‘The’ award for schools who place cultural education at the heart of school improvement.

The Arts Council’s Artsmark Award has been designed by schools for schools and will help schools to deliver high quality arts and cultural provision. Artsmark is available to all schools and in the North East The Forge is managing Artsmark on behalf of Culture Bridge North East.

Artsmark can help unlock the potential of children and develop their character and talent, and increase their knowledge and understanding. Artsmark is aligned to the whole school development plan making it an effective tool for delivering school targets.

To register your interest visit It’s £500 to join Artsmark (or £250 for schools with fewer than 100 pupils) and that includes the Development Day induction training for two members of staff and ongoing support from The Forge and Culture Bridge North East.

OFSTED requires that the Arts must be used strategically to address developmental targets and pupil outcomes. There has to be proven strategic use of the arts across the whole school with evidence of its impact and success. Artsmark is able to lend this evidence to demonstrate provision for the spiritual moral, social and cultural developments of its pupils, substantiated in School Improvement Plans (SIPs), School Development Plans (SDPs), or similar documents.

"Artsmark provides an overarching philosophy in which a school can strategically and financially plan. It values equally all of the different artforms and provides a framework for the school to develop a balanced creative curriculum for our students." David Thornton, Principal, North Durham Academy

If your leadership team is interested in beginning an Artsmark journey (either at entry level, Gold, or Platinum) please register your interest with The Forge (

Once you have registered, The Forge will be in touch with you to attend a School Development Day where you can work on your School Improvement Plan.

If you want to find out more, please contact The Forge by email or call 01207 284515.

Artsmark Connections

Artsmark Connections

Artsmark Connections is a programme designed by Culture Bridge North East to support School networks.

Using arts and culture, Artsmark Connections will provide schools with the opportunity to develop how they work together as a group to enriching the arts and culture offer available to pupils.

This programme is open to any network of schools who are committed to:

  • Working and learning together in a network - for example a pyramid, cluster Teaching School Alliance, Academy Chain, Trust or Learning Alliance.
  • developing arts and cultural education opportunities to support teaching and learning across the school community
  • developing and/or strengthening school to school networks focussed on arts and culture

We would ask that each individual school in the network or cluster will need to commit to begin Artsmark this academic year (£500 per school £250 for a small school). Culture Bridge North East will financially support the delivery of a bespoke Artsmark Development Day for this network and pay for three twilight sessions to support each specific network to progress.

Each network would require a minimum of five schools and all schools must be committed to beginning Artsmark in the 2016/17 academic year.

Culture Bridge North East is particularly keen to promote this opportunity to schools in the Tees Valley areas of Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton and Darlington.

To apply to be part of Artsmark Connections, please complete the expression of interest form and return by email to Culture Bridge North East by Friday 21 October. We will respond to all expressions of interest by Friday 4 November.

For further information about Artsmark visit: or please contact Culture Bridge North East if you have any additional questions.

Artsmark Development Days

If you’ve registered already for Artsmark, you can attend a FREE Development Day to help you get started.

  • 31 January 2017 - North Tyneside Learning Trust
  • 3 February 2017 - Dance City, Newcastle
  • 8 March 2017 - Arts Centre Washington
  • 14 March 2017 - Seven Stories, Newcastle
  • 21 March 2017 - Sage, Gateshead
  • 18 May 2017 - Preston Park, Stockton on Tees

For further details go to our events page

For any queries, please contact

Rockcliffe First School Artsmark Platinum status

Rockcliffe First School in Whitley Bay is one of the first schools in the North East to be awarded Artsmark Platinum status, following their participation in the pilot programme last year and the new Artsmark programme this year. Rockcliffe First School is one of only 25 schools nationally to be awarded a platinum Artsmark level and one of only 7 primary schools to achieve this status.

Local school becomes 100th to register for Artsmark in the North East and the 1000th to register nationally

Denbigh Community Primary School in Wallsend has become the 100th school to register for the national Artsmark programme in the North East since it was launched in October. By coincidence Denbigh Community Primary School has also become the 1000th school to register nationally too. Artsmark is the Arts Council England initiative to help schools to deliver a high quality arts and cultural education. Through Artsmark schools can work with arts professionals to unlock the potential of children and young people by helping to develop character and talent, and increase their knowledge and understanding.

Dr. Louise Guthrie, Headteacher, Denbigh Community Primary School said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and showcase the outstanding range of experiences we share with the children while improving their skills within the arts. Through our Artsmark journey we hope to continue to forge relationships and create new partnerships with a range of professionals and people working within the arts. The children who attend Denbigh exude enthusiasm, enjoy every minute of their day and embrace new challenges. We are all excited for the times ahead during this journey".

Kehri Ellis, Chief Executive, North Tyneside Learning Trust said: “North Tyneside Learning Trust is delighted to be able to support its schools to achieve Artsmark accreditation. 10 of our schools including Denbigh Community Primary School participated in a joint Artsmark Development Day recently. We are very confident that many of them will achieve Gold awards this year. The Trust is committed to extending this opportunity to all of its schools on a three year rolling programme".

Melanie Carter, Area Manager, Culture Bridge North East said: "We are thrilled that Denbigh Community Primary is the 1000th school in the country to register for the new Artsmark, and this is made extra special by them also being the 100th North East school to sign up to the scheme. Since the new Artsmark launched in October, we’ve seen a huge amount of interest from schools all over the region that are keen to give their arts and cultural provision the recognition it deserves, and who want to create even more exciting opportunities for their pupils to grow and learn through involvement with the arts. We are lucky to have such a vibrant cultural scene here in the North East, and the number of Artsmark registrations demonstrates that this is recognised and valued by our schools".

Schools can register here for Artsmark.

Artsmark Schools List - updated July 2016