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Creative Writing in Schools: Evaluation
Mon 25 Feb 2019
Arts Council England has today released the findings and recommendations from an independent evaluation of the Creative Writing in Schools programme, which was delivered by partners Paper Nations and First Story.

Around 3,000 children and young people aged 8-14 took part in the programme in 2015-18, which focused on areas of high deprivation across the North and South West of England.

Independent evaluators, LKMco, have now released the results from the programme. Their evaluation includes recommendations of best practice on topics ranging from pedagogical technique to attaining adequate funding for writers working in schools.

The main findings:

Young people and teachers value writing for the pleasure it gives, rather than for its benefits in improving technical accuracy.

Creative writing networks played a vital role in bringing writers and schools together, and helping writers share knowledge, resources and opportunities.

The programme helped pupils feel more confident as writers, which also increased their confidence in wider school life.

While the programme provided new resources and helped writers and teachers to tap into existing networks, time and financial pressures facing schools and writers are significant, and largely persisted in the face of such activities.

Paper Nations’ ongoing mission is to bring about change in the sector through collaborative research and creative investigation. The models co-developed with NAWE emphasised the importance of approaches to the art of writing that are inclusive, playful, and exploratory. Over next few months, Paper Nations will continue work with its partners to develop and share resources that support the culture for writer development. 

Sarah Crown, Literature Director at Arts Council England, said: “We are delighted that Paper Nations and First Story will be sharing replicable delivery and business models as the legacy of the Creative Writing in Schools programme, to inform, inspire, and support more children and young people to write creatively and for pleasure, in and outside school.” 

Bambo Soyinka, Director of Paper Nations said:

"With opportunities for children to write creatively in schools in decline, Paper Nations’ goal was to produce evidence backed resources to help sustain and expand the culture of support for creative writing. Without partnerships between local and national organisations our work would not have succeeded. Following on from the recommendations of the LKMco report, we look forward to sharing the resources that we have co-created through this programme."

Jonathan Davidson, Chair of NAWE said:

"This report highlights the importance of writing for pleasure, of exploration and play, and the role of creative writing in building confidence for children and young people. It outlines the vital role played by networks in supporting good practice and developing vibrant writing communities, as well as making recommendations to help the sector meet the needs of pupils, writers, and teachers. We look forward to working with our partners in the next phase, and to building a creative writing ecology that supports all writers in education."

Download the executive summary (above right) to read about their recommendations for the creative writing sector or head to www.papernations.org to learn more about other resources that will be made available over the next few months.


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