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The impact of arts education on young people

The Burberry Inspire programme uses a range of cultural activities such as theatre, dance and the arts to improve children’s aspiration, confidence, wellbeing and educational outcomes. The programme will bring together four cultural partners in Yorkshire – Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds Young Film, Northern Ballet, and West Yorkshire Playhouse – with four schools in the same area to provide an 'artist in residence' programme consisting of different cultural experiences, in-curriculum learning and extracurricular clubs and activities.

The Policy Institute is working with the Burberry Foundation and the Ideas Foundation to evaluate how effective the Burberry Inspire programme has been. The Policy Institute has designed a mixed methods approach to establish whether the programme has led to improved educational performance, as well as increased confidence and aspiration, among the students. Our qualitative research will also allow us to establish why the programme has led to the outcomes we identify.

Other studies have already shown that cultural and arts education programmes can be effective at improving student grades in a range of subjects. However, these are often costly when coordinated by government or schools. The Policy Institute's evaluation of the Burberry Inspire programme will help us understand whether similar programmes coordinated by different funders and organisations can also help increase attainment and make a difference to young people's lives.