Evaluation of the Start Programme: Case-study Report

Caroline Sharp, Robert Smith, Rebecca Wheater, Shona Macleod, Harriet Weaving

13 November 2014

This report presents five case studies of long-term partnerships (over three years) between arts organisations and schools. The Start programme enables arts venues and schools to work together to offer disadvantaged young people opportunities to engage in creative activities that inspire them and enhance their experience of the arts. It is organised and funded by the Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts.

The study finds that Start has acted as a catalyst for growing and sustaining creative activities and created a lasting legacy of arts engagement between case-study schools and arts venues.

Key Findings

  • Children and young people involved in Start activities experienced a wide range of positive changes. They were enthusiastic about arts and cultural activities, developed a wide range of creative and interpersonal skills and became aware of the careers available to them in the creative industries
  • The effectiveness of Start partnerships between schools and arts organisations depended on a strong mutual commitment to ensuring children and young people were engaged in arts and cultural activities and involving them in authentic creative activities
  • Schools’ sustained involvement with arts organisations led to an expansion in their arts and cultural offer. Start’s impact and legacy was enhanced by arts partners providing opportunities for continuous professional development (CPD). This equipped and motivated teachers to use their creative skills in the classroom in the longer-term.

Sponsor Details

Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts and Oak Foundation