Arts, creative and cultural education

NFER has considerable experience of studying arts, creative and cultural education. Our work includes:

For further information on the Foundation’s current and recent research in the area of arts, creative and cultural education please contact Caroline Sharp (


Arts in schools

A number of our research projects have examined the contribution of the arts within the school curriculum, both at primary and secondary levels and in the early years. We have explored the arts as a whole, but also specific areas, such as contemporary art practice and the moving image.


Professional development for teachers and other staff

NFER researchers have evaluated programmes aimed to address the dearth of arts training for those undertaking both initial primary teacher education and continuing professional development. We have also explored the impact on teachers and youth workers of arts programmes that are aimed primarily at pupils and young people.


Partnerships between education and the professional arts

The relationship between artists, cultural organisations and schools has developed considerably over recent decades. We have studied the contribution of cultural organisations, including theatresdance companies, galleries and museums and more widely by artists working in schools. We have conducted several studies for Creative Partnerships, includingevaluation of the national programme and identification of the impacts from sustained relationships between the arts and creative sector and schools on behaviour and attainment.


Selected projects

Longitudinal evaluation of the Start programme
Client: The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts | NFER contact: Becky Clarkson

Saving a Place for the Arts? A Survey of the Arts in Primary Schools in England
Client: LGA | NFER contact: Caroline Sharp

Arts Education in Secondary Schools: Effects and Effectiveness
Client: Arts Council, LGA, RSA | NFER Contact: Pippa Lord

School art: What's in it? Exploring visual arts in secondary schools
Client: Arts Council, Tate Modern | NFER contact: Caroline Sharp

Special effects: the distinctiveness of learning outcomes in relation to moving image education projects
Client: Creative Partnerships (Arts Council) | NFER contact: Pippa Lord

Acting with Intent: Theatre Companies and Their Education Programmes
Client: Arts Council | NFER contact: Caroline Sharp

Aims in Motion: Dance Companies and Their Education Programmes
Client: Arts Council | NFER contact: Pippa Lord

A good image of myself. An evaluation of the Image and Identity scheme
Client: DfES | NFER contact: Caroline Sharp

The arts-education interface: a mutual learning triangle?
Client: Arts Council England | NFER contact: Pippa Lord

National Evaluation of Creative Partnerships
Client: Arts Council England| NFER contact: Caroline Sharp

The impact of Creative Partnerships on pupil behaviour: final report
Client: Arts Council England| NFER contact: Caroline Sharp

The longer-term impact of Creative Partnerships on the attainment of young people: results from 2005 and 2006
Client: Arts Council England | NFER contact: Caroline Sharp

The STAR Project and initial teacher training: an evaluation
Client: Gulbenkian Organisation | NFER contact: Caroline Sharp

HEARTS Higher Education, the Arts and Schools: an experiment in educating teachers
Client: Esmee Fairburn Foundation | NFER contact: Emily Lamont

Broadening the spectrum
Client: V&A | NFER contact: Caroline Sharp

Developing young children's creativity: what can we learn from research
NFER contact: Caroline Sharp

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