A St Helens education partnership initiative has come in for high praise after winning an award for the work it has been doing to ensure art and culture remains a strong part of education in the borough.
Made up of representatives from primary, secondary and special educational needs schools – as well as colleges and a number of local influential organisations including the council’s arts and music services, The Citadel, FACT Liverpool, The World of Glass and Heart of Glass – Local Cultural Educational Partnership (LCEP) ‘Cultured’ came out on top in the Inspirational Local Cultural Education Partnership Award category at the North West Cultural Education Awards last week.
Set up last year with joint funding from Public Health and Arts Council England, ‘Cultured’ has the capacity to work with 30 local schools between now and March 2019 to engage with children and young people, allowing them the opportunity to be part of high quality creative opportunities.
The latest accolade tops off an excellent year for the borough’s arts and culture scene which saw St Helens become the first town in the North West to be awarded Artsmark status as a result of over 50 per cent of schools in the borough incorporating art and culture into every student’s life and learning.
As part of its legacy, Cultured is working towards having every school in the borough registered or at least working towards an Artsmark by 2020 to ensure schools value the arts by celebrating them in their own right – and to use them strategically to address areas of their school improvement plans.
Welcoming the award, St Helens Council’s portfolio holder for building arts and culture, Councillor Gill Neal, said: “The fine work demonstrated through the Local Cultural Educational Partnership is an excellent example of how the arts can raise confidence and aspirations among our children and young people, which in turn is having a positive effect on their mental health and wellbeing.
“The council has a stated ambition to become a national centre of excellence for arts and cultural practice – and this recognition is yet another string to our bow which we will build on to highlight the important value of arts and culture, and secure their place in the local education curriculum.”
Main photo – St Helens LCEP Development Officer, Evonne Bixter (left) receives the Inspirational Local Cultural Education Partnership Award.