Liverpool is one of the first areas of the country to develop a ‘Local Cultural Education Partnership’ (LCEP), in response to the Arts Council England’s Cultural Education Challenge. You can read an evaluation of activity and early impact between April 2016-March 2018, and recommendations for the next phase, here.

The Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership steering group meets termly with representatives from:

  • The Liverpool Learning Partnership & Liverpool’s family of schools
  • Curious Minds (the Arts Council’s Bridge organisation for the North West)
  • Liverpool City Council
  • School Improvement Liverpool
  • Culture Liverpool
  • Liverpool Arts Regeneration Consortium (LARC)
  • Creative Organisations of Liverpool (COoL)
  • National Museums Liverpool
  • Resonate Music Hub
  • Merseyside Youth Association
  • Liverpool John Moore’s University

The Arts Council launched the Cultural Education Challenge in a bid to make sure that more children and young people can:

  • create, compose, and perform;
  • visit, experience and participate in extraordinary work;
  • know more, understand more, and review the experiences they’ve had.

The Cultural Education Challenge asks art and cultural organisations, educational institutions and local authorities to join up and think differently about how we all work together to give every child and young person these opportunities.

Liverpool is one of over 50 areas across the country that the Arts Council has identified as having the greatest need for this partnership. With the support of Curious Minds, the Arts Council’s Bridge Organisation for the North West that helps connect children and young people to art and culture, the Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership is now up and running, with the Liverpool Learning Partnership and other partners taking the lead.

During the first few months of the partnership the focus was on building relationships with and between the education and arts and cultural sectors in Liverpool. Following an audit of current provision and needs in the context of current education policy (though this is an ever-shifting landscape), the partnership produced the following report: Engaging Liverpool arts and cultural organisations in the cultural education challenge, updated March 2017

The LCEP will be underpinned by the following principles: access, reach and diversity; quality, impact and accountability; voice and influence of young people.

There are three task and finish teams to develop actions in response to the following priorities:

  1. Schools and cultural education

The LCEP will:

  • Advocate for a cultural champion in every Liverpool school to receive and disseminate regular news and offers from the arts and cultural education sector – see role description here: Cultural champion role 2019
  • Work with schools to test innovative solutions to cultural and creative education across the curriculum, researching, monitoring and evaluating the impact of these programmes.
  • Facilitate ongoing discussion about the impact of the Ebacc and Progress 8 on the take up of arts subjects – see the September 2017 report by Education Policy Institute: Entries to arts subjects at Key Stage 4.  The Cultural Learning Alliance reported a further decline in August 2018. These findings are relevant for anyone interested in arts at GCSE and A-Level.
  • Support arts teachers to network and work in partnership with arts organisations to tackle the challenges of ensuring that all young people have the chance to progress in arts subjects if they wish to.

2. Employment & skills

The LCEP will:

  • Work with schools and Higher Education Institution partners to raise awareness of information, advice, and guidance, as well as useful experience, to prepare them for future jobs.
  • Promote the value of art and culture in preparing young people for all jobs – whether as artists, in the creative industries and growing digital sector, or in industries focused on science, technology, engineering and maths.
  • Create offers for young people to experience art and culture in the workplace

3. Inclusion

The LCEP will:

  • Work with children and young people to signpost them to and increase their engagement in quality art and culture relevant to their talents and interests.
  • Focus on those previously under-represented, such as Looked After Children.

Coherence and investment by city decision makers

The LCEP will:

  • Link to and support existing strategies developed by city decision makers, that target education and children’s and young people’s services. We will pool resources and lever in new investment to support the cultural education strategy.
  • Evaluate the impact of the LCEP and communicate this at local, regional and national levels, to promote the value of quality art and culture.


The LCEP is a cross-sector working party and has the support of Joe Anderson OBE, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, who shares the LCEP aims to improve the cultural education of young people in the local area. Joe Anderson describes culture as the ‘rocket fuel’ of the city’s regeneration. Liverpool’s Mayoral Commission on Education recommended that Liverpool builds a cultural entitlement into an enhanced curriculum for children as part of a ‘Pupil Promise’. This pledges to give every child and young person the right to all the opportunities to participate in art and culture that the Cultural Education Challenge has identified.

The Culture Liverpool Action Plan 2014-18 states:

‘Culture Liverpool will work with the cultural and educational sectors to help to ensure that engagement with art and culture will develop useful learning and skills and increase levels of employability and that accredited progression routes from Youth Arts Award and Artsmark schemes, to Higher Education degrees and post-graduate studies, are available.’

The Liverpool Vision (the Mayor of Liverpool’s Economic Development Company) Business Plan 2015-18, which is focused on ‘creating jobs and attracting investment’, has targets to work with the culture and education as well as business sectors. It recognises the significance of the creative and digital sector in economic growth and many of Liverpool’s schools recognise the importance of developing its students for this workforce.


If you need help diagnosing your needs, and navigating cultural offers, please contact Alice Demba, Cultural Education Coordinator for Liverpool at: