The Cultural Learning Alliance: What we did in 2013

23 January 2014

Here, before 2014 activity really takes off, we thought we would pause to look back at what we all did together in CLA during 2013.

Externally the relentless pace of change in the education and cultural sectors continued, there were announcements from the government on England’s school accountability; GCSE and A Level reform; a new National Curriculum for England which comes in to force in September this year; and further cuts to cultural organisations’ funding from central and local government.

CLA responded to eight education consultations, including some intensive work in the Spring on the curriculum and accountability - huge thanks to all of you who participated.

CLA fought for Drama to remain within the English curriculum after early drafts removed it, and helped to secure its position in the final 2014 National Curriculum for England.

We fought hard for film and for the concept of ‘contemporary’ to be included in arts subjects, but were not successful. But the work continues and a key strand of activity this year will be how we can support each other to provide high quality arts education within the new schools context.

We continued to make the case for cultural learning. CLA published evidence on the impact of the English Baccalaureate and on the decline in Arts subjects at GCSE, plus Independent School Headteacher’s thoughts on the role of arts in education.

We spoke at events and conferences around the country; Engage, Share Museums East and the Art Party conference, and at Bridge events hosted by A New Direction, CapeUk, Norfolk and Norwich Festival Bridge and Royal Opera House Bridge.

We shared 450 tweets with our 6,000 twitter followers, and 27 new articles on the CLA website with the 16,000 of you who regularly use the site. Our 1,520 group members on LinkedIn participated in 57 discussions.

We were supported by 1,000 new members this year - welcome if you are one of them - and just under 9,000 existing members, including 3,600 organisations. The 84 members of our steering and advisory groups continued to give of their time and expertise for which we are very grateful and the work was supported by generous grants from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Clore Duffield Foundation, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.

So, here’s to a creative and successful 2014, and as ever thank you for your continuing hard work to make sure that children and young people have access to arts and culture.