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									Schools of Creativity

Frequently Asked Questions


Schools of Creativity
Background information
1. What is the Schools of Creativity Programme? The Schools of Creativity Programme is one of three new Creative Partnerships schools programmes being rolled out across England from 2008. It will enable a number of leading schools to engage in cutting-edge practice. They will develop innovative programmes with other schools and play a pivotal role in the strategic leadership of Creative Partnerships. Creative Partnerships, Arts Council England’s successful creativity programme for schools, will become part of a new independent organisation – Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) on 1st April 2009. CCE with nationally manage Creative Partnerships. CCE has already assumed management of the Schools of Creativity programme. 2. Does my Local Authority know about the Schools of Creativity programme and support it? Schools of Creativity is a national programme and its objectives therefore go much further than local development. We will ensure that Local Authorities are made aware of the programme. Creativity, Culture and Education area teams will encourage Local Authorities’ support and increase their understanding of the programme’s potential contribution to local strategic objectives. Who do I need to get in touch with to find out more? In the first instance please refer to the schools’ prospectus and this FAQ paper. You can download copies at If your question is not answered, contact Pat Chapman at Creativity, Culture and Education (


Applications and selection
4. Are stage 1 applications initially submitted to the Creative Partnerships Area Delivery Organisation? No, but Area Delivery Organisations will be consulted as part of the shortlisting process. Who makes decisions at each stage? At the first stage, a national selection panel will shortlist a maximum of 60 schools for progression to the second stage. The second stage of applications will involve a selection visit by members of the national selection panel, including a Creativity, Culture and Education director. Final decisions will be made by the national selection panel.




Schools of Creativity
6. Can we include a supporting statement or reference from the local authority, the Creative Partnerships Area Delivery Organisation, or our current Creative Agent? Not at the first stage. However, during the second stage selection visit you may wish to provide supporting statements, or direct input from your partners. How long will the second stage selection visits last, who will be involved, and what will schools need to prepare? Visits will last one day and involve Creativity, Culture and Education staff, members of the national selection panel, and education consultants employed by Creativity, Culture and Education. It is up to schools to decide how they can best demonstrate why they should become a School of Creativity, and staff, pupils, Creative Practitioners and other key external partners should all contribute. A more detailed brief will be supplied to schools once they have been shortlisted to progress to the second stage. Why do the second stage selection visits take place at such a busy time? We recognise that this is a very busy time of the year – most are. For primary phase schools we would not wish you to involve children engaged in SATs. For secondary schools we hope that we can schedule around the demands of the exam timetable for both students and staff. What support can our Creative Partnerships Area Delivery Organisation give us to help us write our School of Creativity bid? None, as they will be involved in the shortlisting process. 10. Can our current Creative Agent help us write our School of Creativity bid? Yes, although it is essential that your school is the main driver of the bid. Your application must demonstrate that your school has the internal capacity to become a successful School of Creativity and to take on a national leadership role. 11. Can an unsuccessful school appeal if they are unhappy with the decision? We do not have a formal appeals process; however, all applicants will receive written feedback regarding their application.




What happens next?
Timescale 12. If our bid is successful, when will the programme start? If your school is successful in its application, a Creative Agent will be selected and planning will commence in Autumn 2009, with a likely project start date and first payment in early 2010.

Funding Please note that detailed guidance on the use of funds will be made available to schools once selected.



Schools of Creativity
13. What can Creative Partnerships funds be used for? Creative Partnerships funds should predominantly be used to cover the fees of Creative Practitioners and other external partners. In addition, funds can be used for materials, transport costs and small items of equipment related to the programme. Funds can be used for supply cover to release staff to plan and reflect in the network of schools only. If £20,000 per year is an average amount, how will actual levels of Creative Partnerships funding be determined? Actual levels of funding will be based on the size of the School of Creativity, the size and number of other schools in the network, and other factors relating to the planned programme and local conditions. Does the 25% contribution to programme costs need to be cash or can it include in kind support? Cash, although additional support in kind is also encouraged. Can the 25% school contribution pay for supply cover? No. Schools of Creativity are expected to make provision for staff to be released to coordinate, plan and evaluate as part of their core commitments. However, part of the funding allocated to schools to support programmes in the wider network of schools can be used for supply cover to release staff for planning and evaluating the programme.





