and recommendations from the Consortium’s large public consultation on cultural learning. The Consortium represented Arts Council England, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Clore Duffield Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, Northern Rock Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

The report was not intended as an end point, but rather as the next step in a process. Its ten key recommendations focus on improving the outcomes for children and young people: they are a platform for further discussion, collaboration and action at all levels.

One: Central government

Central government and its agencies should recognise and promote cultural learning as a key element within the curriculum; as of core value in cross-curricular learning; and as the best way to fulfil the commitment to universal cultural entitlement for all children and young people, the Every Child Matters/Youth Matters vision and the Children’s Plan.

Two: Local and regional partnerships

Local authorities and regional agencies should make cultural learning a more explicit part of their planning for children and young people through, for example, existing Public Service Agreements. In parallel, and in the context of the Children’s Plan, cultural and learning organisations should aim to work together on cultural learning by building local and regional partnerships through Children’s Trusts and Local Area Agreements.

Three: Schools

Schools and the wider learning sector should agree what cultural learning means for them and incorporate it as an explicit, core element in their curriculum, and as central to provision for children, families, carers and the wider community, within and beyond the classroom.

Four: Cultural organisations

All cultural organisations should give cultural learning a core role in their work, ensuring that the learning function is properly represented at senior management and board level; that the expertise of learning teams is valued and developed; and that the diverse needs of children, families, carers and other learners from the wider community are identified and addressed.

Five: Inclusion

Educational and cultural organisations should continually strive to include those children, young people and adults who do not have access to cultural learning opportunities that can offer them enjoyment and self-fulfilment, provide new skills, feed their talents, and open up new prospects for personal and career development.

Six: Leadership

Leadership is critical: effective leadership for cultural learning requires commitment from the top. Cultural leaders and leading educationalists should champion the role and potential of learning; cultural and educational leadership programmes should incorporate and promote cultural learning as a core and valued element.

Seven: Training and professional development

Teacher training providers should commit to developing more accessible, high-quality initial training in cultural learning for teachers and other learning practitioners. Equally, the cultural sector should work with qualifications, standards and skills agencies to expand the quality and scope of higher-level professional development courses and qualifications.

Eight: Funding

Funders of all types, including government, should refine or develop long-term funding models that encourage and support sustained collaborations between cultural and learning organisations.

Nine: Sharing and evaluating

Cultural and education policy bodies should work together to commission more robust research and to create shared, effective models for identifying, evaluating and disseminating best practice in cultural learning – building on such examples as Inspiring Learning for All, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) framework.

Ten: Working together

The learning and cultural sectors should come together to form a Cultural Learning Alliance, for a time-limited period, to develop and advocate for a coherent national strategy for cultural learning drawing on this report’s recommendations. The Alliance would work alongside the main cultural and learning bodies, the relevant government departments and their national agencies, and regional and local government agencies.