Creativity Collaboratives

An action research programme to support schools to teach for creativity

Creativity Collaboratives is a pilot action research programme that aims to build networks of schools to test a range of innovative practices in teaching for creativity, with the explicit intention that learning is shared to facilitate system-wide change.

Working alongside existing school structures, teachers and educators will co-develop creative strategy and pedagogy, test out approaches to teaching and learning, and evaluate their impact on pupils, schools and communities.

What will the Creativity Collaboratives network do?

There are eight lead schools, who will each work with their own network of local schools to cascade learning. The networks will test varied approaches to developing and delivering the curriculum to support children and young people to develop their creative capabilities. Each of the lead schools will measure the individual impact on their setting, with Durham University conducting the overarching evaluation. Learnings from the pilot can then be shared and applied more widely throughout the education sector.

The programme responds to one of the recommendations of the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education, which sought to investigate the role of creativity in the education system, and find ways to make creativity a bigger part of young people’s lives in education and beyond.

The programme launched in October 2021 and will run until July 2024. Arts Council England has invested £2,780,000 into the programme which has been generously supported by Freelands Foundation.

Meet our Creativity Collaboratives

Each Creativity Collaborative will be developing their own specific projects that explore the impact and value of teaching for creativity. Key themes include:

  • supporting teachers to develop the skills and confidence to integrate teaching for creativity across their lessons
  • developing a curriculum that enables curiosity and creativity across all subjects
  • exploring how a creative education prepares children and young people to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.

Read on to find out more about what each Collaborative is exploring.

North East

The Duchess’s Community High

Will test approaches to embedding teaching for creativity in all subjects in the curriculum including Maths, Science, Technology and English alongside arts-based subjects.

Read about the Creativity Collaboratives programme in the North East

North West

C Change - Holy Family Catholic Multi- Academy Trust

Will be working across their community delivering a project focused on reducing disadvantage and improving wellbeing and mental health outcomes for pupils through creative teaching practices.


Billesley Primary School

Will be working in West Midlands to explore ways to empower teachers to develop their teaching practice through partnerships with creative and cultural organisations, with a focus on local heritage and identity.

Read Billesley's latest blog

Welbeck Primary School

Working in a diverse range of educational settings including primary schools, a hospital school, a special educational needs school and a referral unit for unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees, Welbeck Primary School will explore how to nurture children’s innate creativity and curiosity within the curriculum.


The St Marylebone CE School

Will explore the development of shared language and values within their school network to create and sustain teaching for creativity.

South East

Anglian Learning (schools in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex)

Will explore how varied approaches to teaching for creativity, with a particular focus on inquisitiveness, support all pupils and contribute to school improvement in a diverse range of settings.

South West

Penryn College

Will be exploring how teaching for creativity across the curriculum can support young people to be best for their future in a changing workforce.

Read Penryn's latest blog

Halterworth Primary School - University of Winchester Academy Trust

Will focus on exploring enablers and barriers to teaching for creativity and their interaction with inequality, including fostering children’s and teachers’ creative self-beliefs and leading for creativity.

Read Halterworth's latest blog

We’ll be sharing each Collaborative’s journey on Creativity Exchange so sign up to get the latest updates.

Find out more