Inclusion and young people's voice

Our mission is to give all children and young people in Liverpool opportunities to experience art and culture that supports their learning, health, happiness and career development. Of course school is one place to access these experiences, but there are endless opportunities outside school at evenings, weekends and the school holidays, as well.

Recruiting young leaders to join the LCEP

One of the priorities for the LCEP in its next phase of development, from 2018-2020, is to involve young people in our strategic planning and development.

Working with young people from 20 Stories High ‘Future Collective’ group, who are part of the strategic management of the young people’s theatre company, the LCEP has developed a person specification for young people aged 16-25 who are interested in getting involved in the LCEP.

This role will be paid at £7.50 per hour and the commitment is approx. 5 days per year, usually half days or less until March 2020. The role includes joining one of our Task Teams according to the young person’s interests and experience, as described in the role specification, which you can link to here: LCEP Young Leaders role specification June 2018 - FINAL.docx. Please pass this on via your networks and to young people you think might be interested.

The closing date is Friday 29 June 2018, 10.00 and young people need to be available for a recruitment workshop on Monday 2 July, 16.00-18.00, at the Bluecoat, Liverpool L1 3BX.

Please contact Alice Demba at if you'd like any further information.


Safeguarding Charter, Handbook and Training for Liverpool's arts & cultural sector

Our consultation with Looked After and vulnerable children and young people, and the professionals who work with them (see below), has influenced our plans to develop best practice in relation to safeguarding of vulnerable children, young people and young adults.

The Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership Inclusion task team is led by Rebecca Ross-Williams, Engagement Director at the Everyman and Playhouse Theatre. The Safeguarding Charter, Handbook and Training is being designed by Rebecca with Mandy Redvers-Rowe from Collective Encounters, Leanne Jones from 20 Stories High and Alice Demba, Cultural Education Coordinator at the Liverpool Learning Partnership. The aim is to develop rigorous, comprehensive and standardised safeguarding training and practice for the arts and cultural sector in Liverpool.

In February 2018 more than 20 arts and cultural organisations gathered at the Everyman Theatre to discuss their organisations' safeguarding training and practice, facilitated by Phil Cooper, Senior School Improvement Officer, Safeguarding and Inclusion, School Improvement Liverpool. Their reflection and input has been valuable in helping us understand the needs of the sector in relation to safeguarding. The next steps are:

May-June 2018

  • Draft amendments to the Liverpool Schools' Safeguarding Charter and Handbook 2018 to make it relevant for arts and cultural organisations.
  • Identify a suite of training (including free local training already on offer) that is essential for designated leads in your organisations.
    Create a resource that the safeguarding leads in your organisations can adapt and use to train other staff - this would include scenarios/activities relevant to Liverpool's cultural organisations, big and small.

June-September 2018

  • Work with the School Improvement Liverpool Safeguarding and Inclusion team to finalise the above. 
  • Safeguarding Standards Launch

There will be an ongoing process of revisiting the Handbook twice a year to ensure the policies and code of conduct are relevant and fit for purpose for all the cultural organisations using it.

Children’s and young people’s voice

The voice of children and young people is a high priority for the Liverpool Learning Partnership as the Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership develops. Between September 2016 and July 2017 the Liverpool Learning Partnership has supported two important pieces of work designed to listen to and learn from children and young people:

  1. We commissioned the Liverpool Young Advisors team, set up by the Liverpool Safeguarding Children's Board, to consult young people about their experiences of art and culture. We specifically asked the Young Advisors to include a significant number of Looked After Children, and young people with care experience, in their consultation. The reasons for this are outlined below. Here are their findings: Young Advisors report July 2017; and PowerPoint presented to LCEP representatives at the end of the consultation: Young Advisors presentation - LCEP commission 2017.

