A New Direction led a piece of consultation with Virtual Schools across England about the potential to use Artsmark Award to better embed high-quality cultural education within their work, with the aim of supporting more children and young people to have more and better cultural education opportunities.
Our recommendations for how Artsmark can be embedded into a Virtual School setting and our literature review of the Impact of Arts and Cultural Education on Children Looked After can be downloaded here:
- Artsmark & Virtual Schools: Opportunities and challenges
- An investigation into the Impact of Arts and Cultural Education on Children Looked After
What is a Virtual School?
All children in care within a local authority that are attending an education setting come under the responsibility of a Virtual School. These children and young people will be attending a number of schools across a borough, and have additional support through the Virtual School to ensure their attainment matches or exceeds the national averages. This is because children looked-after often have low expectations for themselves and so do the professionals that support them.
Virtual School's are in place to set targets for these pupils and provide support for them. They also work with children looked-after in mainstream schools, looking for ways of tackling the barriers that many children looked-after experience.
Why did A New Direction do this work?
At A New Direction, we have become increasingly focussed on the inequalities that exist for young people in London. Our previous research on the cultural engagement of young Londoners has shown that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to take part in every category of cultural activity, as well as having less vocabulary to describe and understand traditional cultural activities.
We are interested in how social and cultural capital can be used to support better outcomes for disadvantaged children and young people, and we want to work with corporate parents to ensure the young people they support have the same opportunities as young people from more advantaged backgrounds.