Make a difference: Join the CLA Strategy Group

01 February 2018

There has never been a more important time to be part of the Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA). Over the past nine years the CLA has been an important champion of every child’s right to access meaningful arts and culture in their lives. We are looking for committed, passionate, expert colleagues to join our Strategy Group and lead the Alliance in its next phase.

We have pulled together key evidence, analysed complex statistics, highlighted great practice and advocated directly to civil servants, ministers and funders. We have armed our members and supporters with the arguments and ammunition they need to influence their boards, governors, and local and central government. This work has taken place against a backdrop of political reform and change. We have seen retrenchment and decline of the arts in our schools, and in youth and community work, as well as increasing fragmentation of systems and funding.

In response to this complex landscape the CLA has held the line for the value of the work that teachers, artists and young people do, day-in-day-out, across the country. We have had some notable victories and influence, but there is still much more to be done. We are currently at a tipping-point where much of the practice that has been honed and developed over many years must be fearlessly championed or it will fall-through political and administrative cracks.

Governance review and structure

We have always been a light-touch project; drawing on and adding value to the expertise and good-will of our colleagues and stakeholders. Following a governance review we have resolved to retain this model but take the opportunity to reform our infrastructure to make the Alliance as effective as possible. We also know that the CLA can and should better represent the communities it serves. We are actively seeking to be fully representative of, reflect, and to meet the needs of the arts and cultural community across; gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion and class.

We are looking for committed, passionate, expert colleagues to join our six person Strategy Group and lead the Alliance in its next phase. We are looking for individuals who are leaders in their own field – particularly in advocacy, research and in education policy or practice. We will seek representatives with a background from the performing arts and from museums/galleries/visual arts/heritage.

We are looking for people who are prepared to step-up and take responsibility for championing the right of every child to have meaningful arts and culture in their lives.

Application process

Complete our short online application form and prepare a statement of 500 words on how, as a member of the CLA Strategy Group, you would help lead our work and champion cultural learning. Please give examples of your leadership and relevant experience in at least one of the categories above (advocacy, research, education policy or practice).

Deadline: Noon 26 February.

Please let us know your availability for interview on either 7 or 13 March.

About the CLA

The Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA) is a collective voice working to ensure that all children and young people have meaningful access to culture. It is supported by a membership of more than 8,500 organisations and individuals. 

Arts and culture are a life-enhancing and essential part of our existence. They bring pleasure, participation, self-expression and essential skills into children’s lives. By speaking with one voice and working together, we can realise our ambition for all children and young people to have an entitlement to quality cultural learning.

The Alliance brings together the diverse parts of the cultural sector to work together – including museums, film, libraries, heritage, dance, literature, new media arts, theatre, visual arts and music – with the education and youth sector.

The CLA aims to use our collective skills and voice to:

  • Develop and advocate for a coherent national strategy for cultural learning
  • Unite the education, youth and cultural sectors
  • Demonstrate why cultural learning is so important


Strategy Group Terms of Reference

1. Composition and role of Strategy Group

  1. The Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA) Strategy Group provides the governance structure for the CLA.
  2. The Group is made up of representatives of both the cultural and education sectors, and other key stakeholders in the core work of the Alliance. The Strategy Group will be comprised of up to six members in addition to the Chair.
  3. The purpose of the Strategy Group is to agree, monitor and review the overall aims and objectives of the CLA, and to oversee the planning, management and delivery of its work.
  4. The delivery of the work of the CLA, overseen by the Strategy Group, will normally be undertaken by the Co-Directors of the Cultural Learning Alliance, or by a freelancer / partner organisation engaged for a specific purpose. Any additional contractors will be managed by the Co-Directors.
  5. Budget oversight, management and financial hosting will be undertaken by the Clore Duffield Foundation on behalf of the CLA, and a financial report will regularly be presented to the Strategy Group for information and approval. The Strategy Group will be responsible for approving the allocation of funds.
  6. The Strategy Group may delegate part of its work to sub-groups. Such sub-groups will have clear terms of reference as defined by the Strategy Group.
  7. The Strategy Group will deliver the following:
    • Review the existing mission statement and develop a comprehensive CLA ‘Theory of Change’ (ToC) to establish long term goals
    • Set annual targets; develop an annual operation plan; and monitor outcomes in relation to the ToC
    • Evaluate the performance of CLA and its Co-Directors in relation to the annual targets/operational plan/ToC
    • Establish the terms of reference for a wider CLA Advisory Group/Board (name to be agreed)
    • Annually assess the relevance and value of the CLA and its terms of reference, and whether it should continue.

