Goal 5 in Great art and culture for everyone states our aim for every child and young person to have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts and culture. One of our immediate priorities underpinning this goal is to raise the standard of work being produced by, with and for children and young people.

Since 2012, we have been working with a range of arts and cultural organisations, devising and testing a set of principles to underpin high quality work by, with and for children and young people.

Our approach is one of facilitation, and to develop bottom-up solutions built upon practitioner experience and expertise, through a series of commissioned research activities, sector workshops and development of tools to help signpost the way to existing good practice and frameworks.

The seven quality principles are:

  •         striving for excellence

  •         emphasising authenticity

  •         being inspiring, and engaging

  •         ensuring a positive child-centred experience

  •         actively involving children and young people

  •         providing a sense of personal progression

  •         developing a sense of ownership and belonging

The quality principles were tested with fifty organisations by working with the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) and Shared Intelligence who designed an evaluation approach, which included skills development for sector practitioners. The approach encouraged critical thinking about the goals and theories of change, which underpinned the pilot exercises and supported the research.

The pilot exercises were far-reaching; with Phases 1 to 3 involving 15 projects working with 760 partner organisations including arts and cultural sector organisations and schools.  Over, 47,596 children and young people have been involved in the pilots.

In July 2014, we held a seminar in Birmingham to bring together practitioners from each of the testing phases to share practices, quality concepts and launch the third phase of pilot exercise.  The exercises have now ended and the findings are being evaluated and analysed for a report set to be published in summer 2015.

Slides from the seminar

The quality principles project links closely to other Arts Council work on the impact of engagement in arts and cultural activity and how participation can add value to people's lives. We are working with the quality metrics projectartistic assessment and the self-evaluation framework.