Teacher Development Fund

We have two funds focused on arts education. If the Teacher Development Fund isn’t the right fit for you, you might be more suited to our Arts-based Learning Fund.

Amount: Up to £165,000 per application 
Deadline: Open annually for applications from September to November 
Duration: Projects should last for two academic years 
A young woman is standing at the front of a classroom next to a large flipchart. On the flipchart are words related to acting, like dancing, emotion, exaggerated and movement
Light Up School Learning, Travelling Light Theatre Company. Photo credit: Camilla Adams

We support teachers to develop arts-based approaches which create equitable classrooms where all children learn and thrive.

Aim of the fund

We envision a more equitable school system where high-quality arts-based learning is a core part of all children’s education. We believe that arts-based teaching and learning can add value and help schools achieve their aspirations for pupils. This fund achieves this by: 

  • focusing on pupils who experience systemic inequity and enabling them to access and make progress in their learning;
  • supporting arts organisations and schools working in equal partnerships to exchange and enrich their expertise;
  • recognising teachers are critical to pupils’ outcomes;
  • creating high-quality inspiring professional learning for teachers;
  • enabling teachers and artist practitioners to learn and work together in the classroom;
  • building a body of evidence and practice and understanding how the work improves equity for pupils; and
  • generating sustainable changes in teaching and learning in schools for the long-term.

Who we want to support

Either a primary school or an arts/​cultural organisation may be the lead applicant.

  • All applications must have solid partnerships in place
  • Each partnership must include one or more arts/​cultural organisations
  • A minimum of six and a maximum of ten schools should be involved in each project, regardless of whether the lead applicant is either an arts/​cultural organisation or a school
  • Each participating school should commit at least two teachers and one senior leader to the project, though flexibility can be offered to small, rural schools
  • Arts organisations can be charities, community organisations, social enterprises and not-for-profit companies active in the arts and culture sector
  • Participating schools can be mainstream, SEND or Alternative Provision settings, working with primary-age children 
  • Projects may include teachers of Nursery and Reception classes in primary schools
  • All schools must be operating in the state sector


For further guidance on who is eligible for this fund, please see our detailed FAQs.

What you will work on

What makes an effective partnership

Through our learning so far, we have identified the following characteristics of effective practice and partnership:

Application process

The Teacher Development Fund has a two-stage application process.  The Fund has one deadline per year.

  • Before applying, we highly recommend you read our FAQs to make sure the fund is right for you.

Help with applications

Access support bursary

If this application process is inaccessible to you at any stage, please get in touch. We can provide pre-application access support and a bursary of up to £750 to help you apply.

We use an online application form.

A sample application form can be downloaded as a word document, also available in large print, for you to review in advance.


Take a look at our webinar to learn more about the Fund’s priorities and the application process. 

The webinar was recorded in 2021, but the Fund’s purpose, criteria and application process remain the same. You can also read a transcript of the webinar.