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Norfolk Music Hub and Virtual School selected for national arts programme for children in care

Norfolk County Council, 26 July 2023 00:00

Norfolk Music Hub and the county council's Virtual School have been chosen to participate in an arts programme to explore how care-experienced children and young people can benefit from cultural and creative education.

The Virtual School, which specialises in improving and supporting the educational journey and outcomes for Norfolk's 1,150 children in care, will team up with the Norfolk Music Hub, which is also led by the council, to participate in the 12-month Artful Alliance programme.

The programme, which is being led by charity Blue Cabin on behalf of Arts Council England, aims to explore how cultural and creative education can be of benefit to care-experienced children and what is needed in order to deliver it safely and successfully.

 Norfolk County Councillor Penny Carpenter, cabinet member for Children's Services, said: "The joint training, mentoring and support network offered by the Artful Alliance programme provides an excellent opportunity for us to upskill staff in both our Virtual School and Norfolk Music Hub.

"This will enable us to develop our ability to offer truly innovative creative opportunities in the future for our care-experienced children and young people to support them to flourish."
Jenny Young, Director of Blue Cabin, said: "The creative arts have been proven to improve people's life chances so it's vital that care-experienced children and young people have every opportunity to access creative and cultural education and that we understand what organisations and virtual schools need in order to be able to deliver it."

"We're excited to be starting this journey with the participating virtual schools and creative organisations, and it's encouraging that Arts Council England recognises the importance of more investment, understanding and training to inform practice in this area."

Staff from the Virtual School and Norfolk Music Hub will take part in training in trauma-informed approaches, attachment and recovery, and other therapeutic approaches.

In summer 2024, findings from the programme will be shared nationwide to inform cultural and creative programming for care-experienced children and young people.

Virtual schools and creative organisations in Brighton, Leicestershire and North Yorkshire are also taking part. 

Project evaluation will be led by tialt (There is an Alternative) and the findings will help inform Arts Council England's understanding of how cultural and creative education can benefit care-experienced children and young people.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:46

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