Frequently Asked Questions for Schools


Who is Creative Schools for?

  • Schools based in Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest are currently eligible to apply for Creative Schools
  • We can work across all state-funded education settings from Key Stage 1 – Key Stage 5, including Sixth Form Colleges, SEN, and PRUs
  • Schools who would like to find creative and inspiring ways of tackling their challenges, by linking into our broad network of arts and cultural partners based in East London and beyond
  • Schools who require financial support and resources to try a creative approach

When does the Creative Schools Programme run?

  • 2018/19. Consultations will begin in January 2019 for Spring/Summer Term project delivery.
  • Some projects may run over into the Autumn Term 2019-20.
  • Schools who wish to register interest for the 2019-20 school year can also get in touch to sign up now.

How much does the programme cost?

We ask schools to make a contribution towards the long-term sustainability of the programme.

The cost of joining is £350.00 (+VAT) per school to join for one year. The VAT can normally be reclaimed.

We are committed to ensuring that the Programme provides great value to schools.

Membership guarantees match funding for projects/interventions commissioned through the programme, up to £600 per school.

Can you meet challenges/school needs that are not necessarily related to the arts?

YES! Most schools’ improvement needs have no direct connection to the arts. However, there are artistic, cultural, or creative ways of meeting those needs. Here are some examples of school improvement needs we met during 2017-18 through creative projects with our arts partners:

  • To improve the quality of early years provision
  • To ensure the the teaching of basic literacy and numeracy enables pupils to achieve expectations
  • To inspire creative writing in the classroom
  • To raise pupil achievement across the whole school especially with literacy
  • To support raising attainment for boys
  • To promote greater depth in learning by increasing the challenge.
  • To encourage independent learners

What does my school get? 

  1. Arts Consultancy and brokerage scheme
  2. Direct access to opportunities and offers from 30+ cultural organisations from across east London – without having to send hundreds of emails!
  3. Support from the Creative Schools team in commissioning, planning, and delivering arts projects taking place in your school
  4. Access to project match funding up to £600 per school
  5. 3 FREE CPD and Networking Events per year for teachers and staff, also designed around school needs.
  6. Two places at the annual Creative Schools Symposium in Autumn 2019 (the value is £75 per place)
  7. All schools receive a Guidance Pack containing all the information needed to run the programme effectively and make the most of your arts project/intervention.

How long will our membership last? 

The Creative Schools Programme for 2018-19 will run from December 2018-December 2019 to allow for projects taking place in the Autumn Term 2019 and for the next Creative Schools Symposium in November 2019.  Delivery of projects commissioned through the programme can also take place beyond these dates.

Schools participating in the 2018-19 Creative Schools Programme will have the opportunity to  build long term partnerships with arts organisations on their doorstep through a dynamic local network of 30+ East London culture and education organisations, and support the development and delivery of their schools’ long-term ambitions for the arts within their school, including the opportunity to register for Artsmark.

How many schools will take part?

Match funding is available for up to 20 schools per academic year. Register your interest now to ensure your school doesn’t miss out!

We’ll get in touch to confirm your interest and meet with senior leaders about your school’s needs.

We have already signed up for Artsmark. What are the benefits of joining Creative Schools?

  •  Join a dynamic local partnership of 30+ east London culture and education organisations to support your Artsmark ambitions with high-quality projects from east London’s incredible creative opportunities
  • Access support from our experienced staff to commission arts projects that meet your school’s wider needs, including a bespoke menu of arts projects to select from to support your Artsmark priorities
  • Receive resources and match-funding for projects commissioned through the programme.
  • Attend termly partnership events to build links and share practice with other teachers and arts leaders from your local area
  • Two places at the Creative Schools Annual Symposium which last year attracted 140+ teachers and cultural organisations to Stratford Circus Arts Centre to take part in a day of talks, workshops, and professional development supporting innovative arts practice in schools (value £75 per place).

What other organisations are involved?

Our network is made up of east London cultural organisations and education partners, including schools, arts practitioners, HE partners, local authorities, music education hubs, strategic partners and cultural providers representing all arts forms. Find out more about organisations that have been involved previously HERE.

What kind of projects have taken place through Creative Schools?

  • BIG CLUSTER PROJECTS – For example a group of schools that are part of an academy trust or chain may want to pool resources (inc. our match-funding) to develop a larger-scale ambitious project. For example, in 2017 four primary schools wanted to strengthen collaboration between schools, whilst at the same time boosting the literacy results of pupils, particularly boys. They ran separate in-school projects with different arts partners to explore a single story across 4 different art forms. Teachers took part in collective CPD with the arts organisations and then finally the whole community came together at Stratford Circus with Poet in the City to celebrate their learning and inspire the rest of their school community to find new ways of inspiring children through stories and boosting literacy results.
  • LONG-TERM projects with CPD and parental engagement built in – For example, William Morris Gallery joined forces with two local primaries in Waltham Forest to run an exciting whole-term project which involved visits to the Gallery, in-school learning with a storyteller, CPD for teachers at the gallery in how to ‘read a painting’, and a final large-scale ‘kids takeover of the gallery’ to explore stories through painting, patterns, and drama. Parents were invited to seed longer-term engagement family with the arts.
  • BOOST THE ARTS with a SHORT-TERM, EXPERT-LED INTERVENTION to support schools Artsmark goals or pupils working towards an Arts Award. For example, Sarah Bonnell secondary school in Newham wanted to actively engage pupils in ‘action learning’. To do this they commissioned Sound Connections to facilitate a ‘Summer Showcase’ that was led entirely by the pupils as producers!

Browse through our blog to find out about the programme including:

How can I find out more about the Artsmark Award?

Discover Artsmark with A New Direction – London’s Leader in cultural education and learn more about how schools are getting involved in the Artsmark Award across the country at

How can I find out more about Creative Schools?

Say hello by emailing us at!

Call us on 0208 279 1073 to have a chat about your needs.

Fill out our expression of interest form


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