Ministers Madigan and McHugh announce new and enhanced initiatives to support creativity in schools

  • The number of Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools will double to 300, with an additional 150 schools joining the initial pilot group.
  • 77 additional primary and post-primary schools will join the Schools Excellence Fund – Creative Clusters to collaborate on innovative arts and creative learning projects in their local areas.
  • Three new Local Creative Youth Partnerships will be piloted in Kerry, Laois/Offaly and Limerick/Clare education and training boards to forge new collaborations and enhance the use of existing resources.
  • The first Creative Schools National Celebration will take place from 4-8 November.

Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Joe McHugh TD, Minister for Education and Skills today (11 September, 2019) announced details of the additional 227 schools that will have increased access to creative activities as part of the Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools and Creative Clusters initiatives. In addition, three new Local Creative Youth Partnerships have been established.

The expansion of these initiatives, as part of the Creative Ireland Programme, places arts and creativity at the centre of school life for over 100,000 students. .

A national celebration of the arts and creativity in schools participating in Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools will take place from 4-8 November 2019 at schools and venues across the country. Children and young people will have the opportunity to showcase their experiences of the arts and creative learning through their involvement in the initiative.

Speaking at the announcement in the Catherine McAuley National School, Baggot Street, Dublin, Minister Madigan said: “I am delighted to be here today to welcome the Catherine McAuley National School as one of our new Creative Schools. These initiatives help to deliver on the ambition of the Creative Ireland Programme and the unprecedented commitment by two government departments and the Arts Council working in harmony, to promote the integration of arts in education.”

Minister Madigan added: “Culture and creativity are powerful means through which children and young people can explore communication and collaboration, stimulate their imaginations to be inventive and harness their curiosity. These are vital skills for all young people to learn and I am delighted that, as a result of today’s announcement, an additional 40,000 students will have the opportunity to enhance their learning experience and personal development through creativity.”

Welcoming the announcement, Joe McHugh, Minister for Education and Skills said: “We want all children and young people in Ireland to have access to learning in the creative arts, as part of a full and rounded education. Today’s announcement represents a significant increase in our investment in Creative Schools, Creative Clusters and the Local Creative Youth Partnerships. It will enable us to deliver more fully on our ambition to support and nurture the creative potential of our young people within our school communities.

“It is fantastic that the talent of our young people is now being fostered through this range of creative programmes. We want to nurture creative potential, help our young people develop an appetite for discovery and encourage them to acquire the skills they need to achieve their ambitions. I look forward to seeing some of the results of these collaborations and initiatives in action in the first Creative Schools National Celebration in November.

Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council said: “The Arts Council is committed to providing children and young people with more opportunities to participate in, and enjoy, the arts. The Creative Schools initiative has been a really successful way of inviting thousands of young people all across Ireland to explore their creativity, guided by the expertise of artists and other creatives in their own communities. We are delighted that this year the initiative will be supporting a further 150 schools and that many more children and young people will have this opportunity to participate in the arts in a very tangible and meaningful way.”

The list of Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools 2019-2020 can be accessed HERE.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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