3. We want to improve people's education and learning through the arts

The arts play an important role in enriching young people’s learning and educational experiences. Learning through the arts can engage and inspire young people, support key educational outcomes and develop skills that prepare young people for life beyond school. For many young people, particularly those experiencing the most disadvantage, the only opportunity to gain access to arts education is at school.

Exposure to the arts can help to unlock potential in young people, developing skills in communication, problem solving and collaboration. Arts education can increase young people’s interest in school and learning. All this is in addition to the joy the arts can bring to their growing lives and the enrichment it can bring as they get older.

Where good practice exists in schools, colleges and the arts organisations that work with them, the benefits for young people are significant. In an increasingly fragmented school system, there is an appetite for collaboration between teachers and arts organisations to improve their practice and the impact for young people. We are responding as well to teachers’ interest in increased opportunities to develop their skills and professional practice in arts teaching.

We are building on our experience of supporting work to address different educational issues affecting young people. In this strategic plan, we want to sharpen our focus and thus have a stronger impact. Our funding will support the arts in educational settings, to enhance the lives and achievements of young people.

Our work under this strategic priority will include:

Arts-based Learning Fund

This new fund will encourage the development, use and sustainability of effective arts-based activities in education, supporting arts organisations to work with schools, colleges and teachers. We are interested in pilots, in projects that evaluate and improve approaches, and in exploring innovation. We are also interested in helping organisations and schools to build lasting and effective partnership working that has a growing impact on young people’s learning and development.

Teacher Development Fund

This new fund is focused on helping teachers to develop their skills to deliver arts in schools. We want to build the skills, knowledge, confidence and interconnectedness of teachers to maximise the potential impact of the arts for young people. We will support schoolbased projects to develop and spread good practice in teaching and learning in the arts.

Inspire Music

The opportunity for young people to enjoy a range of music-making activities and to attend performances was an early focus for Paul Hamlyn. Musical Futures, a movement to reshape music education driven by teachers, is now being supported by the Foundation to become an independent entity.

In early 2014, we published Inspiring Music for All, a review of music in schools, and agreed to adopt a key recommendation, to produce practical guidance on how to improve schools-based music teaching and provision. An expert working group of practitioners is taking this work forward and by the summer of 2016, we intend to publish a set of clear, practical and inspirational guidelines and tools. These will be for teachers, music organisations, music hubs and others to use, so that more young people can benefit from an excellent music education, wherever they live in the UK.