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Pupils & learning

New guides to boost boards' arts and cultural education influence


To support governing boards in positively influencing their school/trust’s arts and cultural education provision, the National Governance Association (NGA), in collaboration with Arts Council England, One Dance UK, the National Society of Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) and Music Mark, has today (28 May) published four guides covering cultural education, dance, arts and design and music.

The guides, now available on NGA’s Knowledge Centre, explore the benefits that cultural education can bring to pupils and their school community, and provide insight on the features and enablers of high-quality cultural education. They also include practical advice on how boards can fulfil their responsibility of ensuring their school/trust offers pupils a broad and rich curriculum.

The release coincides with the Festival of School and College Arts – an opportunity to celebrate the vital role of the arts in our schools and colleges around the country, and the fantastic work created by children and young people.  

NGA’s Learning Link module ‘Arts and cultural education: improving your school and its curriculum’ works in collaboration with the guides by empowering school governors and trustees to use arts and cultural education as a part of school improvement.

Dr Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said:

“Schools remain the single most important place where children can access great cultural experiences, which is why we’ve worked in collaboration with NGA and subject specialists to refresh our guides for school governors and trustees. We hope these resources will inspire you to develop your understanding of how cultural education subjects can change the lives of children and young people.”


Steve Edmonds, director of advice and guidance at NGA said:

“The opportunity to collaborate with Arts Council England and subject specialists to refresh our cultural education guides for governing boards could not have been more timely. COVID-19 has reminded us of the humanity of schools and how they are about so much more than what can be easily measured. Those of us who govern have the power and influence to create an amazing legacy for the next generation by supporting our schools to give all pupils, regardless of their backgrounds, access to a range of cultural experiences. Not only will this raise standards and boost happiness and wellbeing, it also gives our children and young people something they can take into the next stages of their lives: a sense of community and belonging. Whether it is through promoting music, dance, art or design, I can think of no better reason for making cultural education a fundamental part of the future vision for our schools and trusts”.