Reading and listening list

Podcasts, resources, blogs, toolkits and reports to explore before/after the Engage Conference to spark conversation and ideas around the theme of children and young people’s cultural entitlement.

You can also browse the #UnlockingCulture2019 hashtag on Twitter to view updates from both days of the conference.


It’s not about the future, it’s about now: Engage Conference 2019

GEM Trustee Sarah Cowie summary of Engage Conference 2019

Read the full blog post

Unlocking Culture — an entitlement for children and young people

Blog post by Ellen Orange for Voice, a magazine and platform for young creatives covering arts, culture, politics and technology

Read the full blog post

A guide to Curriculum for Wales 2022

This guidance contains information on the structure and components of Curriculum for Wales 2022, the approach to progression, and how the curriculum must be inclusive for all learners.

View the guide online

No access, no public funding?

Five years after first highlighting discriminatory attitudes in ArtsProfessional, the Government’s Disability Champion for Arts and Culture Andrew Miller reflects on progress towards inclusion.

Read the full article

Disability can no longer exist at the bottom of the list of arts’ priorities

Government disability champion for the arts and culture Andrew Miller speaks of his experiences as a disabled person struggling to get work in the sector and says it’s time to welcome disabled artists, employees and audiences

Read the full article

Podcast: Thrive – Young Lives

Young people aged 15–18 from Gravesend in Kent talk to their peers both locally and across the UK about what it’s like to be a young person in 2019.

Listen to the podcast below or click here to be taken to the website

Arts Backpack: A Feasibility Study 

Action for Children’s Arts, Jan 2019 

This study was commissioned by Action for Children’s Arts (ACA) to explore the feasibility of a pilot project for an Arts BackPack for primary-aged children living in the UK.

Download Arts BackPack: A Feasibility Study (pdf)

Cultural Peeps Podcast Series

This Podcast by Conference Contributor Iain Wheeldon series is part of an ongoing project which explores different Career Pathways across the Museum, Gallery, Heritage and wider Cultural Sectors.

Listen to the podcast online

Durham Commission on Creativity and Education

The Durham Commission is a joint research collaboration between Durham University and Arts Council England, convened to look at the role creativity and creative thinking should play in the education of young people.

On page 40 you’ll find information on City of Dreams, the ten-year programme aiming to give every child and young person in Newcastle and Gateshead access to arts and culture and the inspiration for the Engage Conference 2019.

See the ACE website for further information and to download the report

Podcast: Is art education in crisis?

The Art Newspaper talks to the artist Bob and Roberta Smith about their campaign for art’s place at the centre of the curriculum, look at the National Art and Design Saturday Club initiative offering a free Saturday learning programme and talk to two professors at Goldsmiths College about the pressures and realities of art schools today. In the US, they talk to the co-author of a study on the benefits of art education in schools.

Evaluation of the Creative Learning Through the Arts Programme Report 3: Interim Evaluation Report 

Wavehill, for the Welsh Government, April 2019

This report focusses on assessing progress made to date and beginning to explore the evidence of emerging outcomes from the Evaluation of the Creative Learning through the Arts programme.

Download the report (pdf)

Culture and Connection: How can Children and Young People shape their Creative Future?

National Youth Arts Advisory Group, 2019

The Culture and Connection report by Creative Scotland and Young Scot examines how young people across Scotland can shape their creative future. The report is based on findings from the National Youth Arts Advisory Group which first met in June 2017, and a national survey of young people, conducted by Young Scot, which saw 617 young people take part.

The report made a series of recommendations, in three areas, including community participation, recognition and pathways for growth

Download the Culture and Connection report (pdf)

What is Cultural Capital?  

Cultural Learning Alliance blog post, 2019 

For the first time, the new Ofsted framework requires schools to develop their pupils’ cultural capital. In this 2019 blog post, the Cultural Learning Alliance provide a quick summary of some of the history, academic thinking and definitions of this key term.

