Festival News: Top Tips for Making it Work : Collaboration of Schools and Arts Partners

Published: 1 November 2021
This session is to support schools and arts & cultural organisations to collaborate successfully and find approaches to overcome challenges

During the final week of the Why Creativity Matters NOW conversations, Primary Music Teacher and Freelance Music Education Practitioner Becky Stroud alongside Assistant Headteacher Amy Willoughby and Create Sheffield Programme Manager Sophie Hunter shared information to support schools and arts & cultural organisations to collaborate successfully and find approaches to overcome challenges they might face. Below is some of the information shared. 


What challenges face schools in engaging with arts and cultural practitioners or creative activities? 

  • Finding funding.
  • Finding the time, especially with all the demands of curriculum.
  • Catch-up and pressure for all pupils to make progress in English and maths.
  • Lack of expertise and knowledge of arts partners. (You can find brilliant Sheffield-based arts and cultural organisations on the Create Sheffield website)
  • School priorities and gaining leadership support.
  • Subject specialism networks no longer exist. However as result, subject specialism networks have grown informally, eg:
  •      Using national associations eg Music Mark, NSEAD, Kodaly Association
  •      Emerging ‘experts/consultants’ eg) Access Art, Music Education Solutions
  •      Specific specialism facebook groups
  •      Informal sharing expertise/signposting between schools/MATs/individuals e.g. Gomersall Primary Art


What challenges face arts partners when working with schools? 

  • It can be challenging to make contact with a school and knowing which staff member to talk to.
  • It can be hard knowing exactly what schools want or need, particularly in understanding their timeframes and priorities.
  • Finding funding and getting appropriately paid can be a challenge, especially for freelancers. 
  • There can be a gap in understanding between the two sectors, sometimes with both speaking a different 'language'.
  • Due to their time commitments, it can be a challenge to engage teachers in all elements of a project such as any training needed and debrief sessions. 

More of these challenges and what solutions we might find to them were discussed during the session. To watch it in full, please access the link here


Thinking about finding some funding?

Becky went on to share some key tips and resources when looking to fund a project, below are some of the links that were included in the presentation. 

General search for funding

  • https://grantnav.threesixtygiving.org/
  • https://register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk/
  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/SFFunding
  • https://www.myfundingcentral.co.uk/
  • https://www.grants4schools.info/
  • Funders funding arts growth + social change
  • https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/projectgrants
  • https://www.phf.org.uk/funds/tdf/
  • https://www.scopsartstrust.org.uk/about-us/
  • https://www.umuksoundfoundation.com/
  • https://www.musicforall.org.uk/
  • https://network.youthmusic.org.uk/i-need-funding
  • https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/national-lottery-awards-for-all-england
  • Funding using other subject areas
  • https://www.rigb.org/education/stem-grants
  • https://www.iop.org/about/support-grants/school-grants-schemehttps:/www.iop.org/about/support-grants/school-grants-scheme
  • https://www.britishscienceweek.org/about-us/grants/kick-start-grant-scheme/
  • https://www.lms.ac.uk/grants/education-grants
  • https://www.ford.co.uk/experience-ford/about-ford/ford-britain-trust
  • https://shinetrust.org.uk/
  • https://www.ltl.org.uk/projects/local-school-nature-grants/
  • https://ernestcooktrust.org.uk/what-we-do/everything-outdoors/outdoor-essentials-grant/
  • https://www.henrysmithcharity.org.uk/explore-our-grants-and-apply/holiday-grants-for-children/holiday-grants-for-children-overview/
  • https://classicsforall.org.uk/my-school-wants-classics/apply-support
  • https://classicalassociation.org/grants/
  • https://www.romansociety.org/Grants-Prizes/Grants-for-Schools
  • http://www.wingatefoundation.org.uk/
  • http://www.foylefoundation.org.uk/how-to-apply/state-schools.php


We believe that every partnership is a journey and that you should take the opportunity to enjoy it and see where it takes you! Whether you are an arts partner or work with children, you will see the subject and process from a different perspective and develop your practice further. 

Look out for opportunities and say yes! Take a risk and see where it goes! The more you sign up, the more opportunities you’ll find.

Create Sheffield have written a Top Tips for Making it Work - Collaboration of Schools and Arts Partners document, if you would like access to it, get in touch.


About Create Sheffield 

Create Sheffield is Sheffield’s Cultural Education Partnership, it exists to take the young people of Sheffield on ‘a journey into the arts, culture and heritage sectors, benefiting the lives of all those in Sheffield aged 0-24. Create Sheffield is supported byIVE, the Arts Council Bridge Organisation for Yorkshire and the Humber and also has received support from other organisations in Sheffield.  

Create Sheffield ask everyone who has attended one of the sessions or watched the replay to fill in a ‘Getting to Know You’ form to help us gather your thoughts and needs, in order to inform Create Sheffield’s Cultural and Creative Education Strategy that will be implemented from january 2022.

In return for filling in the form, you will:

  • Have the opportunity to shape future CPD sessions to suit your needs and interests
  • Have access to CPD opportunities
  • Shape opportunities for further networking
  • Have the option to join and create networks and sessions that support your learning
  • Have the opportunity to share & shout about creative and cultural learning projects 
  • Have your voice heard!

Participant (education) Getting to Know You form

Participant (Arts & Cultural Partners) Getting to Know You form.




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