Policy & Practice round-up October 2021

12 October 2021

This month we bring you news of the Recovery Premium funding and eligibility; the 2022 Music Education Plan; funding for eight Creativity Collaboratives; Our Creative Voice website with evidence and case studies; the new Creative Industries Social Mobility Toolkit from the Social Mobility Commission, and a thought-provoking blog on arts-based pedagogy in primary schools post-Covid.

Schools Recovery Premium funding confirmed – £145 per child

Back in the spring the Department for Education (DfE) committed £302 million for a Recovery Premium for schools for the 2021-22 academic year. They have now confirmed the amounts: £145 per child in mainstream education, and £290 per child in a special unit. Eligibility is the same as for Pupil Premium: essentially children receiving free school meals now or at any time in the past six years. No school will get less than £2,000.

DfE have also clarified that the funding can only be used for activities to:

  • support the quality of teaching, such as staff professional development
  • provide targeted academic support, such as tutoring
  • deal with non-academic barriers to success in school, such as attendance, behaviour and social and emotional support

As with the Pupil Premium, funding can be spent on activities that schools provide not just for children receiving the Pupil Premium.

The last type of activity that deals with barriers to success, including social and emotional support, could be a fruitful area for partnership between schools and cultural learning providers, especially given the September 2020 Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) evidence review on the role of arts in improving health and wellbeing. The report found evidence that ‘can be trusted to guide policy in most situations’ for the ‘use of the arts to support wellbeing in children and young people’.

Music Education Plan 2022 news

Over the summer the Department for Education (DfE) took forward actions to refresh the National Plan for Music Education. It published the results of the 2020 Music Education call for evidence. Following on from the above DCMS report on the role of arts in improving health and wellbeing, of note is the DfE statement that the report ‘found that studying music can have a positive impact on young people’s wellbeing, confidence and communication skills.’

The DfE has also appointed an expert advisory panel, which includes Dr Steven Berryman, a member of the CLA Advisory Panel, and other colleagues from across music education.

The National Plan for Music Education will be published jointly by DfE and DCMS. We look forward to hearing more about how the Plan will take shape under the new DfE ministers.

Eight Creativity Collaboratives announced

The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education was published in October 2019. One of the recommendations was the ‘development of a pilot national network of Creativity Collaboratives established through joint working between DfE, the Arts Council and education trusts’.

After an application process that was delayed by Covid eight pilot Creativity Collaboratives, which will be led by schools, were announced on 8 October, including St Marylebone CE School where Steph Cubbin, a member of our Advisory Panel, is Head of Art.

The pilots will be testing different, scalable, approaches to teaching for creativity. £2.78 million funding is being provided by Arts Council England with support from the Freelands Foundation, and the pilot will run until July 2024. Each lead school will work with a network of at least eight others in their area.

The eight lead schools for the Creativity Collaboratives networks are:

South East: Anglian Learning East

North East: The Duchess’s Community High School

South West: Halterworth Primary School; Penryn College

North West: Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust

London: The St Marylebone CE School

Midlands: Billesley Primary School; Welbeck Primary School

You can read more about each schools’ plans on the Arts Council England website.

Our Creative Voice: evidence and case studies from Creative Scotland

On 7 September Creative Scotland launched Our Creative Voice to promote the value of art and creativity in our lives. The website provides a platform for evidence (featuring some of the CLA Briefings) and case studies on the impact of participating in arts and creativity, as well as tools to help make the case for culture.

Creative Scotland’s ambition is to grow and expand the initiative over the coming months and years. To start with there are also a fantastic series of animations (scroll down the home page for the animations) featuring the voices of people from across Scotland, talking about the difference creativity makes to their lives.

Creative Industries Social Mobility toolkit launched

The Creative Industries Social Mobility Toolkit was launched by the Social Mobility Commission on 11 October. It is designed to support organisations to develop a social mobility strategy and gain a competitive edge by increasing their socio-economic diversity. It includes guidance on measuring where you are, steps to take to improve your socio-economic diversity, and clear ‘first step intervention’ lists to help you get started.

There is excellent advice for each area of activity. We’re particularly taken with this solid piece of advice from the Outreach section: ‘Take advantage of the many existing mechanisms for outreach to schools – don’t re-invent the wheel.’

Chapter & Verse – developing arts-based pedagogy in primary schools

Finally, if you are thinking about the role of arts-based pedagogy in primary schools post-Covid we can recommend this excellent blog Re-connect, re-engage and re-ignite: Making space for creativity. Part of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation's (PHF) Teacher Development Fund, the Chapter & Verse project, with Astrea Academy Trust and literacy charity Grimm & Co, is supporting teachers to develop and embed multi-disciplinary arts approaches in the primary curriculum to meet children’s needs. Applications for PHF’s Teacher Development Fund Round 5 are currently open – deadline 23rd November.