Read the full blog post here

Primary Colours: The decline of arts education in primary schools and how it can be reversed 

This 2019 Fabian Society report Primary Colours reveals that two thirds (68%) of primary school teachers in England say there is less arts education now than in 2010, and half (49%) say the quality of what there is has got worse.

Download the report (pdf)

The Social and Cultural Value of Participatory Arts for Young People

Culture Bridge North East blog post by Florrie Darling, a PhD researcher from the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University, April 2019

Read the blog post online

The Cultural Learning Evidence Champions Handbook

This handbook is a guide to getting to grips with what the RSA call the ‘evidence agenda’ in arts and cultural learning. Published in 2019.

Read the full report online

Shaping the Next Ten Years: Draft Strategy for Consultation 

In December 2019 Arts Council England plan to publish our next 10-year strategy. The strategy, which will shape how we deliver our development, advocacy and investment approach for the next decade, will come into effect in April 2020. 

Download the full publication

An Unequal Playing Field: Extra-curricular Activities, Soft Skills and Social Mobility 

Social Mobility Commission, July 2019 

This report highlights disparities in children’s participation rates across a wide range of extra-curricular activities depending on their social background.

Download the report (pdf)

Ethnic diversity makes Britain’s culture great. It would be a disaster if we lost it 

Akram Khan, The Guardian, 2019 

Figures show nearly 40% of our top cultural figures come from migrant or minority ethnic backgrounds — but barriers still exist

Read the opinion piece here

We must tackle disability prejudice if all young people are to enjoy the arts 

Nicky Goulder, Co-founder and CEO of Create, The Guardian, 2019 

Bringing disabled and non-disabled children together in a welcoming venue can make the richness of the arts accessible to all

Read the full article here

Changing Lives: the social impact of participation in culture and sport 

House of Commons, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, 2019

The DCMS Committee’s report Changing Lives: the social impact of participation in culture and sport finds that opportunities to reap major benefits in criminal justice, education and health are being missed by the failure of Government to recognise and harness social impact.

Download the full report (pdf)


Beacon Films

Published June 2018

Young People’s Cultural Journeys 

Arts Connect, June 2018 

A report of research findings compiled by Morris Hargreaves McIntyre, the largest cultural strategy agency in the UK, and one of the UK’s most creative, participatory arts organisations, We Are Frilly. The data was gathered across 11 wards of the West Midlands through creative peer-led qualitative research with 207 young people and a demographically representative survey of 1607 young people. 

Download the Young People’s Cultural Journeys June 2018 report (pdf)

Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries 

Arts Emergency, Create London and Universities of Sheffield and Edinburgh, 2018

Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries is the first sociological study on social mobility in the cultural industries, and was released by Create London and Arts Emergency on April 16, 2018.

Download the paper (pdf)

Quality Principles Toolkit: Resources to develop the quality of children and young people’s arts and cultural experiences 

Culture Bridge North East, 2018 

Resources to develop the quality of children and young people’s arts and cultural experiences, including tools to review, develop, plan and evaluate your work.

Download the toolkit (pdf)

Time to Listen… to what young people and teachers say about the power and importance of arts and cultural education

University of Nottingham, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Tate, 2018

This comprehensive research study examines the benefits of arts and cultural education. Funded by Arts Council England, and conducted in secondary and special schools in England, the TALE (Tracking Arts Learning and Engagement) study analysed 6,000 responses from young people aged 14–18, tracking students and 63 teachers over three years to examine the benefits of arts and cultural education

Download the Time to Listen research report (pdf)

Arts in Schools: A Bacc for the Future, Cultural Learning Alliance and WHAT NEXT? Toolkit

Bacc for the Future, Cultural Learning Alliance, WHAT NEXT?, 2018

Published in partnership between Bacc for the Future, CLA and What Next? Arts in Schools is a useful toolkit for arts activists and teachers to refer to and use when advocating and championing arts education. The pack includes vital information and advice to help make the case to keep arts in schools, including how to write letters to local MPs and Councillors, the National Schools Commissioner and members of the Education Select Committee.

