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Leicester’s De Montfort University is to collaborate with Arts Council England on a pilot programme and a three-year trial.

Photo of a monologue

Arts Council England (ACE) has revealed details of a “transformative” new plan to spot and develop creative talent in children and young people.

Called the ‘Creative Talent Plan’, the initiative is intended to run from birth for the first 25 years of life and will be piloted in Leicester alongside De Montfort University (DMU), with which ACE recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

“A plan would offer young people the chance to develop their creativity in different ways. Some might pursue a career in the creative industries, or apply their creativity to science and technology,” wrote ACE Chief Executive, Darren Henley, in a blog announcing the initiative.

“Some might become cultural leaders; others would simply enjoy a more fulfilling life, shared with those around them.”

Three phases

The talent plan is to be developed in three stages, beginning with a pilot programme in autumn 2017 in partnership with DMU, Leicester City Council, teachers and education experts.

The city will then serve as a base for a three-year pilot programme from 2018-21, which will work with various age groups of children and young people, before the talent plan is expanded nationally.

In addition, ACE will be conducting a literature review of best practice and establishing an expert advisory group “to challenge us along the way”.

Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, said: “Art and culture have an incredible power to connect us more deeply with the world around us, yet they have been hit by years of austerity cuts. This strategy has the potential to turn the tide and create a new generation of talent.

“We are proud to be working with Arts Council England and our partners in Leicester to make a difference.”

Cultural Education

Henley also indicated the plan would build on ACE’s Cultural Education Challenge, a series of collaborations with partners in education, business, culture and local authorities. The plan intends to provide the national funder with a “long-term vision” and a strategic focus to inform the development of the next ten-year strategy.

Speaking about the opportunities for training and cultural education currently offered by ACE, Henley added: “Just imagine the power of a plan that pulled together these initiatives, so that any young person could get the right help at the crucial points in their creative evolution. It would encompass our work with artists, arts organisations, museums, libraries, schools and universities.

“It would be transformative.”

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What an exciting movement/plan to watch. Creating space for creative education can only launch new ways any culture can stretch into, potentially changing the common infrastructure.