Creative Schools was developed in 2015 as the flagship programme of the East London Cultural Education Partnership (ELCEP), a partnership of cultural education organisations led by Barbican/Guildhall School of Music & Drama; six east London Music Education Hubs representing eight local authorities; 70+ cultural and education organisations; and A New Direction (A.N.D).

The East London Cultural Education Alliance (ELCEA) builds on relationships and partnership models established through ELCEP , and brings together partners from across east London to ensure that the existing provision, learning and support for cultural education is available to all young people and delivered in the most effective way.

Read more about ELCEA’s vision, mission and values on

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Creative Schools

School Improvement through the arts

Creative Schools aimed to create ‘critical mass’ around shared challenges and opportunities in east London, and over the course of a three year programme brought together 280 east London culture and education organisations together through the development of sustainable and collaborative business and delivery models.

Four interlinked strands of activity were designed and delivered by multiple partners to test new and collaborative approaches to supporting outcomes for children and young people, schools, and cultural organisations in east London.

  • Creative Schools brokerage: established new brokerage infrastructure to support east London Schools to meet their improvement needs through the arts and deliver on Artsmark ambitions through a joined up Creative Schools Artsmark 
  • Youth Voice: developed models of empowering youth voice within the commissioning process through student consultation and leadership opportunities
  • Collaborative Learning: strengthened practice and enhanced collaboration across east London’s cultural education sector through a programme of structured learning, dialogue and experimentation
  • New London: tested income generation models and cross-sector collaborations that support more financially viable business and delivery models for cultural education
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Our Story of Change

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

Over three years of activity, Creative Schools delivered considerable impact in terms of both scale and depth of engagement, successfully bringing together schools and cultural organisations to strengthen cultural education provision in east London; providing enriching cultural experiences for over 5000 children and young people; supporting the delivery of a wide range of inspiring creative projects that demonstrate the power of creativity to inspire, challenge and develop necessary life skills for children and young people;  and experimenting with innovative operational and funding models to shift the practice of delivering cultural education in east London.

Resources, partner reflections and learning

Explore what we delivered through Our Story of Change and tap into resources and learning from the three year programme.

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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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