Policy and Practice Update September 2012

26 September 2012

As the autumn weather begins to bite, and your Facebook feeds are full of back to school photos, we bring you a round-up of policy and practice, from EBacc debates and Pupil Premium increases to Grants for the arts for Libraries, plus conference presentations and blogs.

Arts as the fourth ‘R’

The TES made the argument for Art as the fourth 'R' in the curriculum last week and today Sir Nicholas Serota, Tate Director, added his voice to the calls for arts to retain their importance in secondary schools. Read the BBC, Independent and Evening Standard coverage.

All this closely echoes the CLA's call for a sixth arts strand in the English Baccalaureate (see Recommendation 1 in our response to the Henley Review). The need for recognition of the rigor of arts subjects and their inclusion in the EBacc grows with the announcements about GCSE reform. The CLA will continue to press the government on this issue. Look out for more information in the coming months.

Pupil Premium increase and summer school funding to continue

It is political conference season and David Laws announced at the Lib Dem conference on Saturday that the Pupil Premium will increase from £619 to £900 in 2014, and also that the £500 available per Pupil Premium pupil for two week summer schools will continue for summer 2013.

We would love to hear any stories of how schools and cultural learning organisations worked together summer 2012 to deliver summer schools. As ever get in contact via the website, twitter @CultureLearning or email

Funding news from Arts Council England

September has seen a flurry of funding announcements from Arts Council England with new funding programmes for apprenticeships and libraries, plus round two of Creative People and Places opening.

Creative People and Places aims for ‘more people to experience and be inspired by the arts’. £37 million is available over two funding rounds to establish around 15 Creative people and places projects between 2012 and 2016. Proposals will be for between £500,000 and £3 million over three years. In round two the amount available is around £20 million. Deadline for applications is the 12 December.

ACE also announced funding for the Creative employment programme. (We are pleased to note the word creativity seems to have been rehabilitated as an acceptable way to describe cultural learning.) The programme will support up to 6,500 new apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and paid internships (graduate and non-graduate) across the arts and cultural sector, with a focus on the Arts Council's footprint. The Arts Council is opening a commissioned grant for applications to find a national provider who will deliver the programme. The successful applicant will receive up to £15 million to deliver the programme from December 2012 to March 2015.

And for one of the newest members of the Arts Council portfolio an extra £6 million in Grants for the arts funding for libraries has opened to applications. The funding will support projects that stimulate ambitious and innovative partnerships between libraries and artists and/or arts organisations, encouraging communities to participate in cultural activities.

Conference conversations

The CLA attended the Group for Education in Museums (GEM) and the Tate and RSC Worlds Together conferences a few weeks ago, and as always, we were excited and challenged by the conversations. Take a look at our keynote presentation to the GEM conference on the perennial issue of how we make the case for cultural learning, and our Steering Group member Ruth Churchill Dower’s summary of the Worlds Together conference.

Some sad news...

It was with sorrow we read of the death of Mike Baker over the weekend. Mike was the BBC’s senior education correspondent for 18 years, a regular columnist for The Guardian Education pages and for the TES, and a member of the CLA, having chaired our conference in 2010. Read the glowing tributes to Mike's skill and insight from the BBC and Guardian. His brilliance and balance will be sorely missed.