Cultural Learning Alliance

When fathers and mothers talk, play, read, paint, investigate numbers and shapes or sing with their children it has a positive effect on children’s later development

Department for Education and Department for Health
Supporting Families in the Foundation Stage, 2011


Scotland invests in new Creative Learning Networks

Published 14 May 2010

New Creative Learning Networks are being developed in Scotland, supporting a range of approaches bringing together local people with an interest in developing creative experiences and opportunities for children and young people to learn, communicate and champion the arts and culture. The scope of those involved in the networks is broad and aims to include schools and wider communities including children and young people, parents, youth workers, local authority officers and the cultural sector. Some of the networks will be brand new, whilst others will build on existing local programmes.

Children in Scotland and the Scottish Arts Council have developed a fund to support the initial development and sustainability of these networks up to mid-February 2011 and will be evaluating the programme. Local Authorities are undergoing a competitive process to access the funds which are expected to be announced within the next week. Not only do they need to meet local needs, but also link with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence and National Outcomes framework.

The Creative Learning Networks will provide a legacy from the Cultural Co-ordinators in Scottish Schools Programme, which has been running since 2002 in each of the 32 local authorities in Scotland. Local authorities, Cultural Co-ordinators and others have been involved in developing the identity of the Creative Learning Networks programme.

The Cultural Learning Alliance is keeping a keen eye on these developments in Scotland. We’re interested in exploring how local networks can be developed to support a cultural entitlement in England. You’ve already told us in the CLA website vote that 61% of you are in a local cultural learning network, but a further 33% responded that they don’t have one and would like one.

We’ll keep you up to date on developments both in England and Scotland. In the meantime, let us know if you have any more thoughts.


Shame that Cultural Co-ordinators, with 7 yearts of experience in the arts and cultural sectors and who were already running networks in most authorities have with (the exeption of 8 local authorities) just had their jobs cut and were not allowed to apply for this fund to continue their work. It was exceptionally shortsighted to scrap an effective and inspiring scheme that already delivered this work.
Name 15 July 2010
I agree. I'm very lucky to be a Cultural Coordinator who has remained in post this year(on a one year contract) but this fund does not allow a tenth of the work that we did as Cultural Coordinators. All it allows is for us to continue and focus on the network and CPD development that we already did but the project side of things (which supported the CPD and Networks) will only remain if Cultural Coordinators incorporate this into their roles and many have lost their jobs with the cut in funding and a good few of us are at risk of losing our jobs this year. If there is funding available for a Creative Learning Network post in each LA eventually all I can say is bring back the Cultural Coordiantor programme it is much much better value for money.
Cultural Coordinator 10 December 2010

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The Big Sing - annual project which is part of The Sage Gateshead's Schools Programme. Photo: Mark Savage
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