National Partnership for Culture: Workshop 3 – culture and education workshop report

Output report for the meeting of the National Partnership for Culture on culture and education held in July 2021.

This report contains a high level summary of the main themes, issues and ideas advanced by participants at the above workshop.

Key outputs

Discussion across five breakout groups focused on:

  • culture in education
  • creative learning
  • informal settings and lifelong learning
  • skills and training
  • learner voice

The issues and actions discussed across all these areas fall within:

  • partnership working and policy
  • education, training and skills

They are discussed below.

There was general consensus from participants that further exploration of the following priority themes and proposed actions would be productive.

Partnership working and policy

Participants broadly recognised the good work already being done across the culture and education sectors through existing networks and organisations.

There was a perception that cross-sector working needs to be intensified in order to be able to identify what each area of culture can offer the education sector. It was agreed it was important to use the appropriate language when approaching the education sector. This would allow cultural initiatives and practice to be embedded within pathways towards defined learning and wellbeing outcomes.

There was broad support to encourage stronger connections at a local level. This is to ensure local government and schools are aware of the resources available to them and how it could fit in to their own vision and plans for the local area and schools.

Participants suggested there is a need for acknowledgement that the culture sector has many small/micro organisations and that partnership working needs to be resourced.

Participants suggested the following priorities for action:

  • build upon existing partnerships between culture organisations and schools in order to scale-up, replicate or learn from successful cultural initiatives.
  • create more long-term cross-portfolio funding opportunities, which will in turn bring better partnership working and more sustainable funding. Consideration should also be given to place-based long term funding models which would increase access to opportunities and improve life chances of individuals in communities.
  • build and develop better coordination and collaboration between the culture sector, local authorities and communities to provide local authorities with an improved understanding of local cultural initiatives. This would support an enhanced understanding of actions that would be beneficial in the context of local schools and community learning.
  • consider working with the Creative Learning Steering Group to widen the groups representation to different cultural partners which may be able to provide more resource and support in order to develop the culture sector offering for the education sector.
  • ensure learning practitioners have ongoing support and resource in developing the Creative Learning pedagogy and have a clear understanding of the benefits of using this pedagogy, how it can help deliver core subjects and the different benefits of the numerous forms of culture.
  • create national or regional standardised funding requirements and evaluation to deliver more streamlined sets of data. This could help the sector to identify and share good practice, and work to make the reporting a more efficient process.
  • embed artists in residence into local communities through long term projects that would allow communities and schools to access cultural opportunities.
  • consider building on existing cultural networks and spaces, such as public libraries, to enable more sustainable long term cultural learning opportunities to become embedded in communities.
  • develop a different sectoral approach in how children and young people’s voices are effectively listened to, formally and informally, and considered in decision making processes. Consider creating a framework to ensure this approach is consistent across the sector and there are key guidelines to follow.

Education, training and skills

There was a general recognition of the training and skills required to deliver cultural initiatives in education. Training and skills will ensure that programmes are delivered effectively, especially when delivered in formal education settings to make sure learning outcomes are met.

There group identified a need to ensure cultural education was embedded early in higher education training. This would ensure teachers are more aware of the benefits of using cultural methods of teaching and working with cultural organisations. It would also increase their confidence in using the resources.

Participants suggested the following priorities for action:

  • develop an online system supporting better connectivity between education settings and cultural providers to match opportunity to need, or vice versa. This could include refreshing and promoting the existing Creativity Portal run through Creative Scotland and Education Scotland, investigating whether the platform could be developed to serve this purpose.
  • consider how to raise the profile of the principles within the Creative Learning plan to advocate for this to be adopted more widely, in particular gaining Ministerial support. This could include developing sector level guidance plans and examples of ways the varying organisations could deliver against the plan.
  • ensure culture and heritage forms part of school library, across the curriculum and educational resource action plans.
  • building on the success of the Youth Music Initiative, there could be a commitment to allow children and young people to have access to all cultural and art forms throughout education ensuring there is parity across resources, with the ability for children and young people to influence their experiences as well as providing more options for schools, learning professionals and parents.
  • ensure learning professionals have the confidence, time and support from their schools to seek out and deliver opportunities.
  • explore options for continuous professional development for both the culture and education sectors to help deliver cultural educational initiatives in schools and informal education settings. This should be available to those who deliver programmes targeted at young people right through to older people. This should also include upskilling digital skills to enhance routes for communication, delivery and the potential to provide increased equitable access to cultural initiatives.
  • work towards increasing understanding and awareness of the opportunities and skills within the culture sector to ensure a cultural career is seen to be attractive, valuable and credible not only for young people but by those who would influence and support young people e.g. parents/teachers/career advisors.
  • ensure that training opportunities for young people are in line with the actual available opportunities in the sector – so individuals are able to train and remain in the sector. These opportunities for skills development and apprenticeships also need to be wide ranging to capture how each area of culture works and the skills needed for each.
  • ensure that career initiatives, such as the Developing the Young Workforce, are further supporting careers guidance which provides examples concerning careers in culture and the creative industries.
  • consider a review of national apprenticeships and skills review to see where there may be gaps in the offer for culture sector jobs, e.g. in production and support functions.
  • develop the digital skills of the sector and build on existing digital innovation programmes such as those within public libraries to further advance engagement.
  • support, promote and expand on the work of Skills Development Scotland in developing and delivering a package of skills, including business and digital skills, through the National Transition Training Fund.
  • work to build on opportunities for paid apprenticeship and internship experiences for individuals.

Next steps

The NPC secretariat would be grateful for feedback from members and attendees, particularly with regards to the prioritisation of the identified potential actions.

This will be incorporated into an updated version of the report, and will help to shape recommendations to Ministers in due course.

National Partnership for Culture Secretariat

October 2021

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