Raising the standard of work by, with and for children and young people

Goal 5 in Achieving great art for everyone and Culture, knowledge and understanding is that: every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts and culture. One of our immediate priorities underpinning this goal is: raising the standard of work being produced by, with and for children and young people.

There has been an abundance of work commissioned by, with and for children and young people but practitioners have many different approaches to evaluating the quality of the young person's experience or the outcomes achieved by their practice. The Arts Council has therefore identified the need to develop a discussion with the arts and cultural sector to understand and compare the quality of work by, with and for children and young people.

Our work around this was triggered by the publication of the Culture and Sport Evidence (CASE) programme's report Understanding the impact of engagement in culture and sport in 2010. The report confirmed both an inconsistent approach to definitions and ways of measuring quality.

The Arts Council has embarked on a long term raising standards debate in order to champion excellence, self-improvement, sharing of inspiring practice and encouraging sector-led improvement. This programme of work is outlined here.

Research and consultation

The first step in this work was to commission a review of existing quality frameworks used by the arts, culture and youth sectors in order to reveal the principles of quality which underpin existing frameworks. We then began discussion with the arts, culture and youth sectors to explore the findings of the review, the values of quality which underpin or guide their work, and the approaches that individual practitioners or organisations take to ensure these are achieved. The literature review and initial consultation with the sector were delivered by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and Shared Intelligence. Read their final report, published in July 2012.

Read about the next steps for this programme of work.

Access the video and audio resources from our first Children and young people quality event on this page or find out more about the event.