Cultural Learning Alliance

Art, music, dance – and culture more broadly – is essential and transformative. It is about who you are

Tony Hall
Chief Executive, Royal Opera House


Evidence Reports

How do we know what cultural learning can do? Here are some of the most compelling pieces of research that we have found...

If you have evidence of the impact of your cultural learning work and would like to share that with us, please email us with details – include a short description of the project and impact that has been evidenced. Enter the website details for the evidence report if there is one. Otherwise we'll be in touch to receive a copy from you.

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The one report you need to read

CASE is a programme of strategic research led by DCMS. This report explores the debates around cultural value, and considers the meaning of culture and the reasons why the evaluation of culture is such a difficult task. It also summarises the evidence we do have about the impact of cultural activities on children and young people’s attainment.

A Provocation

This provocation paper has been written by Emrys Green, who feels young people should be respected as artists and practitioners of today who can inform the direction and development of cultural organisations.

Top 10 list:

Arts Council England

The contribution of the arts and culture to the national economy Centre for Economics and Business Reform, 2013

A report on the economic value of arts and culture, commissioned from the Centre for Economics and Business Reform. Take a look at the section on impact on education. There is also some useful information on the impact of the arts and culture on Higher Education.

Students from The Manning School taking part in the Nottingham Light Nights Festival. Creative Partnerships.

The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies National Endowment for the Arts, 2012

An American report that examines the academic and civic behavior outcomes of teenagers and young adults who have engaged deeply with the arts in or out of school.

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

Teaching and Learning Toolkit Education Endowment Fund, 2013

The Toolkit is a live resource which is updated on a regular basis as findings from EEF-funded projects and other high-quality research become available. The toolkit ranks different interventions in order of effectiveness. Arts participation ranks about halfway up the table and you can read what the EEF say about its effectiveness here.

Leicester Shire Find Your Talent. Photo: Alan Fletcher

The impact of Creative Partnerships on the wellbeing of children and young people University of Cambridge, 2012

This explores how the Creative Partnerships programme affected student wellbeing and the degree to which creative approaches became embedded in areas of the curriculum other than those directly involving creative practitioners. The researchers discuss approaches to creativity and creative learning.

Early Years Goes Jazzy - Gateshead International Jazz Festival - The Sage Gateshead - Credit Mark Savage

In Harmony Liverpool interium report year two, Liverpool Philharmonic, 2011

This report shows there is clear evidence of significant improvement in achievement by children taking part in In Harmony. This is strongly supported by attainment data, Ofsted reports and triangulation of data from parents, teachers and pupils. There is significant and triangulated qualitative evidence that self esteem, self confidence and well being have increased and remain high. 

Craftspace Craft=Skills for Life workshop at Ishango Science Club © Anand Chhabra
Learning: creative approaches that raise standards, Ofsted, 2010

This report illustrates how 44 schools used creative approaches to learning, and evaluates the impact on pupils’ achievement and personal development. Examples of good practice often involve cultural and arts practice or using cultural resources as a stimulus for learning.

Summer Arts Colleges 2009 Final Outcomes Report, Arts Council 2011

Summer Arts Colleges comprise an intensive six-week programme intended for high-risk young people. This report evidences that generally, long-term participation brings about a significant reduction in the offending rate after the programme and increases in literacy and numeracy levels.

The Costs and Benefits of Creative Partnerships, CCE, 2010

PricewaterhouseCoopers was commissioned by CCE to prepare a report that analyses the economic costs and benefits of Creative Partnerships. Expressed as a ratio of the benefits to the costs, they estimate that every £1 invested in the programme delivers £15.30 worth of benefits.
Creating Better Outcomes for Children and Young People by Improving the Commissioning of Cultural Services, I&DeA, 2009

This research, undertaken with 12 Directors of Children and Young People’s Services or their representatives across four regions, indicates the issues and opportunities for cultural organisations in making a strong strategic contribution to the commissioning of public services.
RSC 2009, St Nicholas, Ellie Kurttz
An evaluation of Stand up for Shakespeare Executive summary and Full report

This report indicates that the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network has improved the quality of teaching and learning Shakespeare, progressed teacher and learner confidence, and developed awareness of performance as a school improvement strategy.

Youth Dance England. Photographer: Brian Slater
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