Leeds ,

Burberry Foundation launches first in-school arts and culture programme to study impact of arts education on young people's lives

  • First in school arts and culture programme of its scope and scale
  • Leeds Playhouse, Leeds Young Film, Northern Ballet and The Hepworth Wakefield to partner with the Burberry Foundation and Ideas Foundation to deliver the programme
  • The Policy Institute at King’s College London will study the impact of the immersive arts and creative education programme on the students’ development

The Burberry Foundation is launching in Yorkshire the first in-school programme of its scope and scale to understand how deep experience of the arts can have a positive effect on young people’s lives. The impact of the four-year long programme will be studied by researchers from the Policy Institute at King’s College London, who will examine how cultural and creative education can help young people to transcend challenging circumstances, widen their horizons and realise their aspirations.

Created in close partnership with the Ideas Foundation, the ‘Burberry Inspire’ programme will be delivered in eight schools in Yorkshire, and run by four eminent, local organisations across theatre, film, dance and art: Leeds Playhouse, Leeds Young Film, Northern Ballet and The Hepworth Wakefield.

By measuring the impact of the programme on the students’ personal and academic development, the Policy Institute at King’s College London aims to generate valuable evidence about the effects of creative learning and provide a greater understanding of effective ways to engage with young people.

Each of the four organisations will provide the schools with a dedicated Artist in Residence who will give Key Stage 3 students wide-ranging, hands-on experience of different areas of the creative arts. The Artist in Residence will also collaborate with teachers and students to co-create events designed to have a broad reach across their local communities. Each organisation will work with two schools per year, with all eight schools working with all four organisations by the end of the four-year programme.

  • Leeds Playhouse will help students explore their sense of what it means to represent the future of Yorkshire today, inspired by the play ‘Partition’, a story about the impact of heritage. They will also have the opportunity to work with voice coaches, public speakers and performers.
  • Leeds Young Film will run filmmaking related workshops to develop transferable skills including virtual reality, documentary, music video, social media, vlogging and art film; developing the students’ technical abilities, problem solving and creative communication.
  • Northern Ballet will introduce the students to creative dance, developing their confidence and team working skills and helping them to discover different ways to express themselves through a universal language of movement for diverse communities.
  • The Hepworth Wakefield will support students to explore the relationship between place, emotion and identity, focusing on the changing industrial cityscape and what excites and inspires them about their city. The programme will provide an opportunity for the students to express themselves through a range of creative mediums - from print making to sculpting - taking inspiration from the legacy and achievements of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, who were both born in Wakefield District, to help build a sense of civic pride and place in the community.

Leanne Wood, a Trustee of the Burberry Foundation and Chief People, Strategy and Corporate Affairs Officer at Burberry commented: “We are very proud that the Burberry Foundation will deliver this unique programme in the heart of Yorkshire in partnership with these leading organisations. At Burberry, we believe that creativity should be nurtured, and we are passionate about championing the benefits of making arts and culture available to all. We want to inspire young people across the country to explore the wide variety of ways they can be involved in the creative industries, and help to create a wealth of talent for one of Britain’s most important sectors.”

Heather MacRae, Managing Director of Ideas Foundation commented: “Ideas Foundation is incredibly excited to be partnering on this project. We believe creativity doesn’t have a class, but it should have a classroom. By bringing creativity into schools we are delivering experiences that will inspire young people and give them an insight into future careers in the creative industries.”

Dr Benedict Wilkinson, Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s College London, said: “The Policy Institute is delighted to be involved in this initiative. Too many cultural and educational programmes are introduced without being adequately evaluated, so we’re thrilled that the Burberry Foundation has set out to rigorously analyse the impact of this project from the get-go. Doing these kinds of evaluations, rather than relying on anecdotes, is how we come to know how what actually works, and gives us the best chance of making a difference to young people’s lives.”

Alexander Ferris, Director of Creative Engagement at Leeds Playhouse said: “We are incredibly excited by the potential of the project and our shared ambitions of inspiring young people, raising achievements and aspirations through participation in the arts. Creative activity in our schools is a vital part of every young person’s education – fostering skills in empathy, reflection, resilience, communication and adaptability. Our Playhouse Education programme brings together teachers, educators, young people and theatre professionals to find innovative ways to support the curriculum and to ensure that the young people of Leeds have access to an excellent cultural education. Working in collaboration with the other Yorkshire partners, supported by the Burberry Foundation, is going to create so many opportunities and transformative experiences, not only for the young people participating, but also for the organisations involved.”