 2. Recruitment and role of Strategy Group members

  1. The founder members of the Strategy Group will be recruited through an open process managed by the Co-Directors. The recruitment will look to prioritise individuals with the skills and expertise to contribute to the CLA’s current core aims to develop and advocate for a coherent national strategy for cultural learning, and to demonstrate why cultural learning is so important (although these aims will be reviewed by the Strategy Group at its first meeting).
  2. Thereafter, additional or replacement members of the Strategy Group will be recruited through open process and appointed by a vote of the Strategy Group.
  3. Each member will represent an organisation that is a key CLA stakeholder or an area of expertise that is a key focus for the Alliance.
  4. The Strategy Group will include no more than one representative from each organisation, and as rule, members will not delegate to another member of their teams or organisations.
  5. Each Strategy Group member must be committed to the overall aims of the Cultural Learning Alliance and will undertake to work with the other stakeholders and partners to achieve its objectives. The Strategy Group recognises that stakeholder organisations will have different areas of expertise and varying levels of capacity.

3. Appointment and commitment

  1. There will be a limit of three years as the time period members can serve on the Strategy Group, with the possibility of renewal for one further term.
  2. The Co-Directors will aim to recruit two members of the Strategy Group from the historic CLA Steering Group to ensure continuity of business and oversight. These legacy members will serve a term of two years.
  3. In addition to attendance at quarterly meetings, Strategy Group members may be called upon to represent the CLA at meetings, as part of delegations, at roundtables or other events; to review documents and communications; or to help make connections or introductions for the CLA. They may also be asked to draft occasional blogs or articles for the CLA (with the assistance of the Co-Directors).
  4. Where possible, Strategy Group members should regard their membership as part of their core day-job, and should integrate the work of championing the Alliance and its work into their own work and that of their organisations, identifying any opportunities to contribute to the national picture, and, where possible, aligning any relevant events, resources or messaging to the needs of the CLA.
  5. Meetings of the Strategy Group will take place approximately four times a year. Whenever possible, dates and times of meetings will be agreed with sufficient notice to allow as many Strategy Group members as possible to attend. Members should notify the Chair & Co-Directors in advance if they are unable to attend a meeting. Agendas will be prepared by the Co-Directors.
  6. Meetings will usually take place in London.
  7. The Strategy Group or the Co-Directors may invite observers, including funders, or guest contributors to attend its meetings.
  8. Strategy Group members are expected to attend at least 75% of Strategy Group meetings annually. Attendance at Strategy Group meetings can be accommodated by conference call or Skype on occasion.
  9. The CLA will reimburse all reasonable expenses incurred by the Strategy Group and Chair in the cause of their duties.


To be reviewed and updated annually

Role of the CLA Chair

4. Chair

  1. The Strategy Group Chair will be appointed from within the Strategy Group and voted for by Strategy Group members. The Chair will be appointed for a for a two-year term which may be extended by no more than an additional two years.
  2. In the event that the Chair is absent from a meeting, members of the Strategy Group may appoint one of their number to chair the meeting.
  3. It is envisioned that the Chair will spend approximately 6-12 days a year on their Chairing duties. In addition to chairing the Strategy Group meetings, the Chair will be responsible for:
  • supporting the Co-Directors to make any key decisions required between Strategy meetings (and being available for telephone, e-mail and occasional face-to-face meetings)
  • speaking on behalf of the CLA at events and to the press where required (full briefing will be provided by the Co-Directors)
  • championing the CLA and its agenda when any opportunity presents itself.


Download the Application Pack and Terms of Reference for CLA


Photo: Adults and children enjoying Family Dance Day at The Place, WC1H 9PY. Photo by Jalaikon 3

One Reply to "Make a difference: Join the CLA Strategy Group"

  1. Cultural Learning can begin in the NHS GP Surgery . See :
    RSPH | Arts and Health
    Withymoor: A Health Hive. A Review of Creative Arts in Primary Heath Care – This report by Professor Keith Tones and Professor Jackie Green documents the approach used within Dr Malcolm Rigler’s Withymoor Village Surgery during the 1980 and 1990s. The Surgery used creative arts to facilitate communication between …
    I would be keen to make a presentation about this aspect of our life in the UK to the Cultural Strategy Group. See also

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