Arts in Schools Case Studies

Inspiring learning: 24 case studies highlighting the value of the arts in schools and beyond

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch)’s report The Arts in Schools (1982), A New Direction commissioned a suite of case studies as a companion piece to new research by Pauline Tambling and Sally Bacon that reflects on arts and education 40 years since this seminal report.

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Throughout February 2023, building up to the release of the report, we will be releasing 24 Case Studies (grouped into seven themes), that cover a rich mix of artform specialism, school need, individual focus, community change and inclusive practices.

This suite of case studies was curated by arts researcher Sarah B Davies.

We have included examples across all four areas of the UK, inviting all 10 Bridges across England in their final year of funded activity to contribute, as well as contributions from Nottingham Music Hub, National Theatre of Scotland, Education Scotland and two Welsh arts and education partnerships. The voices and experiences of school leaders, teachers, creative practitioners, pupils and arts organisations echo throughout, as the journeys, impacts and learning are recounted. The resulting suite of case studies spans the last 10 years with many of them more recently situated within the COVID-19 pandemic.

This suite has been designed to be a practical resource with inspiring examples responding to a question you might be asking yourself as you explore the value of the arts in education in your own setting. Each case study has taken a how-to approach, to support you to develop your ideas. They cover a wide variety of perspectives on the value of the arts in schools, grouped into the following seven themes:

Explore the case studies released so far...