Sunderland Cultural Education Partnership

Sunderland Cultural Education Partnership (SCEP) is a forum of advocates and ambassadors for cultural education from a wide range of sectors working together to share ideas and intelligence, and to coordinate ambitious activities that support and challenge all those involved in the lives of children and young people to enable them to engage in cultural activity that is meaningful and valuable to their lives.

Aims and objectives

The Sunderland Local Cultural Partnership will work to ensure all children and young people in Sunderland are supported to engage in arts and cultural activity that has meaning and value in their lives and well-being, now and in the future, and will support them to contribute to the vision for culture and education in Sunderland.

All members agree to put the interests of children and young people across Sunderland first, and ensure their discussions reflect knowledge of their lives and views, or their direct input, rather than our own assumptions about them. The SCEP will ensure this includes all children, including those with SEN and those who may need particular support to be involved in cultural education.


  • Children and young people are able to discover and recognise their own creative potential
  • The confidence, self-esteem and aspiration of children and young people is supported through high quality, inspirational, exciting experiences
  • Children and young people play a greater role in shaping arts and culture in Sunderland
  • There are clear pathways for children and young people to pursue their creativity
  • Adults involved in the circle of care that supports young people are increasingly included in and recognise the value


Since their inaugural meeting in June 2018 the SCEP has identified their vision and outcomes and begun work on activity towards these.

Planning is underway toward two days of cultural activities in Sunderland, which will provide opportunities to consult with young people on the SCEPs future direction as well as offer the pupils a chance to take part in arts and cultural workshops. Named Try Something New, the two days in July hosted at Sunderland College and Hylton Castle hope to engage with over 500 pupils from infant, primary, secondary and SEND schools across the city.

The SCEP has also recently applied for Arts Council England Partnership Investment funding to develop a two year CPD programme for schools and cultural organisations in the city. If successful, the programme will launch in early 2020 and will be delivered in 14 schools per year. It will work in total with 28 schools across five areas in Sunderland, reaching approximately 70 teachers and creative practitioners and engaging 1,500 children and young people.


  • Jill Bennison (Little Inventors) 
  • Alison Clarke (Sunderland Libraries) 
  • Alison Cleland (Sunderland Culture (Glass Centre))
  • Anna Young (Wessington Primary School) 
  • Anthony Hope (The Empire Theatre) 
  • Gary Wright (Usworth Colliery Primary School)
  • Gemma Matheson (Hylton Castle) 
  • Graham Stephenson (Chair) (Aim High Academy)
  • Helen Connify (Sunderland Culture) 
  • Helen Green (Live Theatre) 
  • Jane Reed (City of Sunderland College)
  • Jennie King (Sunderland Culture (Sunderland Museum)) 
  • Karen Lightfoot-Gencli (Public Health) 
  • Lesley Mavin (Columbia Grange SEN)
  • Lily Daniels (Seventeen Nineteen)
  • Lizzie Nixon (Vice) (Sunderland Music Hub)
  • Rebecca Ball (Sunderland Culture) 
  • Rosie Walker (Columbia Grange SEN)
  • Ruth Dewhirst (New Writing North) 
  • Sally Collingwood (Diamond Hall Infant School)
  • Simon Marshall (Together for Children) 
  • Tracy Meinie (Seventeen Nineteen)
  • Vicki Kennedy (Sunderland Culture (Uncovered)) 

Get in touch

To get in touch, please contact Charlotte Dack, Culture Bridge North East.