Progressing the Quality conversation

The ‘Principles into practice’ event on 20 February was part of the Arts Council’s on-going quality conversation about arts and culture relating to children and young people.

It was really positive to see so many at the event, with strong representation from arts organisations, artists, teachers and youth workers. We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the day for their contributions to the discussions and for offering ideas on how we might begin to test the Quality principles.

We currently have these seven Quality principles that have been co-authored with the sector and with young people:

1.    Striving for excellence and innovation: Is there a real commitment to achieving excellence by, with and for children and young people?

2.    Being authentic: Is it authentic; is it the real thing?

3.    Being exciting, inspiring and engaging: Are children and young people excited, engaged and inspired?

4.    Ensuring a positive and inclusive experience: Does it ensure a positive and inclusive experience?

5.    Actively involving children and young people: Are children and young people actively involved?

6.    Enabling personal progression: Do children and young people progress and know where to go next?

7.    Developing belonging and ownership: Do children and young people feel they belong and it belongs to them?

The day saw the Arts Council take the role of convenor, to enable sector-led innovation, the sharing of ideas and for new working relationships to be formed. The day began with practitioners exploring the quality principles and recapping the work already undertaken at the Birmingham and Sage Gateshead events during the past year. The day then changed gear with an afternoon of ‘open space’ discussions, where participants talked about their own practical ideas and R&D projects for taking the work forward and putting the principles into practice.

From these discussion emerged a number of propositions, and the Arts Council and its quality reference group are now in the process of formulating a plan for more targeted, formal testing of the principles that we will report on later in the year.

This film aims to capture the main messages from the day, illustrate how the day worked and add to the resources already produced to bring the discussion up to date:

This process is about development and improvement - and there is still a lot of work to do in order to get the R&D projects going, but we hope this helps to explain where the process has got to, and that it inspires and encourages further action around the quality debate.

If you would like to share your views or have examples of how you are testing these principles in your work by, with and for children and young people, please leave a comment below or let us know on Twitter, #CYPquality or Facebook.

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