Policy and Practice Round-up March 2013

22 March 2013

The Creative Employment Programme is launched

This month our colleagues at Creative and Cultural Skills launched the Creative Employment Programme, a scheme which will help get more young people into creative work – a particularly critical project when this week’s figures show that 993,000 18-24 year olds are currently unemployed.

The new programme, which will use £15 million of Arts Council England funding will create:

  • 1,600 Young Apprenticeships, targeted at 16-18 year olds
  • 2,900 Creative Apprenticeships, targeted at 16-24 year olds
  • 2,000 paid internships through a new Internship Academy in partnership with New Deal of the Mind

It will provide part wage grants to employers who create new apprenticeship and internship job opportunities for young unemployed people aged 16-24. Employers will need to make an application for funding in order to access a part wage grant.

Young people aged 16-24 from all backgrounds, from graduates to those with few or no qualifications, will have the chance to access on-the-job training and experience to build the skills that employers want. The programme includes all employers, both commercial and subsidised, that fall within the Arts Council’s remit.

New £300 million fund for Primary School Sport

The Government has announced a new fund of £150 million per annum for academic years 2013/14 and 2014/15 to provide new, primary school sport funding. This money is being jointly provided by the Departments for Education, Health and Culture, Media and Sport, and will see money going directly to primary school head teachers to spend on improving the quality of sport and PE.

All schools with 17 or more primary-aged pupils will receive a lump sum of £8,000 plus a premium of £5 per pupil. Smaller schools will receive £500 per pupil.

Schools will have to spend the sport funding on improving their provision of PE and sport, but they will have the freedom to choose how they do this.

Possible uses for the funding include:

  • hiring specialist PE teachers or qualified sports coaches to work alongside primary teachers when teaching PE
  • new or additional Change4Life sport clubs
  • paying for professional development opportunities in PE/sport
  • providing cover to release primary teachers for professional development in PE/sport
  • running sport competitions, or increasing participation in the school games
  • buying quality assured professional development modules or materials for PE/sport
  • providing places for pupils on after school sport clubs and holiday clubs

This looks like a clear, well thought through and structured scheme and it is really good to see the emphasis on training, professional development and specialist partnerships. We hope to see it used to develop the vital place of dance in schools. A fund like this would make real and tangible difference to teaching and learning of arts and culture in primary schools and we think we should all use this opportunity to strongly urge the government to put together a comparable package which can be used to support all art forms alongside arts provision within the National Curriculum, perhaps as part of the long-awaited National Plan for Cultural Education?

DfE to transfer remit for Youth Services to the Department of Community and Local Government?

Earlier this year Michael Gove gave evidence to the Education Select Committee where he made it clear that he felt that the development of youth policy should not be the concern of national government, but should become the preserve of local authorities. This provoked a group of leading Youth Services providers and experts to send this open letter – calling for clarity and a renewed commitment to young people.

This week Children and Young People Now reports that the DfE has confirmed it is considering transferring responsibility for youth policy, with the Department for Communities and Local Government its likeliest destination. Sector leaders are voicing concern that this will lead to a loss of understanding of the contribution that youth work and services make to young people’s education and learning.

For more background on the current position of Youth Services the joint National Youth Agency and Local Government Association publication Youth Services in England: The State of the Nation is a useful read.

New Arts Council Chair, Peter Bazalgette, gives inaugural lecture at the RSA

On Wednesday Peter Bazalgette, new Chair of Arts Council England gave his first official speech in his new role and kicked off a new series of lectures at the RSA which will be part of the Arts Council’s ‘State of the Arts’ conversation this year.

Bazalgette did take the opportunity to talk about cultural learning (which was very good to hear) as were the repeated mentions of children and young people from the questioning audience. Bazalgette highlighted the strength of the sector’s response to recent education policy change, stating that it showed the central importance of the place of the arts in schools. He also mentioned Ofsted as a way that practice in schools could be challenged and strengthened – which as regular readers will know is one of our key recommendations. He was asked about ways to help more young people engage with HE, particularly given the barrier of £9,000 fees, and suggested that we should be looking to improve bursary provision. Although extra bursaries would of course be welcome, we feel that they must be augmented by a robust package of expert careers advice and an educational campaign that helps parents and young people see the real value of choosing an arts or cultural focussed degree.

Re-launch of Young Roots Programme

It is great to see that the Heritage Lottery Fund has this month re-launched its Young Roots grants programme, aimed at providing young people aged between 11 and 25 years-old with active roles in planning and delivering their own heritage projects. The programme, with an annual budget of £4 million, now awards grants of between £10,000 and £50,000. Bringing together heritage and youth organisations to work in partnership, Young Roots creates opportunities for young people to learn about heritage, develop new skills and to share their achievements with the wider community.

Past Young Roots projects have involved a wide range of activities including exploring and documenting cultural and music traditions, nature conservation work, restoring a vintage motorbike and curating a digital trail through a museum collection.

Music Mark, The UK Association for Music Education is born

The UK Association for Music Education – Music Mark – is a new charitable, independent organisation that will provide a unified voice for those involved in music and will support the teaching of music in the UK.

As the principal subject association for music, Music Mark will bring together leaders and experts in the field, and represent and support the majority of music services, over 12,000 instrumental and classroom music teachers, tutors, assistants, consultants, advisers, inspectors and lecturers in Initial Teacher Education.

With the central mission of providing quality music for all, Music Mark will champion young peoples’ music-making, support the professional development of music educators and encourage partnership working with the aim of raising standards and improving outcomes for children.

The launch of the new organisation follows the recent merger of the Federation of Music Services and the National Association of Music Educators and Music Mark will continue to build on the work of these two organisations.

The CLA looks forward to working closely with our Music Mark colleagues to support, incorporate and represent the views of their members in our work championing cultural learning.

Upcoming conferences and events

It looks like there are some fantastic events and conferences coming up over the next few months, including Changing the Conversation: Artists’ Practice in Participatory Settings which is part of the Paul Hamlyn Artworks project, A New Direction’s The London Picture which will explore innovative models for cultural organisations working in this changing education landscape, and a series of events from the University of the Arts entitled ‘What’s the Point of Art School?’.

In this constantly shifting policy and funding environment these kinds of conversation seem more critical than ever. Let us know of ones you are hosting and do let us know of any ideas for new ways of working that you’d like us to share.