Q: Will the bridge organisation give out funding?  

A: No. Bridge organisations are not grant-giving organisations; they will not distribute money to schools, organisations or artists to fund projects. They will have a small amount of money to co-invest with key partners in strategic activities which create sustainable ways of delivering positive outcomes for children and young people through arts and culture. Bridge organisations will make decisions on investment partners in an honest and transparent way.

Q: Will the bridge organisation provide a matching service between artists and schools? 

A: No. Bridge organisations will not provide a matching service between artists and schools. They will have an overview of arts and cultural organisations and artists in the region and will act as a signpost to help schools identify and access the right arts and cultural opportunities. 

Q: My organisation already works with schools successfully - will the bridge organisation 'take over' what we are doing?

A: No. The bridge organisation is there to help identify new opportunities for organisations, to develop their provision for children and young people and to share existing good practice with the wider sector.  

Q: Will the bridge organisation be developing new networks and clusters?

A: The bridge organisation will link with existing networks where appropriate, working with them to increase access to arts opportunities for children and young people and to identify opportunities for development. The bridge organisation may need to establish new networks to address particular areas of work which will complement those already running.

Q: How will bridge organisations affect Arts Award, and the current regional development coordinators?

A: Each bridge organisation has responsibility for developing Arts Award, and will look to increase the provision of Arts Award over the next three years. The current regional development coordinator posts will cease on 31 March 2012 with similar roles within bridge organisations from April 2012. The bridge network is working closely with Trinity to ensure a smooth transition.

Q: Will bridge organisations be like Ofsted for the arts?

A: No. Bridge organisations will not be 'inspecting' cultural education in or out of schools. The Arts Council will play a facilitation role, consulting and working through its National portfolio organisations and the wider sector, to develop a shared understanding of how the quality of experience for children and young people and families can be judged.  

Bridge organisations will support schools in developing their provision through Artsmark. 

Q: Are bridge organisations running music education hubs?

A: No. From September 2012 music education will be delivered through music education hubs. Music education hubs will ensure that every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument, as well as perform as part of an ensemble or choir. It will also allow young people to take their talent further - this might be through local ensembles, partnerships with nationally funded music organisations, including National portfolio organisations, or through involvement in the Music and Dance Scheme. Music education hubs will build on existing music services. A music education hub will be a collection of organisations working in a local area, to create joined up music education provision for children and young people, both in and out of school.  

It is possible that bridge organisations will be partners of music education hubs, but they will not be 'running' the hubs as part of their bridge organisation role. Bridge organisations will support music education hubs and the rest of the arts education sector through networking and best practice sharing opportunities.

Q: Will we get access to a database of all schools so that we can send out our publicity direct to schools?

A: No. Bridge organisations won't be able to share their databases because of data protection regulations. They are considering how they’ll communicate with schools and will likely have a way to share information across their networks. Bridge organisations will be responsible for deciding how and when they share information from third parties. 

Q: Why would schools in our area want to do Artsmark when we've got to focus on raising floor targets?  

A: There is evidence that providing a good quality arts and cultural education leads to improvement in wider outcomes such as literacy. Doing an Artsmark application also supports schools to provide evidence for their Oftsed inspection, especially in evidencing that they are supporting the cultural development of their pupils, a key consideration for the overall effectiveness rating an inspector makes. Engaging with Artsmark ensures they become part of a network of schools developing their arts provision and links them closely to their bridge organisation and their wider community.

Q: We’ve hardly got any National portfolio organisations in our local area so how will this work? 

A: Bridge organisations will be crucial in bringing more arts and culture to children and young people in areas with little cultural infrastructure. Through partnership investment they will help introduce innovative and creative solutions which take more arts and culture to more children and young people, regardless of where they live.