Creative Models for School Improvement 

Information for School Leaders

Why a Creative Approach?

Evidence is everywhere that the critical factors in raising pupil achievement on all fronts are the motivation and expectations of the students themselves.

Creative Schools is about shifting the focus onto how best to inspire and motivate your teachers and the students in their care to produce the results schools want through innovative, and inspiring creative projects.

Imagine what we could achieve if we approached school improvement in a positive, creative, and collaborative way?

Register your interest now, to find out how we are helping schools meet broader strategic priorities for school improvement through creative projects and partnerships in east London.

Creative Models for School Change

Making the Most of your Teachers 

David Crossley’s manifesto for change, outlined in ‘Sustainable School Transformation’ (2013) argues that the first step towards change involves ‘making the most of the teachers we have and unleashing their creativity’. Who better to upskill and motivate teachers and pupils and unleash their creativity than expert partners from the arts and cultural education sector?

Sign up for our Schools Brokerage, to talk about how partnerships and projects can help unleash teachers’ creativity in your school for sustained improvement.

Steps towards sustainable school change outline by David Crossley (Executive Director of Whole Education):

  1. Making the most of the teachers we have and unleashing their creativity
  2. Offering a curriculum that really meets the needs of 21st century learners
  3. Embedding effective collaboration within schools and between schools and between systems
  4. Developing a smarter approach to accountability and use of data
  5. Making the most of the choices schools have.

The journey from great to excellent focuses on creating an environment that will unleash the creativity and innovation of its educators–McKinsey and Co. 2010

Engaging Parents and Community

Many of the challenges that schools commonly face, including poor behaviour, bullying, and engagement come from the world outside, in which pupils spend most of their time and energies.

Creative projects brokered through our partners, can encourage schools to collaborate across a cluster or engage the wider school community. Developing closer ties with families and the community is one of the best ways to understand and tackle school challenges.

Collaboration between schools and families is a powerful source of school improvement–Ken Robinson, Creative Schools, 2015

Creative Approaches to the Wider Curriculum 

All subjects can be enriched through a creative approach. Our broad range of cultural partners from east London and beyond can support schools to find the right project or intervention to inspire learning in any subject, including Science, Maths, Literacy, Poetry, P.E.

An innovative and creative approach to learning is key to developing pupils’ skills for the future.

As the Warwick Commission Report argues,

The government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.

OFSTED Phase 3 Curriculum Research also highlighted the importance of a creative curriculum:

‘The timetabling and the organisation of curriculum delivery in some of the schools with weaker curriculum quality also limited pupils’ knowledge and understanding in technology and arts subjects in key stage 3. Practical and creative subjects were sometimes marginalised. It is important, however, to note that headteachers in the schools with a band 4 or 5 for curriculum quality were often passionate advocates of the benefits of subjects such as music, drama and technology. A wide range of subjects tended to thrive in these schools.’OFSTED 2018

Vikki Heywood CBE, Chairman of the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value

The Benefits of Cultural Learning

According to key research by the Cultural Learning Alliance in 2017:

  • Participation in structured arts activities can increase cognitive abilities by 17%
  • Learning through arts and culture can improve attainment in Maths and English
  • Learning through arts and culture develops skills and behaviour that lead children to do better at school
  • Students from low-income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree
  • Employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment.
  • Young offenders who take part in arts activities are 18% less likely to re-offend.
  • Children who take part in arts activities in the home during their early years are ahead in reading and Maths at age nine.
  • People who take part in the arts are 38% more likely to report good health.

Read the Key Research Findings in full at: 

Creativity is much broader and more universal than what people typically consider the ‘artistic’ fields. We think of creativity as using your imagination to create something new in the world. Creativity comes into play whenever you have the opportunity to generate new ideas, solutions, or approaches.–Tom and David Kelley, Founder of IDEO

Find out More 

About School Improvement 

David Crossley (ed.) Sustainable School Transformation, An Inside-Out School Led Approach (2013)

Ken Robinson Creative Schools (2015)

Ken Robinson, All our Futures: Creativity, Culture, and Education (1999)

OFSTED: Curriculum research: assessing intent, implementation and impact, (2018)

Whole Education:

About Creative and Cultural Education 

The Cultural Learning Alliance:

A New Direction:

The Creative Industries Federation:

AHRC: Understanding the Value of Arts and Culture:

A+D, Caring For Cultural Freedom:

OFSTED: Creative Approaches that Raise Standards:

The Warwick Commission Report on Cultural Value

Sign up to our newsletter