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Press Release
  • 17 Jun 2016

Paul Hamlyn Foundation announces grants and support totalling £1m to address skills gaps in arts education

A £1m pilot programme has been launched to tackle skills gaps in arts education. The Teacher Development Fund, launched by Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF), responds to evidence that points to a knowledge and confidence gap amongst primary school teachers. Teaching professionals often struggle to access high quality, sustained professional development that will support effective arts-based practices in the primary classroom.

Although there has been extensive investment in supporting the arts in schools across the UK, in the form of partnerships between teachers and arts practitioners, not enough of this has focussed on:

– long term use of the arts to teach the whole primary curriculum

– the role of school leaders in creating opportunities to embed learning through the arts in the curriculum.

The Social Market Foundation is currently investigating inequality in education, and know that communities experiencing disadvantage struggle to attract and retain teachers. They have called for greater support for teachers serving these communities; this fund directly addresses that need.

Grants have been made to consortia from across the four home nations, with involvement from strategic players such as the British Council, Creative Scotland and the RSA, alongside well known arts and cultural organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and IntoFilm, and arts and education specialists such as ArtsConnect, Cape UK and 5x5x5 = creativity. Over 70 schools will be partners, with one – Hotspur Primary in Newcastle – leading their consortium.

PHF is keen to make a contribution to the calls for better quality arts evidence emerging from others such as Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). We have chosen to work with Curee, an internationally renowned organisation in terms of its knowledge of evidence-informed teaching practices and Continuing Professional Development and Learning (CPDL) to assist that objective, and will use this pilot to inform future developments.

Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive at Paul Hamlyn Foundation said:

“We believe that the arts have an important role to play in enriching young people’s learning and educational experiences and in improving their life chances. Research has shown that teachers sometimes lack the knowledge, confidence and skills to deliver effective learning in and through the arts. That’s why we launched the Teacher Development Fund because we want to support teaching professionals to reach their potential and inspire their pupils to enjoy fulfilling and creative lives.”

Media Enquiries to:
Hanif Leylabi
020 7812 3331