Agenda item


Report of the Director of Creative Learning.

(N.B. – To be read in conjunction with the non-public appendix at Item 16)


The Board received a report of the Director of Creative Learning providing Members with an overview of the Creative Learning department’s current areas of activity and strategic focus, outlining the impact of activity over the past year and key future strategic projects.


·         Members were advised that Creative Learning was thriving with over 22k direct participants into its programmes.


·         A strong focus of Creative Learning continues to be co-creation and learning.


·         It was noted that the diminishing resources and prioritisation of the arts in schools remained a huge burden on the Centre as it became more stretched to fill the void of the arts being left behind in the curriculum. Members were advised that the Barbican would be co-producing a national conference for teachers in partnership with the RSC’s Education team. Towards a Creative Curriculum would be launched in January 2020 aimed at teachers focusing on how arts and cultural learning support the new Ofsted framework.


·         Creative Learning have undertaken a full review of activity in work-based learning, careers advice and employability in close partnership with HR and the Guildhall School’s Enterprise team developing new initiatives including a pilot young entrepreneurs incubator programme, a newly refreshed season of Creative Careers sessions, new work experience pilot schemes, a strategic review of workforce diversity, and a new pilot fusion skills project for schools, funded by the Edge Foundation.


·         Members were advised that the Associate Schools programme was nearing the end of its three-year partnerships and that Creative Learning would be taking on four new schools.


·         It was noted that autumn would mark the 10th anniversary of the joint Creative Learning division of the Barbican and Guildhall School.


·         The Chairman highlighted the fantastic Creative Learning presentation at the Lord Mayor’s breakfast and hoped that the momentum would continue following 10 impressive years.


·         Members praised the achievements of the Team and felt that an update on Creative Learning needed to provide to Members of the Court to highlight the breadth of work going on by the Barbican and Guildhall School concerning Creative Learning.


·         With regards to the Barbican spreading the word concerning its Creative Learning work, a Member noted that Unlimited were using thought leadership, including producing policy papers and speaking with government, to push forward their agenda and suggested taking this approach as an opportunity to pull together and share perspective.   


·         In response to a query regarding how the Barbican/Corporation could use their position to highlight the concerning statistics concerning education of the arts, Members were advised that the Barbican already did a lot of advocacy work, sat on a number of bodies/groups and regularly worked with the Culture Alliance and Arts Council to improve matters. It was hoped that the Towards a Creative Curriculum conference and research being undertaken with the RSC would start a movement regarding the role of the arts.


·         It was noted that the Barbican was meeting with the GLA to discuss the issues being incurred across arts organisations that were picking up the deficit in arts learning.   




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