Children playing violins as part of an orchestra.

Our Cultural Education Challenge gives great art to all young people

Posted on 10 December 2015

We want to make sure that all young people have access to excellent arts and culture education. We’ve launched the Cultural Education Challenge to give young people more opportunities and make great art and culture more widely available, no matter the background.

The Cultural Education Challenge creates new ways of working together across the arts, education, local authorities, schools, and higher education institutions. It encourages them to share resources and find ways to make the most of public funding.

We’ve announced 50 new Cultural Education Partnerships across the country. We’re basing them on previous pilot cultural education partnerships that we started in Great Yarmouth, Bristol and Barking & Dagenham.

Bridge organisations take the helm in leading the Challenge

Our bridges are a network of 10 organisations located across the country, who connect schools, children and young people with arts and cultural activity. Bridges receive £10 million in funding every year from the Arts Council and will play a leading role in delivering the Challenge.

The bridges will host number of workshops over the coming weeks. Local arts organisations, teachers, local authorities and more are invited to attend, to learn more about how they can get involved with the Cultural Education Challenge.

A young girl with disabilities laughs during a dance rehearsal.
Stopgap Dance Company: Summer Platform 2015. Photo © Chris Parkes

The Challenge will make a difference to the economy as well as education

The creative sector continues to make a significant contribution to the economy, providing 1 in 20 jobs. Through the Cultural Education Challenge, we want to make sure that all children and young people everywhere have access to great arts and culture. Every child deserves the opportunity to create, compose, and perform.

We give them the chance to visit, experience and participate in extraordinary work, and be able to know more, understand more, and review the experiences they’ve had.

Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Schools, added: 

"An introduction to the arts from an early age is vital to producing well-rounded and well-educated individuals. That is why we make sure arts are a key part of a broad and balanced education. This was reflected in this year’s GCSE results, which showed an increase of 3.4% since 2010 in entries to art and design GCSEs.

The Cultural Education Challenge represents a great opportunity for local arts organisations, schools and colleges to come together so all young people can enjoy an excellent cultural education, regardless of their background."

Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said:

"I want to see all children have access to the arts regardless of where they live and go to school. Cultural education gives our young people the enriching experiences they need at an early age while also developing the talent and creative thinking that is powering the UK's world-beating creative industries.

We need to do as much as we can to support cultural education through initiatives like this fantastic Challenge. I'm convinced better partnership working and a more strategic approach is key and I look forward to seeing the results of this vital new scheme."