New funding to boost students’ creative skills

Cllr Rupert SimmonsYOUNG people in East Sussex will receive a ‘Creative Boost’ – thanks to a new scheme running in county schools.

The project, which will help schools to enhance students’ creative and learning skills, is being delivered with £30,000 of investment secured by East Sussex County Council.

Creative Boost, which runs until March 2018, will allow pupils greater access to cultural experiences such as art galleries or opera and to attend ‘creative cafes’ – where they can meet and be inspired by professionals from the creative and cultural sectors.

Schools will also receive support and training to enable children to achieve the nationally recognised Arts Award accreditation, while up to 10 schools will be supported to become Artsmark schools – the national creative quality standard for schools.

The scheme is being delivered with £20,000 secured by the county council and Skills East Sussex from the Department of Education through Artswork – the South East Bridge, topped up by additional county council support.

The scheme ties in with the county’s focus on promoting uptake of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) subjects.

Cllr Rupert Simmons, county council lead member for economy, said: “There is an increasing acknowledgement of the importance of supporting development of creative skills across all subjects.

“This project is not just about exposing young people to cultural experiences – it’s about helping them develop creative skills which they can put to use in whatever career they choose to go into.

“Along with the work being done to promote subjects such as science and technology, and to familiarise youngsters to the world of work, Creative Boost will help to create the kind of highly-skilled young people we need to power the county’s economy in the future.”

Richard Beales, strategic manager for Artswork, said: “We are delighted to be making this investment to ensure more children and young people across East Sussex participate in and benefit from the county’s rich and varied cultural offer.

“We were particularly keen through this programme to support deeper school engagement by Cultural Education Partnerships – a role led locally by Culture East Sussex in response to Arts Council England’s Cultural Educational Challenge.”

The Creative Boost scheme is being delivered on behalf of the county council by Lewes-based community interest company Culture Shift and The Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, and Sussex-based educational consultancy Always Possible.