The Creative Youth Plan was published by the Government in December 2017 as one of the five pillars of the Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022. The Plan sets out a number of measures designed to enable the creative potential of every young person, both within the formal education system and in informal or community settings.
Commenced in 2018, Creative Schools is one of the flagship initiatives of the Creative Youth Plan and supports schools and Youthreach centres to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives. It is led by the Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
The Creative Schools initiative supports schools over 2 years to develop and implement a bespoke Creative Schools Plan, with the assistance of a Creative Associate in addition to a grant of €4,000 in total to implement their plan. A national spread of primary, post-primary, special, DEIS, Irish language medium schools, and Youthreach centres are represented in the initiative.
Access to the Creative Schools initiative is open to all Department of Education-recognised primary and post-primary schools and Youthreach centres. Currently schools cannot re-enter the initiative once they have participated, thereby encouraging the inclusion of new schools each year.
In the four rounds from 2018 to 2021, a total number of 1,168 schools have applied to participate in Creative Schools with over 650 schools invited to participate. 2021 saw an expansion in the number of new schools participating compared to 2020. There are currently 350 schools participating in the initiative, and applications for the fifth round commencing in September 2022 closed on the 16th June 2022 and are currently being assessed.
This year will see the initiative expand to work with Oberstown Children Detention Campus School, Ballydowd High Support Special School, Crannóg Nua Special School and St Canice’s Special School. These schools have been invited to take part in the initiative and will receive increased Creative Associate time and funding with a total award of €8,000 over two years.