Culture Bridge North East is seeking to recruit 10 schools and 10 cultural organisations to work together as part of a peer learning programme exploring the Arts Council’s Quality Principles throughout 2017/18.

Exploring Quality in Peer Practice

Throughout 2017/18, Culture Bridge North East will be running the EQiPP programme (Exploring Quality in Peer Practice) in partnership with 20 cultural organisations across the region. These organisations will form a peer support group that meets together in buddy pairs and as a wider group, to explore and share ways of working with Arts Council England’s Quality Principles. The EQiPP participants will explore using the Quality Principles in a range of ways in order to enhance their work for, with, and by young people – as an evaluation tool, planning framework, structure for staff development, and as a common language for all partners in project work.

Blog - Quality Principles: the key to a common language

Exploring Quality Principles: School Pilot Programme report

EQiPP Knowledge Exchange presentations

On 6 February 2017, CBNE held an EQiPP knowledge exchange, where participants from our first cohorts of the school and cultural sector EQiPP programmes shared their application of the Quality Principles so far. 20 delegates from cultural organisations across the region joined us to learn more about planning, evaluating, learning and communicating using the Principles, and began to think about how they could use them in their own settings. Presentations delivered by our participants can be downloaded below.

Alnwick Playhouse


Ovingham Middle School

Schools EQiPP overview

Sunderland Museum & NGCA

The Dales School

EQiPP Case studies

Beamish Museum
by Simon Woolley

Project background:

The project aimed to give all learning engagers at the museum an opportunity to discuss and agree what quality meant for them. It helped create a framework for observations, support engagers in observing each other, and teachers were able to feedback using the same framework creating a 360 degree evaluation structure. The museum learning team had previously used the ILfA framework, so it has been relatively easy to apply the Quality Principles - which have offered an opportunity to explore and discuss factors that had not been discussed previously.

Benefits and outcomes:

The team agreed a structured evaluation framework for learning delivery on site. Learning engagers had the opportunity to discuss how delivery happens at the museum, what the guiding principles of that delivery should be and to agree factors that lead to high quality. 73 learning engagers took part in a day’s training on Quality Principles in January 2016. 20 observations were carried out with them, and patterns of delivery become apparent. Some factors of delivery matched in with the Quality Principles, however some haven’t, so do not appear on the final sheet. Other factors have replaced those that have gone.

Next steps:

  • We will continue observations between the learning team and the learning engagers and will build on previous observations and ensure the development of skills.
  • We will develop an online teacher evaluation resource so that it can be completed post visit.
  • We will further explore peer to peer observations and build into the programme.
  • The exploration of quality will be applied in other parts of the delivery particularly outreach, family learning and adult courses.
  • The learning team will revisit the principles on a regular basis to ensure all learning engagers understand the factors that affect quality.

The Customs House, Learning and Participation team
By Elizabeth Kane

Project background:

The Learning and Participation Team (L&P) at The Customs House, South Shields works with Culture Bridge North East as the strategic lead for Arts Award across the North East. When the Arts Council Quality Principles (ACE QPs) sessions were organised L&P felt it was vital to gain a deeper understanding of how they should shape our planning and evaluation. In the long term it is our aim to increase understanding of ACE QPs with wider teams and our partners.

Benefits and outcomes:

A Facebook group was set up to encourage discussion of ACE QPs and to signpost relevant articles for Cultural Educators - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1013206972051971/?fref=nf.

Two feedback frameworks were trailed for children and young people (C&YP) working on Arts Award projects. These have been used with Boldon School and Newcastle Preparatory School. We have also begun collating evidence of how The Customs House demonstrates its commitment to ACE QPs identifying our strengths.

Next steps:

Observing a schools’ session, delivered by Jennie Lambert at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. This enabled reflection on personal practice as a Cultural Educator around schools work; 78 members of ACE Quality Principles North East; Bespoke Arts Award schools projects now include feedback from C&YP linked to ACE QPs. This encourages learners to think about all the breadth of Arts Award outcomes eg Arts skills, knowledge and understanding; communication and leadership skills; emotional learning outcomes.

Conversations about ACE QPs are beginning to happen with teachers.

Appendix One: Embedding the QPs in Schools Arts Award Projects at The Customs House

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
by Jennie Lambert and Kathryn Brame

Project background:

We worked with six students from the 3rd Year BA Primary Education course at Sunderland University to develop an Arts Award Discover in a day offer for a local primary school, Grange Park Primary. The students spent two days learning about both institutions, the Arts Award and the Arts Council’s Quality Principles and then delivered the project on the third day. The aim was to consider the 7 quality principles in the planning of the activities for parts A, B and C and also in the evaluation process for themselves, teachers, pupils and the students. Appropriate participatory metrics were selected and used from each category of the Quality Principles.

Benefits and outcomes:

  • We forged links with six trainee teachers and developed a new model of working with the BA students – giving them a greater awareness of different art forms, new ways of helping children interpret and talk about art and a deeper understanding of how a cultural institution functions.
  • As cultural providers we learned about the restrictions of the school curriculum, especially how art is no longer considered a priority & training in the subject is limited.
  • We developed a new high quality offer for schools. Jennie has since developed a second project with a different primary school based on the Diwali festival.
  • 55 children achieved an Arts Award Discover.
  • The project strengthened the partnership between both cultural venues and Grange Park Primary School.
  • It re-enforced the value of working in partnership with other cultural organisations to share ideas, resources and support.
  • We used the Quality Principles to aid planning, devise valuable feedback questionnaires & began to formulate a shared language between ourselves and the student teachers.

Next steps:

  • We will work to develop a shared language between ourselves and teachers/teacher trainees.
  • Strengthen partnerships further with schools and other cultural providers.
  • Explore the potential for future collaboration with Sunderland University teacher trainees.
  • Develop progression through Arts Award levels at our venues.
  • Continue to explore and embed QP’s in our planning and evaluation.

Feedback – Discover in a Day Arts Award at SMWG & NGCA