Using Quality Principles in Work For, By and With Children and Young People

Caroline Sharp, Ben Lee

14 October 2015

Between 2012 and 2015, NFER and Shared Intelligence worked collaboratively with Arts Council England and the arts and cultural sector to develop and pilot seven Quality Principles (QPs) for work for, by and with children and young people.

The pilot phase involved 51 lead organisations working with over 800 organisations as partners. Over 9,350 children and young people were involved. The pilot organisations tested the QPs in a range of innovative and creative ways.

Key Findings

  • The pilots were strongly supportive of the QPs and felt they provided a useful framework for development and communication.
  • They used the QPs in four main ways: to develop new evaluation methods and tools; to review an existing project; to plan new work; and/or to engage in self-reflection and peer learning.
  • Pilot organisations reported that the QPs had impacted on organisational culture and practice, helping them reflect on their vision and values and questioning what more they could do to provide high quality experiences for children and young people.
  • Although it was too soon to judge the impact of the QPs on children and young people, pilot organisations believed that adopting the QPs would lead to improvements through improved evaluation and by directly involving children and young people in planning, critique and organisational learning.
  • The report recommends wider roll out of the QPs and embedding within Arts Council England’s systems and processes.

See http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/cyp/resources/quality-principles/ for the Arts Council’s response.

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