Quality principles - Children and young people

Since 2012, Arts Council England have been working with a range of arts and cultural organisations, devising and testing a set of principles to underpin high quality work by, with and for children and young people. 

The seven quality principles are:

  1. striving for excellence
  2. emphasising authenticity
  3. being inspiring, and engaging
  4. ensuring a positive child-centred experience
  5. actively involving children and young people
  6. providing a sense of personal progression
  7. developing a sense of ownership and belonging

Testing of the quality principles with fifty organisations is underway. ACE are working with National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) and Shared Intelligence who have designed an evaluation approach which includes skills development for sector practitioners. The approach encourages critical thinking about the goals and theories of change which underpin their pilot, supporting the research to leave a valuable legacy of practice, not just a report. The principles encourage greater critical thinking about goals which CYP arts/culture practitioners seek, and what ‘great’ and ‘excellent’ look like.

The testing is far reaching. Phases 1 and 2 of the research involved 15 projects working with 725 partner organisations including arts and cultural sector organisations  and schools. 47,596 children and young people have been involved in the pilots to date. In phase 3 we have invited another 35 organisations to work with us.

In late July we held a seminar in Birmingham bringing together practitioners from each of the testing phases to share practice, discuss the concept of quality and launch phase 3 of our testing of the principles.This strand of testing will end in November and in early 2015 there will be a report of the findings and plans for next steps.

See more about this including the slides from the seminar here.