Working with schools

​Schools are key to introducing young people to culture

Bowes Museum

Schools are key to introducing young people to culture, to driving progression and engagement and to ensuring level access to cultural opportunities. Culture Bridge North East will support schools by encouraging engagement in local networks and partnerships and engagement with cultural organisations, by encouraging uptake of Artsmark and Arts Award, by signposting cultural partners and encouraging schools to champion cultural learning.

Cultural Leadership in Education programme

Culture Bridge North East's Cultural Leadership in Education Programme for teachers has been developed in partnership with Newcastle University North Leadership Centre, with the aim of building a group of cultural leaders in schools to lead cultural learning experiences.

Participants will be helped to understand their role as curriculum leaders, to raise awareness and to promote opportunities for cultural and creative learning within their own schools and across a network of local schools. They will be advocates for arts and culture and will be able to assess and articulate the impact on children and young people as well as be thoroughly informed about cultural organisations.

Rachel Dembry, Head of Art at Whitburn Church of England Academy, explains how she found the first session: “Personally I found the course enlightening and inspiring; for a head of subject with 16 years’ experience that is a wonderful thing! I felt safe and nurtured to be around other like-minded individuals who also saw the value in the arts.

“I feel a whole new creative world has opened up in front of me because of the Cultural Leadership in Education course and now that the door is wide open things will never be the same. My next steps are to spread the word to the staff at my school, I hope to encourage them to place more value on culture and include it more in day to day lessons by sharing fantastic examples. Funding is something else I’ve been researching and I look forward to day two of the course in March, for more inspiration, help and support so I can then become a cultural leader who inspires staff and enriches the lives of our students.”

Jack Gardener, Hotspur Primary School, said: “The cultural leadership training was hugely beneficial. As well as being thought provoking and inspiring it reminded me about the reasons I originally went into education and of the powers of culture and the arts within school. I would thoroughly recommend it to other teachers and practitioners.”

The next Cultural Leadership in Education programme starts in November 2017. To find out more and sign up, please visit

News and resources

Guest blog: How Artsmark contributes to whole school improvement, by Clive Maddison, Ravenswood Primary

As part of Artsmark Celebration Week, Headteacher at Ravenswood Primary School Clive Maddison, explains how Artsmark focused its activities on music, with a transformative effect. Read more...

Guest blog: Arts Award and Artsmark - One big journey at The Duchess' Community High School

Ruth Brown, Head of Creative Arts Faculty at The Duchess’s Community High School (DCHS) in Northumberland, marks Artsmark Celebration Week by talking about how Artsmark and Arts Award can be used together, culminating in more worldly, rounded, empathic and culturally aware young people. Read more...

Guest blog: Embarking on Artsmark for the first time, by Emma Lynch, Richardson Dees Primary School

Richardson Dees Primary School is new to Artsmark, having been awarded Silver following its first application. Teacher Emma Lynch has found being involved in Artsmark a positive experience, providing evidence of how a school is meeting its social, moral, cultural and spiritual requirements for Ofsted. Read more...

Guest blog: Artsmark and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), by Tracy Hutchinson of the Dales School, Northumberland

In this blog as part of Artsmark Celebration Week 2017, Tracy explains more about the positive impact Artsmark has had on staff, pupils and parents, not only in terms of the arts but also in team building and developing stronger community links. Read more...

Exploring Quality in Peer Practice (EQiPP) 2017-18: call for participants

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. Read more...

Culture Bridge North East Fund provides a lasting legacy

A newly launched initiative will ensure a source of funding for those working with young people across the region, to help them access quality arts and cultural activity for generations to come. Read more...

Blog: Freedom for fuzziness, by Elvie Thompson

Our Programme Manager attended the Durham University/Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development conference on creativity in education and culture in September 2017. Read more...

Culture Bridge North East's school engagement strategy

Our schools engagement strategy sits alongside our wider work with the culture sector and is built on the principle of empowering and inspiring school leaders and teachers to innovate and embed good practice. Read our strategy summary.

Guest blog: Arts, culture and school improvement, by Jeanne Hale

Jeanne Hale is a consultant to the education and cultural sectors, and a school governor. In this blog post, which has also been featured in Newcastle City Council's most recent GoverNews publication, she calls upon fellow school governors to actively join the debate about the place of arts and culture in education. Read more...

Guest Blog: Taking forward cultural education in schools, by Emma Thomas, BALTIC

"The Cultural Leadership in Education programme aims to raise awareness and promote opportunities for cultural and creative learning within their own schools and across a network of local schools. Read more...