Cultural Learning Alliance

If we fail to offer our young people the opportunity to
participate in the arts and culture, then we fail to support them in becoming the leading thinkers, innovators, creative business and community leaders of the future

Lord Puttnam, Chair of the Cultural Learning Alliance
ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning


Evaluate and analyse

We can recommend a couple of cultural sector specific tools that you might be able to use to gather and analyse your evidence.

  • Inspiring Learning for All is a self-help improvement framework that has been developed for museums, libraries and archives. A significant part of this framework helps to provide evidence of the impact of your activities through the Generic Learning Outcomes.
  • Partnerships for Learning is designed to help organisations and individuals evaluate arts education projects.

The Young Foundation publication A framework of outcomes for young people includes a list of tools for measuring the impact of work on the lives of young people. While not specifically for cultural activities the tools are robust and applicable to many cultural learning projects. 


Arts Council England Quality Framework

Arts Council England is currently running the Quality Framework project looking at the Principles of Quality for work by, for and with children.

Work to date has included:

  • commissioning the National Foundation of Educational Research (NFER) and Shared Intelligence to undertake a literature review of a range of quality frameworks used across the cultural sector
  • publishing literature review findings, including suggestions around seven quality principles and identifying potential emerging principles


The suggested seven Quality principles which have been co-authored with the sector and with young people are:

  1. Striving for excellence and innovation: Is there a real commitment to achieving excellence by, with and for children and young people?
  2. Being authentic: Is it authentic; is it the real thing?
  3. Being exciting, inspiring and engaging: Are children and young people excited, engaged and inspired?
  4. Ensuring a positive and inclusive experience: Does it ensure a positive and inclusive experience?
  5. Actively involving children and young people: Are children and young people actively involved?
  6. Enabling personal progression: Do children and young people progress and know where to go next?
  7. Developing belonging and ownership: Do children and young people feel they belong and it belongs to them?


The quality work is ongoing with a blog continuing the conversations and testing of the Quality principles underway in cultural settings. 

Activity within the test phase will look across to some Arts Council-funded research, currently happening in Manchester, to pilot an approach to co-authoring, with the cultural sector, metrics for ‘quality’, ‘reach’, ‘impact’ and ‘value’. Integrating with this work should allow identification of any specifics about work by, for, with children and young people as opposed to adults.

2009 Summer Show at Benton Park Primary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
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