Debbie Maturi, Manager at Leeds Young Film said: "Leeds Young Film has been working with young people to learn about and make films for the last 16 years, and we are delighted to be working in partnership with filmmaker Rad Miller and schools across the Yorkshire region to have our legacy as a leading film educator recognised by the Burberry Foundation. Over the next four years we will work with young people to become the next generation of film talent, opening up skills and career opportunities in film that they may not have considered, and are nationally in demand including transferable contemporary skills such as narrative filmmaking including using virtual reality, vlogging and social media. Our school partners will also explore the world of cultural film watching and making, including opportunities to participate in our leading film festivals, including Leeds Young Film Festival which now welcomes over 15,000 attendees every year, which we hope to grow even further as we work towards Leeds 2023 year of cultural celebration."

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council also commented: “I am delighted that Leeds Young Film is part of this exciting and important programme within secondary schools. We know that our young people will benefit hugely from access to the essential and transferable skills that cultural organisations can offer. We are excited to see how the programme develops alongside existing cultural activity across Leeds City Council and within our communities.”

Leanne Kirkham, Director of Learning at Northern Ballet commented: “As a Leeds-based company with an international reputation, we are thrilled that this ground-breaking project is happening in the North of England, shining a light on Yorkshire’s exceptional cultural offer. Through this project, Northern Ballet will reach thousands more young people and open their eyes to the opportunities available in arts and culture, offering progression and pathways into the sector. Northern Ballet wants everyone to experience great art. The aims of this project could not align better with this, and we can’t wait to get started.”

Nicola Freeman, Director of Engagement and Learning at The Hepworth Wakefield commented: “With the number of young people taking GCSE and A-level arts subjects in the UK at record lows, combined with the very real need for creative thinking and innovation for our future economy, there couldn't be a more pertinent time for The Hepworth Wakefield to be working in a sustained way with secondary school students. We are incredibly grateful to the Burberry Foundation for enabling this ambitious four-year project with our local schools and regional cultural partners. It is so important that young people are given an opportunity like this to experience world-class art, be inspired to express themselves creatively and appreciate the range of careers that are open to them. We are really excited by the outcomes that this project will deliver for so many young people in Yorkshire.”

The Burberry Foundation has a longstanding relationship with Yorkshire and supporting its communities, such as tackling educational inequality through a partnership with Teach First and The Career & Enterprise Company. Yorkshire is also the home of the iconic Burberry trench coat, which is manufactured in Castleford using materials produced at the Burberry Mill in Keighley.




About the Burberry Foundation

The Burberry Foundation was set up in 2008 by Burberry Group plc as an independent charity for general charitable purposes and grant-making. The Foundation Board comprises two Burberry representatives and an independent trustee. The Board meets four times a year and is responsible for upholding the Foundation’s vision and ensuring delivery of its charitable purpose.

Considering the varied social, environmental and economic impacts of the luxury industry on communities worldwide, the Foundation is dedicated to using the power of creativity to drive positive change in our communities and build a more sustainable future through innovation. It is therefore taking a long-term approach and focusing its grant-making on promoting the STEAM agenda, tackling educational inequality, reducing waste and supporting social and economic development.

About Ideas Foundation

Ideas Foundation believes that the brightest ideas don’t come from one place or one type of person. Last year, 92% of creative jobs in the UK were held by the most ‘advantaged’ in society. This doesn’t add up for anyone.

As a registered charity, Ideas Foundation helps to move the creative, tech and communications industries in a more diverse direction. It’s asking them to think bigger and open their doors to students who don’t normally get a look-in, students who may never have thought about joining the industry yet are full of ideas.

Schools and their arts and culture partner organisations in year one

• Leeds Playhouse will partner with South Craven School and University Academy Keighley

• Leeds Young film will partner with Co-op Academy Leeds and Ruth Gorse Academy

• Northern Ballet will partner with Leeds East Academy and Dixons Unity Academy

• The Hepworth Wakefield will partner with Castleford Academy and Airedale Academy

About the Research Project by the Policy Institute at King’s College London

As part of the Burberry Inspire programme, the Burberry Foundation has commissioned a four-year research project in partnership with the Policy Institute at King’s College London to:

• Evidence the value of cultural and creative education for young people’s development, academic performance and life chances

• Inform greater collective understanding of effective approaches to engagement

• Advocate for further investment into the creative arts in schools

• Provide an impactful and cost-effective model for future activities

The programme will measure:

• Educational performance, locus of control, self-efficacy, and aspirations

• The principal research questions are:

• Do cultural activities in the eight schools lead to an increase in school attainment?

• Do cultural activities in the eight schools lead to increase in self-esteem and locus of control?

• Do cultural activities in the eight schools lead to increases in aspiration?

About the Partner Programmes

Leeds Playhouse

• Leeds Playhouse has a reputation both nationally and internationally as a leading UK producing theatre. Evolving and regenerating over its 50-year history the theatre has continued to be a cultural hub and artistic beacon for the North, a place where people gather to tell and share stories, and to engage in world class theatre.

