Artful Alliance graphic – researching cultural education for care-experienced people

Artful Alliance

The Artful Alliance is a national action research programme exploring cultural and creative education for care-experienced children and young people.

Artful Alliance


In April 2022, Blue Cabin was commissioned by Artsmark and Arts Council England (ACE) to carry out a creative consultation with care-experienced children and young people in the North East of England, to understand their views of the arts and creativity within their Virtual School experience. This consultation with children and young people was part of a wider programme led by ACE working with local partners and Virtual Schools in the East and West Midlands and London, looking at how Artsmark could be a beneficial programme for Virtual Schools across the country.

ACE is keen to better understand key issues relating to cultural and creative education for care-experienced children and young people and has commissioned Blue Cabin to facilitate a national action research programme the Artful Alliance.

Through the Artful Alliance we will explore:

  • How cultural and creative partners can best serve care-experienced children and young people
  • How can carers, social workers, designated teachers and the wider community of stakeholders around the child be fully engaged, to support their education and development?
  • What is the relationship between the arts and creativity and social pedagogy? Can this be explored through Virtual Schools?
  • How can Virtual Schools and mainstream schools work better together for the benefit of care-experienced children and young people?

We are delighted to be working in partnership with tialt//there is an alternative, who will support the evaluation and action research of the Artful Alliance.

The following virtual school and creative organisation partnerships are taking part in the Artful Alliance programme:

Leicestershire Virtual School and  Care to Dance
Norfolk Virtual School and Norfolk Music Hub 
North Yorkshire County Virtual School and Creative Briefs
Brighton and Hove Virtual School and Creative Learning, Theatre Royal Brighton


Together, the Virtual School and creative organisations will try out existing or new project ideas with care experienced children and young people and the trusted adults in their lives.

They will undertake a series of training to include trauma informed approaches, social pedagogy, attachment and recovery and will be facilitated by organisations including Blue Cabin, Kazzum Arts and Therapeutic Life Story Work International. Learning will be gathered and shared throughout the programme, supported by tialt. This will include reflection sessions, self-organised peer learning groups and an online learning space. Ongoing opportunities for sharing learning and knowledge across local authority and creative sectors (and beyond!) will be explored and encouraged throughout.

The programme will run from September 2023 – July 2024.

Project Funders