2. The 'Cultural Citizens' pilot - Curious Minds asked the Liverpool Learning Partnership to identify five secondary schools to take part in this initiative. Its aim was to involve young people without much experience of art and culture in visits and activities that would broaden this experience. The Liverpool Learning Partnership invited schools with the highest Pupil Premium and Free School Meal numbers in the city to take part, as well as running a cultural orientation day for the teachers and artists working with pupils, and a celebration event at the end. 100 students aged 11-14 took part. You can find out more about this initiative here:  Curious Minds has commissioned an independent evaluator to examine the impact of the programme - we will share findings when they are available. 

Inclusion and Looked After Children

Why focus on Looked After Children?

There is an 'over representation of children in care, or with experience of care, in the criminal justice system in England and Wales'.

'When the state takes over the parenting of someone else’s child, it has both a legal and moral responsibility to be a good parent. Quite often this will require determined effort to remedy the inadequacies or serious failure of the earlier parenting experienced by the young person. These failures, for whatever reason they arise, can result in profound deficiencies, be they in education,
social skills or personal development.'

These quotes are taken from the 2016 publication In Care, Out of Trouble: How the life chances of children in care can be transformed by protecting them from unnecessary involvement in the criminal justice system - an independent review chaired by Lord Laming (In care out of trouble).

There are over a thousand school age children in Liverpool who are Looked After by the Local Authority. They are some of the most vulnerable children in our city, which is why the Liverpool Learning Partnership as part of its work with the LCEP decided we needed to hear the voices of some of these young people to find out about their interest in art and culture. As the section on the Impact of Cultural Education demonstrates, quality experiences of art and culture can vastly increase positive outcomes for children and young people. Those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable need these benefits the most.

To understand the context for children looked after by Liverpool City Council please refer to the following two documents:

Considering this context, the LCEP needed to learn how to:

  • Share information about art and cultural activities with Looked After Children and their carers/social workers, and signpost them to activity they are interested in and could benefit from;
  • Develop clear and confidential safeguarding procedures to ensure ALL children and young people are well supported and cared for during their participation in art and cultural activity;
  • Design training and a best practice guide for other arts and cultural organisations who are interested in finding ways to be more accessible to Looked After Children and their foster carers.

Where else can we hear the voices of young people in relation to art and culture?

Back in 2011, when Curious Minds prepared for its delivery of the Arts Council’s Bridge programme, five artists consulted children and young people about their perceptions of art and culture. The children involved had differing needs and abilities and came from a diverse range of backgrounds and settings. A film that captures their voices is available here: Curious Voices.

Commissioned by LARC (, the Liverpool arts ‘Flux’ festival engineered by young people in 2014 is a crucial platform to build on for involving children and young people in cultural commissioning. (see final report here - Flux Report).

Many Liverpool agencies for children and young people, such as Barnardo’s, Merseyside Youth Association and the Young People’s Advisory Service, engage young people in art and culture as part of their services to meet specific individual needs and issues.

The Liverpool Learning Partnership will offer further support to engage children and young people in art and culture, and listen to their experiences.

Careers and further education

The Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership is also interested in talking to creative employers who could help schools and cultural organisations prepare young people for future jobs, especially the growing creative digital sector. Schools and careers advisers need to develop the skills, awareness and practice to mentor and nurture a diverse workforce. What skills are most desperately needed? For example, there is a lack of engineers working in television; a skills gap for people with visual arts skills to design and paint scenery. How can schools and Higher Education institutions prepare young people for these jobs? What qualifications and careers pathways are available to young people with creative talents and interests? And what about the demand from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) industries for the skills that art and culture can help nurture?

We are working closely with the Shaping Futures team (previously Merseyside Network for Collaborative Outreach) to design a programme to answer these questions The Shaping Futures team serves Merseyside and is one of 29 regional consortia funded under HEFCE’s National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). NCOP aims to support the most disadvantaged young people in England to progress into higher education.

Many schools are already developing their curriculum in response to the needs of the growing creative industries in Liverpool, and preparing children and young people to work in local jobs – for example The Studio School in Liverpool One and schools with an enterprise or entrepreneurship curriculum.