• In Year One of the Burberry Inspire project, all KS3 students at South Craven School and University Academy Keighley, will have the opportunity to experience a performance of Leeds Playhouse’s Partition. As well as seeing actors on stage and hearing the play, students will also get a behind the scenes look at how sound effects are created for a radio play.

• Inspired by Partition, students will get the chance to work with a variety of theatre industry experts, including voice coaches, writers, directors, actors, producers, designers, and other creatives who work on the shows at the Playhouse. The focus of the project is to give young people a voice and their confidence, whilst exploring their heritage and their place in the world - so that the young people value not only what they think but what they have to say and how they say it.

• As well as supporting them in their production of a final performance, this will also serve as invaluable careers education and will widen the aspirations of the young people by showing them the variety of arts careers paths that are available.

• The Playhouse team will work closely with both schools, ensuring specially created programmes of activity that is appropriate to the needs of each school.

Leeds Young Film

• Leeds Young Film has been supporting young people through various partnerships and programmes since 2003 and developed a very keen focus on the gap that young people can often fall into once leaving school and trying to gain meaningful employment in the creative industries, particularly the media sector.

• As part of Leeds City Council, we are committed to closing the gap within the City between the wealth that is generated here and many of the residents, particularly the children, who live here.

• The students will take part in filmmaking related workshops to develop transferable cultural skills including: Virtual Reality, documentary, music video, social media and vlogging and art film.

• They will have the opportunity to contribute to a screening at Victoria Hall during Leeds Town Hall during Leeds International Film Festival. They will also meet and work alongside a series of high profile guests from the industry who will share, not only their skills but also their knowledge and the story of their path to the sector.

• The students’ experiences will be backed up with practical, meaningful information about how to take their ambitions further within reach, as well as empowerment through skills and abilities - both technical, interpersonal but also skills to increase employability such as collaborative working, problem solving and creative expression.

Northern Ballet

• The overall aims of the Burberry Inspire project align perfectly with Northern Ballet’s commitment to work within the local community, to broaden cultural engagement and awareness of the creative industries, through access to opportunities in the arts.

• As the largest dance organisation in the North of England, Northern Ballet wants to ensure the Company is reflective of its location through the people it works with and in its artistic outputs. This is part of Northern Ballet’s long-term commitment to the Creative Case for Diversity, to ensure it is more reflective of its local community.

• All KS3 students will have access to dance workshops in curriculum time and the opportunity to take part in after school clubs. As well as contributing to a healthier lifestyle, the sessions will build confidence, teamwork, creativity and self-esteem, all of which are transferable skills across the curriculum and personal development. Dance transcends language and cultural differences, contributing to a collective community for students.

• All KS3 students will also get the opportunity to see Northern Ballet’s production of Victoria at Leeds Grand Theatre, providing students with the context of the locality of high-quality based arts and culture in their home town.

The Hepworth Wakefield

• The Hepworth Wakefield is an award-winning art gallery in the heart of Yorkshire, set within Wakefield’s historic waterfront, overlooking the River Calder. Designed by the acclaimed David Chipperfield Architects, the gallery opened in May 2011 and has already welcomed two million visitors. The gallery was awarded Art Fund Museum of the Year in July 2017. Named after Barbara Hepworth, one of the most important artists of the 20th century, who was born and brought up in Wakefield, the gallery presents major exhibitions of the best international modern and contemporary art. It also is home to Wakefield’s art collection – an impressive compendium of modern British and contemporary art – and has dedicated galleries exploring Hepworth’s art and working process.

• The founding purpose of The Hepworth Wakefield was to act as a catalyst for regeneration and to raise aspirations locally, and the organisation already has an extensive schools and community engagement programme.

• Following ongoing conversations with Airedale Academy and Castleford Academy (the partner schools in the first year), it was clear that opening their students’ eyes to new experiences and possibilities is a key priority.

• Through the project, The Hepworth Wakefield aims to encourage students to turn the camera away from themselves and engage more with the world around them, gaining an understanding of what excites them about their city to build a sense of civic pride and sense of place in their community.

• The Hepworth Wakefield will use its programme of exhibitions and its collection to open up discussion and inspire the students, and a course of six artist-led workshops will provide the students with the opportunity to explore a range of mediums that it is unlikely they would have access to in school, such as print-making and sculpture construction.

• Modern Nature, an exhibition of photography exploring our evolving relationship with nature in Britain’s expanding urban landscapes, with an underlying theme of a child's place in the city, is being held at the gallery during the project. This aims to inspire the students to think critically about how a post-industrial town such as Wakefield has changed over time and what part they could play in shaping its future.

• The Hepworth Wakefield is also establishing an artist-in-residence scheme. Artists will spend a period of five months with the participating schools, developing weekly lunch clubs and after-school activities. They will also take students out and about to explore the city.

Locus of control is the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control.

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