The East London Cultural Education Alliance (ELCEA) brings together a critical mass of arts, cultural and educational organisations that are committed to providing access to a high quality cultural education to every child and young person in East London.

ELCEA (formerly East London Cultural Education Partnership) was awarded funding in September 2015 from A New Direction’s Cultural Education Challenge to develop ‘Creative Schools’, a programme which aims to enable more young people and schools in East London to engage in creative activities that meet their improvement needs and development priorities.

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Creative Schools

School Improvement through the arts

As home to 100+ arts organisations, East London should be the best place in the country to have a creative education. However, as part of the London Cultural Education Challenge, A New Direction identified that in our current ‘super served system’ only 23% of London schools interested in doing more with arts and culture report being actively sought out by cultural organisations, resulting in many children and young people missing out.

“If you don’t have the right links with cultural organisations, you wouldn’t know about what they offer”
Teacher, Waltham Forest

Creative Schools’ was developed in response to this huge untapped demand coupled with the creative, well-being and regeneration opportunities transforming East London. By bringing together partners across the cultural and education sectors, Creative Schools aims to improve the equity and quality of access to East London’s incredible arts and cultural offer, through an ambitious programme of activity.

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Our Programme

Maximising impacts for children and young people, schools and cultural organisations

Through the Creative Schools programme 50+ partners are working together to join up knowledge and expertise across sectors and build shared resources for East London schools and cultural organisations that facilitate partnerships and join up with tools such as Artsmark and Arts Award – maximising the impact for children and young people in East London, without reinventing the wheel or duplicating activity.

Bringing together schools, cultural organisations, local authorities, music hubs, community partners and funders from across East London, the Creative Schools programme is:

  • Working with East London schools to support their school improvement needs through the arts and deliver their Artsmark ambitions by better connecting schools with creative opportunities from across our network of 40+ East London cultural organisations
  • Empowering children and young people through student consultation and youth leadership opportunities
  • Strengthening practice across East London’s cultural and education sector by sharing practice and resources through a dynamic programme of collaborative learning 
  • Exploring new business models and cross-sector collaborations that support sustainable, long-term investment in cultural education in East London.

Explore our website to find out more about the Creative Schools programme, how we are working with schools and cultural organisations, and all the latest news and opportunities for your organisation, including how to get involved in the 2017 Creative Schools Symposium taking place on 17 November at Stratford Circus Arts Centre. 


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Creative Schools is supported by A New Direction, with funding from Arts Council England through Bridge funds, and is part of the London Cultural Education Challenge, an ambitious £900,000 three year programme designed to bring about a step-change in Cultural Education and young people’s cultural engagement in London.

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