Download the toolkit


Arts Council England Cultural Education Data Portal

The portal brings together and provides easy access to data on children and young people at a local authority, regional and national level. Last updated Last updated October 2017.

Click here to access the portal

Imagine Nation: The Case for Cultural Learning

Cultural Learning Alliance, 2017

ImagineNation: the value of Cultural Learning includes key statistics, facts, quotes and evidence, presenting a comprehensive and compelling case for the value of cultural learning within and beyond our education system.

Download the Imagine Nation: The Case for Cultural Learning report (pdf)

Key Research Findings: The Case for Cultural Learning

Cultural Learning Alliance, 2017

The Key Research Findings were funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and build on the work of the DCMS CASE review. Using only evidence from cohort studies with large sample sizes (typically 12,000) and research with control groups, the finding demonstrates that there are instrumental outcomes which cultural learning delivers. 

Download Key Research Findings: The Case for Cultural Learning (pdf)

Test, Risk, Change

Tate and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, 2017 

Learning and research findings from ‘Circuit’, a programme that examined how galleries can support positive change for young people. 

Download the publication

Future Views Toolkit 

Flow Associates 

A toolkit created by Flow Associates in partnership with Artswork, Royal Opera House Bridge and Festival Bridge and Local Cultural Education Partnerships in the South East of England to support exploration of big questions about making and consuming culture, learning, and working in the future. 

View the Future Views toolkit online

Reviewing the Rural and Coastal Cultural Education Landscape: Turning Policy into Practice

Festival Bridge, 2017

A report of Cambridgeshire ACRE research findings looking at how Festival Bridge can support delivery of the Cultural Education Challenge in rural and coastal communities in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Peterborough.

Download the final report

Sir Ken Robinson at the Artswork Conference

Founding and Honorary Chair, Sir Ken Robinson beamed in from LA to talk at Artswork’s 30th birthday conference. Creativity and Life Chances took place on 22nd November 2017.


Advocacy to Parents and Carers for the Value of Arts & Culture

Royal Opera House Bridge Research Digest, 2016 

Summary and recommendations from research into whether schools are finding it harder to advocate for the arts and culture in schools to parents and carers, and whether parental support for the arts and culture is declining.

Download the full report

Working with Young Cultural Leaders

Royal Opera House Bridge, 2016 

This booklet is for people, schools and organizations who want to create opportunities for children and young people to become Young Cultural Leaders.

Download the full guide

The Culture White Paper 

Department for Culture Media & Sport, March 2016 

The Culture White Paper sets out the government’s ambition and strategy for the cultural sectors.

View all documents from the policy paper


Step by step: arts policy and young people 1944–2014

James Doeser, Research Associate for Culture at King’s, 2015

Step by step: arts policy and young people takes a historical stance on the development of government policy designed to increase arts engagement by children and young people and provides key recommendations to ensure that the lessons of the past are taken into account by policy makers in the future.

Download the report

The Cultural Rucksack: A National Programme for Arts and Culture in Norwegian Schools  

The Uni Rokkan Centre for Social Studies and Bergen University College, 2015

The Cultural Rucksack was a national programme for arts and culture for all students in Norwegian primary and secondary schools (6–19 years old). This report is a brief English-language version of the book Den kulturelle skolesekken [The Cultural Rucksack] (Breivik & Christophersen, 2013), which describes the three-year research project on the Cultural Rucksack and its findings.

