While the provision for arts in the education system is primarily a matter for the Department of Education and Skills, I am firmly committed to continuing the work of the ongoing partnership between that Department, my own Department and the Arts Council, in line with the Arts in Education Charter. In this regard, I am pleased that the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to the continued implementation of the Arts in Education Charter.
The work of the two Departments and the Arts Council in implementing the Charter is achieved largely through existing structures, such as education centres and Education and Training Boards. My Department provides a small amount of funding under the Charter to assist with its implementation, for example, in relation to the funding of artists to assist in the Teacher Artist Partnership Initiative. In 2015, the Arts in Education Portal was launched and this now serves as an effective key communications and information channel for both education and arts sectors.
As recently as last April, a very successful inaugural National Arts in Education Day was held in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, with over 200 attendees from both education and artistic fields.
In terms of direct support for the arts, this is primarily a matter for the Arts Council operating under the provisions of the Arts Act 2003. The Arts Council’s ten-year strategy Making Great Art Work (2016-2025) places specific emphasis on the need to plan and provide for children and young people. The strategy also commits to working to achieve full implementation of the Arts in Education Charter.
The Arts Council contributes funding to a number of organisations to assist in the delivery of Arts in Education projects in schools. These include Poetry Ireland's Writers in Schools Scheme, where writers and storytellers visit primary and post-primary schools, as well as the Bringing to Book Artist-in-Residence Scheme, a Children's Books Ireland project.