The following Strategic funding programmes address our goal of ensuring as many children and young people as possible have the opportunity to engage with arts and culture.

Please note: the following figures are indicative as of July 2014. An update to these pages will be made in Spring 2015

In Harmony

This programme will build on the success of In Harmony, which has been operating since the summer of 2008. In Harmony is a national programme that aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities, using the power and disciplines of community-based orchestral music-making. In Harmony became jointly funded by the Department for Education and Arts Council in April 2012. 

We will ensure that this fund makes a significant impact outside of London by establishing appropriate criteria.

We will allocate £1.35 million to this fund for 2015-18.

Youth Music

We will fund activity that:

  • supports high-quality music making activities for children and young people
  • collects and evaluates data on this activity
  • reaches the maximum number of children and young people, particularly in relation to engagement with disadvantaged children and young people
  • contributes directly to an increased level of Arts Award achievement (at all levels) for funded activity
  • contributes to the local music education offer
  • aligns with National portfolio organisations, National youth music organisations, In Harmony, other professional tuition and provision, and music education activity

We will ensure that this fund makes a significant impact outside of London by establishing appropriate criteria.

We will allocate £28.9 million to this fund for 2015-18, subject to a review of the organisation taking place during 2014-15.

Artsmark and Arts Award

Artsmark is our flagship school programme that enables schools to evaluate, strengthen and celebrate their cultural provision. It encourages partnerships between schools and cultural organisations, providing schools with vital evidence required to meet Ofsted’s evaluation of overall school effectiveness. It has huge potential to support schools in effectively delivering the new curriculum. Twenty-one per cent of schools currently have Artsmark status and we are working towards a challenging target of 50 per cent of all schools by 2020.

Arts Award is a national qualification that supports children and young people between 5-25 to deepen their engagement with arts and culture. It can be offered in a range of settings – for example, schools, cultural venues and Pupil Referral units. There are five levels of award, and the highest level attracts UCAS points. The Arts Award aims to grow by 30 per cent year on year and has just reached the exciting milestone of 100,000 awards.

We will allocate £6.9 million to Artsmark and Arts Award for 2015-18.

Cultural education

Strategic funding for cultural education will include the following activities.

Summer Arts Colleges are intensive arts projects delivered to groups of young people who are subject to high tariff community youth justice orders. This programme has already resulted in over 1,500 young people taking part in Summer Arts Colleges across 75 youth offending teams. Young people attending the Summer Arts Colleges have achieved around 1,400 Arts Awards.

The National Art and Design Saturday Club will give young people aged 14–16 the unique opportunity to study art and design every Saturday morning for an academic year at their local art and design college or university for free. This is an exceptionally high-quality programme that provides the first taste of art and design as an academic and professional pathway for the most promising young people from a range of backgrounds.

The National Youth Dance Company will continue to provide talented young people from all backgrounds with the chance to develop high-level performance skills needed to progress their professional careers. Sadlers Wells has managed the company and has attracted Yasmin Vardimon and Akram Khan to support the company in the first two years. The company recruits 30 talented 16 to 19 year olds from across the country each academic year who are then provided with exposure to world-class choreographers, residentials and performance opportunities. The programme will support our ambitions for young people, providing opportunities for dancers to progress their talents and progress to conservatoires.

We are also planning to invest in strategic support for creative writing for young people. We will ensure that this fund makes a significant impact outside of London by establishing appropriate criteria.

We will allocate £3.9 million to Cultural education activities for 2015-18.