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Cultural Education Plan: Listening Exercise

Government’s commitment to developing a Cultural Education Plan was set out in the Schools White Paper in March 2022: Opportunity for all – Strong schools with great teachers for your child.

All state-funded schools are required to teach a broad and balanced curriculum, and this includes promoting pupils’ cultural development and which prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Across England, children and young people are accessing cultural opportunities, resources, and experiences where they live, go to school, and spend their free time. This is supported by committed and expert professionals.

But it is also true that access to these opportunities for children and young people are not equal. The development of a Cultural Education Plan represents an important opportunity for the range of individuals and organisations that have an interest in cultural education to work together in a practical and tangible way to respond to this, and to improve the lives of children and young people.

What is the Cultural Education Plan?
The Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport are developing the Plan to ensure children and young people aged 0-18 and from all backgrounds across England benefit from the best possible cultural education.

The Cultural Education Plan will support children and young people to access, participate and progress their cultural interests and potential. It will make the most of expertise and skills both inside and outside of school as well as in the cultural education sector, to provide high-quality and meaningful opportunities for children and young people to engage in cultural education, to foster a life-long relationship with culture, and to open up progression pathways into rewarding careers.

The Plan aims to: 
“Articulate and highlight the importance of high-quality cultural education in schools, promote the social value of cultural and creative education, outline and support career progression pathways, address skills gaps and tackle disparities in
opportunity and outcome”.

The Plan will be developed by DfE and DCMS officials working with the Expert Advisory Panel, the latter is chaired by Baroness Bull. We are also working closely with DCMS’s arms-length bodies which manage DfE cultural education programmes, namely Arts Council England, British Film Institute, and Historic England.

The CEP will be non-statutory and England-only. It will be published in late 2023.

Listening Exercises
As the Cultural Education Plan is being developed, the DfE and DCMS want to make sure we understand and have considered a range of relevant information and evidence. We would like to hear from the organisations, services, and individuals that have an interest in cultural education for children and young people in England. To support this, a Listening Exercise will take place to include conversations with stakeholders from different sectors and specialist communities. Government officials and representatives from ALBs will take part in and, in some cases, host these conversations.

At this webinar you will hear from Clive Fischer on the context and scope of the Plan. You will then be assigned a breakout group for separate discussions on how best to achieve the plan’s outcomes and objectives.

A plenary session will then enable each group to share their feedback with an opportunity for you to put further questions to the representatives.

The session will be hosted by the President of the Chartered College of Teaching, Dr Steven Berryman.

Dr Steven Berryman FCCT, CTeach (Leadership) – Steven is the President of the Chartered College of Teaching and Director of Creativity, Music and Culture for The Charter Schools Educational Trust. He has worked in education for nearly 20 years, and contributes widely through research, teaching, advisory and non executive director roles. One of the first Chartered Teachers, Steven continues to support the programme as an assessor. Steven has considerable expertise in arts education, and is the Vice-President of the National Society for Educators of Art and Design, and an advisory panel member for the Cultural Learning Alliance. Most recently he was a member of the expert panel for the refreshed DFE/DCMS National Plan for Music Education.

Clive Fisher has worked at the Department for Education since 2019, and currently works as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Cultural Education and Humanities team. He is a qualified primary school teacher, and taught in schools across Sheffield from 2015-2018. Previous to this his work was in care for those with learning disabilities and autism.

What will happen during a Listening Exercise session?
Conversations will be framed around the following questions:
1. What are the key outcomes which every child should achieve through their cultural education? In ten years, what difference should this plan have made?
2. Cultural education is delivered through partnerships and an ecology of people and organisations. Can you tell us where and how this is working well?
3. How can we collectively understand and capture the impact that we are having on the lives of children and young people?

Who will the Listening  Exercise target?
The Listening Exercise will target individuals as well as representatives from the services, organisations, and educators that contribute to the cultural lives of children and young people.

This includes:
● Early years settings and providers
● Schools, MATs, and other statutory education settings
● 16+ providers and settings including further education, higher education, and apprenticeship providers
● Local authorities, other government bodies and departments
● Creative, cultural, film, and heritage organisations
● Creative, cultural, film and heritage education organisations
● Youth or community-based organisations and service
● Employers in relevant sectors, and all those with an interest in core creative skills

How will the information shared during the Listening Exercise be used by the DfE and the DCMS?
The knowledge and experience of Listening Exercise participants about how best to support the cultural lives of children and young people is critical to the development of the CEP. Their ideas and feedback will be collated and considered as part of the design and development process.
Officials from DfE and/or DCMS will attend the majority of events, with representatives from ALBs also engaged in sessions. The information will support Government’s development of the Plan.


Download the white paper here.

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