Is each school in the network required to contribute £5,000? No. A cash contribution of 25% of programme costs (an average of £5000) is required from the School of Creativity only.

Network of Schools
18. What is the network of schools? This is a group of between four and ten schools that will work together with the support of the School of Creativity to develop their own creative programmes. Do prospective schools of creativity have to name the other schools in their network? Not necessarily at the first application stage, but you do need to demonstrate that you have a track record of working in partnership with other schools to influence their practice. However, if you are able to identify other schools you intend to work with, it may strengthen your application. If your school progresses to the second stage, we will expect you to identify schools in your network. Who decides on the network of schools? The School of Creativity itself, although this is likely to be in consultation with other schools you may already be working with, and possibly your Local Authority. Prospective Schools of Creativity will need to demonstrate why they wish to work with their chosen network, for example: geographical proximity, feeder schools, common interest, addressing local priorities.




Schools of Creativity
21. Can schools in the network be in another Local Authority? We anticipate that most schools in the wider network will be from the same Local Authority so that Schools of Creativity can help contribute to local strategic objectives. Schools from another Local Authority can be included if there is a clear rationale for doing so. Will we be expected to hold meetings with our network of schools, other Schools of Creativity in our area and their school networks? Yes. We would expect Schools of Creativity to meet regularly with other schools in their network at least once every half term to plan, reflect and evaluate progress. You will need to be in regular contact with other Schools of Creativity locally, regionally and nationally as part of the commitment to sharing knowledge.


Creative Agents
23. Who assigns Creative Agents to Schools of Creativity? Creative Agents will be selected by the School of Creativity. You may wish to consult Creativity, Culture and Education or your local Area Delivery Organisation on selection. An excellent Creative Agent has supported our school since we joined the Creative Partnerships programme. If successful in applying to become a School of Creativity, can we continue to work with the same Creative Agent? There is no reason why you cannot continue working with a Creative Agent who already has a relationship with your school. You will need to demonstrate that the Creative Agent will offer an appropriate level of advice, support and challenge to enable your school to become a successful innovator, leader and a catalyst for creativity in your partner schools.


Monitoring, evaluation and research
25. How will the Schools of Creativity programme be monitored and evaluated? There will be a common self-evaluation process and monitoring procedure which will be applied to all projects across all schools, and Schools of Creativity will also undertake an annual self-review. Schools of Creativity should reflect their status strongly in their SEF, and Creative Partnerships will therefore give weight to the comments that Ofsted make on inspection. Additionally, Schools of Creativity will, on a random sample basis, occasionally be selected to undertake a more in-depth and reflective evaluation process which will be periodically subject to an external audit. What does the commitment to research involve? Schools of Creativity will be expected, as part of a nationally co-ordinated programme of research, to examine their programme in more depth. This may include working with external researchers and findings will be published in reports produced by Creative Partnerships or external researchers as part of the national research programme. From time to time, Schools of Creativity will also be able to become involved in evaluative research led by university partners and other external agencies which will be commissioned by the national office of Creative



Schools of Creativity
Partnerships. We would always seek to establish such projects in ways which would mutually benefit all concerned and no schools would be expected to take part on a mandatory basis against their will. 27. Can Creative Partnerships funds allocated to a School of Creativity be used to buy in external evaluators and researchers? No. The budget allocated to Schools of Creativity is to be used to support the development, delivery of the creative programme, and its evaluation by participants. External evaluation and research will be funded from a national budget, and Schools of Creativity will be expected to participate in nationally coordinated themed research programmes. To ensure we maximise our impact and avoid duplication, they should not spend their core budget on research but use the national themed research projects or the open call for teacher-focused research bursaries.


Can funds be used to support the professional development of school staff and creative partners? The creative programme in the School of Creativity and the wider network of schools can include projects which have a strong professional development element and which help to retain a focus on enquiry and reflective practice.



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