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Study launches to assess the effect of arts education on young people

Northern Ballet dancers in Romeo and Juliet Northern Ballet dancers in Romeo and Juliet
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A study that will assess the effect of arts education on young people’s lives is being launched by partners including Leeds Playhouse and Northern Ballet.

Four Yorkshire-based organisations, which also include Leeds Young Film and arts museum the Hepworth Wakefield, will deliver work in eight schools over the course of four years.

The Policy Institute at King’s College London will study the effect of the creative education programme on students’ development, examining how arts education can help young people overcome challenging circumstances.

By measuring the effect of the programme on the students’ personal and academic development, the institute aims to generate valuable evidence that provides a “greater understanding of effective ways to engage with young people”.

The programme is delivered in partnership with the Burberry Foundation and the Ideas Foundation.

Each of the four arts organisations will provide the schools with an artist in residence who will give 11 to 14-year-old students hands-on experience in different areas of the arts and collaborate with teachers to deliver community events.

Each organisation will work with two schools per year, with all eight schools working with the four organisations by the end of the programme.

Leeds Playhouse will work with students to explore the future of Yorkshire and will give young people the chance to work with voice coaches and performers.

Northern Ballet will introduce students to dance by giving them the opportunity to take part in workshops and after-school clubs.

Alexander Ferris, director of creative engagement at Leeds Playhouse said: “Creative activity in our schools is a vital part of every young person’s education – fostering skills in empathy, reflection, resilience, communication and adaptability.

“Our Playhouse Education programme brings together teachers, educators, young people and theatre professionals to find innovative ways to support the curriculum and to ensure the young people of Leeds have access to an excellent cultural education.”

Leanne Kirkham, director of learning at Northern Ballet added: “As a Leeds-based company with an international reputation, we are thrilled that this groundbreaking project is happening in the north of England, shining a light on Yorkshire’s exceptional cultural offer.

“Through this project, Northern Ballet will reach thousands more young people and open their eyes to the opportunities available in arts and culture, offering progression and pathways into the sector.”

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