Download the report

Cultural Education in England: An independent review by Darren Henley for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education

Darren Henley, 2015

An independent review of cultural education in England, commissioned by the Secretary of State for Education and the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries in 2015. Darren Henley, then Managing Director of Global Radio’s national classical music station, Classic FM, was asked to consider how the government can ensure the ambition that every child should experience a wide variety of high-quality cultural experiences, ensuring both quality and best use of public investment

Download the Cultural Education in England report (pdf)

English Cricket Board (EBC) South Asian Heatmap

Although this interactive map was created to map cricket provision and has additional focus on south Asian communities, it is possible to remove the cricket map overlay and filter by deprivation, language, religion, age, and density. The map was created using the 2011 census and 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation across the UK

View the map

Learning in Museums and Young People: a NEMO – LEM Working Group Study

The report focuses on museums informal and non-formal learning opportunities for teens (young people or young adults aged 14-25) to highlight benefits and impacts of young people’s cultural engagement in terms of personal well-being, active citizenship, social skills development and employment opportunities.

Download the report

Using Quality Principles in work for, by, and with Children and Young People

National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) and Shared Intelligence, 2015

This report reviews the testing process and looks at the experiences of organisations who piloted the Arts Council England’s Quality Principles for arts and culture.

Download the report


Culture and Poverty: Harnessing the power of the arts, culture and heritage to promote social justice in Wales

Baroness Kay Andrews, March 2014

Recommends how cultural organisations can help reduce poverty and promote social justice.

Download the Culture and Poverty report (pdf)

Student Participation in the Cultural Rucksack (Denmark) 

Creativity, Culture & Education, Aug 2014 

This study explores the views of young people from Norway about their experiences of the activities of Den Kulturelle Skolesekken (‘The Cultural Rucksack’, DKS) and culture in general, to inform future work of DKS. The project was developed by DKS and Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) and involved a small group of 13–18-year-olds.

Download the report


Evaluation of CCE/NCB arts and Cultural Activities Project with Looked After Children

Office for Public Management, 2013

The Office for Public Management (OPM) were commissioned in October 2011 to conduct an evaluation of the arts and cultural activities project for looked after children (between 7–11 years), managed by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and funded by Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE). The objective of this evaluation is to understand the impact and effectiveness of the various arts and cultural activities for the looked after children that participated.

Download the final evaluation

Time to Shine: Scotland’s Youth Arts Strategy for Age 0–25

Creative Scotland, 2013

Time To Shine is Scotland’s arts strategy for young people aged 0–25. Its core purpose is to enrich young people’s lives through arts and creativity. It is a statement of ambition, determination and it is a starting point.

Download the full strategy document

Transforming Futures: Cultural Participation for Children & Young People Experiencing Poverty

National Museum Cardiff, 2013

In October 2013, 34 participants from a wide range of professional backgrounds across the UK attended a research seminar at National Museum Cardiff to explore the theme of cultural participation for children and young people experiencing poverty. This report provides an overview of the issues, talking points and suggestions for future action that emerged during the day.

Download the seminar report


London Schools Research: Cultural Engagement

National Foundation for Education Research (NFER), 2012

This report presents the findings of a research study focusing on cultural engagement in London schools. The study provides a challenge to those with an interest in enhancing schools’ cultural engagement to diversify their offer and find cost-effective solutions to providing high-quality cultural experiences for children and young people throughout London.

Download the report

Participation in the Arts

Inquiry by the National Assembly for Wales Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee: Participation in the Arts , 2012

Written submission from the Arts Council of Wales

Download the full consultation response


Learning Outside the Classroom: How far should you go?

Ofsted, 2008

This report evaluates the importance of learning outside the classroom in primary and secondary schools and colleges. It identifies strengths and weaknesses in practice and shows how schools and colleges overcome common barriers that can limit successful learning outside the classroom.

Download the full report


Do Schools Kill Creativity? 

Ken Robinson, Ted Talk, Feb 2006 

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence


Taking Part Survey

The Taking Part survey is a continuous face to face household survey of adults aged 16 and over and children aged 5 to 15 years old in England. It has run since 2005 and is the main evidence source for DCMS and its sectors.

View the results online


All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture & Education

Ken Robinson and the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education, May 1999

A report to the Secretary of State for Education & Employment and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Download the full report