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Evaluation of the Creative Learning through the Arts programme

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  • Release date: 20 July 2017
This report explores the changes that it is anticipated Creative Learning through the Arts will generate and how we can measure those changes.

Essentially, this report provides the foundation upon which subsequent phases of the evaluation will build.

The key stages in the Theory of Change for Strand 1, the Lead Creative Schools scheme, are:

  • the pupils (learners) participating in the classes / activities benefit directly from that experience
  • the teachers working with the Creative Agents and Practitioners to design and then deliver sessions benefit from that experience and observe the benefit to the learners
  • other teachers within the school observe the benefit to pupils and, as a result, adopt the same or a similar approach
  • senior management of the school observe the benefit of the approach and, as a result, increase the emphasis on learning through creativity within the school
  • policy makers observe the benefit of the approach and, as a result, increase the emphasis, within policy, on learning through creativity.

Essentially, this is a ‘proof of concept’ approach; the intervention is used to demonstrate that pupils benefit from the approach, and the other outcomes follow on from there. The hypothesis is that the lack of ‘proof’ that the creative approaches do indeed work is limiting (or even blocking) the potential implementation of such approaches in schools in Wales.

Strand 2 (the All-Wales Arts and Education Offer) is a far broader and less targeted intervention; the focus is on creating ‘opportunities’, whereas the Lead Creative Schools scheme is tasked with a very specific final outcome: improving pupil attainment. A critical element of the Theory of Change for Strand 2 is that at least a basic level of understanding of creativity as a learning tool by teachers, and within schools generally, is a pre-requisite to their effective participation. There is also reliance, within the theory, on the teachers and the schools implementing what they have learned as a result of participating in the intervention.

Five groups of potential beneficiaries have been identified, and this report considers how each of these groups will (in theory) change as a result of Creative Learning Through the Arts. They are: Learners, Teachers, Schools, Artists & Arts Organisations, Education Policy Makers.


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