Arts Council Learning Link

Cultural education is an essential part of a broad and balanced curriculum, and to inform and empower those involved in school governance on how arts and cultural education can be used for school improvement and enhancing the school curriculum, the National Governance Association (NGA) has collaborated with Arts Council England to develop an eLearning module.

Having a good cultural education increases pupils’ confidence and their critical and creative thinking. It can also benefit communication and literacy skills to improve attainment in core subjects like Maths and English, and develop young people’s life skills as well as providing an engaging and accessible way into the curriculum for hard to reach or disadvantaged pupils.

This module, funded by Arts Council England which also provided subject matter expertise, focuses on six key areas where schools can use arts and cultural education to improve outcomes through:

a broad and balanced curriculum

school community and parents

health and wellbeing

spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

social mobility

developing life skills and employability skills

In completing the module, governors and trustees have the opportunity to develop their understanding of what arts and cultural education means, and how it can improve outcomes in their school/ trust. Using real-life explanations from governors, school leaders and employers on how arts and culture can improve schools, along with research demonstrating the positive impact cultural education has for children and young people, the module will prompt governors and trustees to review arts and cultural education within their own setting. They will also be equipped to assess the role their board plays in this and develop a more strategic approach by accessing a wealth of further reading resources and making the most of existing opportunities, including programmes like Artsmark Award and Arts Award.

The ‘Arts and cultural education: improving your school and its curriculum’ eLearning module is CPD accredited, takes 45 minutes to complete and is available through NGA Learning Link to which governing boards can subscribe.

Emma Knights, chief executive of the National Governance Association said “School governors and trustees have a duty to ensure that a broad and balanced curriculum, which includes the arts and cultural education, is taught to all pupils. We are grateful to Arts Council England for identifying governing boards as critical to ensuring that pupils receive education on this vital, life enhancing part of the curriculum. We are pleased to launch this module to support governing boards in fulfilling their duty, and hope they will take on board the insight and ideas provided to apply them in their own school so that pupils have an exciting experience and learn much about arts and culture.”

Darren Henley, CEO of Arts Council England and a school governor, said “Schools remain the single most important place where children can access great cultural experiences, which is why we have supported the NGA to develop this e-learning module for governors and trustees. It will inform and empower them to develop their understanding of what arts and cultural education means and how it can improve outcomes.” 

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