Creativity Exchange: A new online community to encourage teaching for creativity

Author: Nicky Morgan, Director Special Projects at Arts Council England

This February Arts Council England (ACE) have launched Creativity Exchange, a new online community to encourage teaching for creativity across the curriculum.

Designed for school leaders, teachers and cultural organisations who work with schools. This platform will be a place for creative inspiration and to share innovative practice in education. Nicky Morgan, Director of Special Projects at ACE, tells us all about their ambitions for Creativity Exchange, and how you can get involved.

What is the Creativity Exchange?

The Creativity Exchange is a bridge between the recommendations that came out of the Durham Commission in October 2019 – a collaboration between Durham University and Arts Council, to understand the role creativity should play in education – and the launch of the Creativity Collaboratives programme later in 2021, a national network of schools working together to develop a model to nurture creativity across the curriculum. This exciting, new platform is a space for school leaders, teachers, and cultural organisations to share ideas and reflect on what teaching for creativity means in practice.

Why now?

During the past year, we’ve seen the landscape of education and cultural sector shift in light of Covid-19. Whilst we anticipated rapid change in the first Commission report we couldn’t foresee a global pandemic. Since March, we’ve spoken with teachers and young people to understand the impact of the pandemic on schools and students and we’ve been continually inspired to hear that now more than ever, the value and power of creativity is being recognised.

In our conversations teachers have told us that creativity has a social and personal value, as well as being an essential tool to support children and young people’s learning. They’ve also expressed that developing a happy and well-adjusted young person is just as important as improving school performance and maintaining a creative and collaborative culture in schools, even during lockdown, remains their priority.

The Creativity Exchange is positioned to offer practical guidance and best practice to do exactly this and support teachers who we know are under tremendous pressure. Covid-19 has had an impact on all of us but perhaps most striking is the impact on young people and their education. We understand that embedding creativity within the education of all young people will make a hugely positive difference to their life chances and the Creativity Exchange will support education professional to make this to happen.

Get involved!

If you’re a teacher, school leader or a cultural organisation that works in schools then this platform is for you and there’s lots of ways you can get involved:

  • Content on the Creativity Exchange will be varied, topical and current. The site will host webinars, provocations, blogs, case studies, links to research and practice. We want your ideas and contacts to keep the content fresh! Please encourage schools and cultural organisations to contribute content, from simple practical ideas, to case studies and articles, by getting in touch with the team.
  • Connect with other teachers and school leaders to get new ideas and discuss how you teach for creativity using #CreativityExchange on Twitter where we will be sharing your suggestions!
  • Lastly, keep the conversation going by sharing our content on Twitter using #CreativityExchange so we can reach more educational professionals and advocate for the value of teaching for creativity.