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Participating in Creative Schools can help promote creative thinking in education. Applications now open for Creatives Schools 2024 | The Arts Council


Artist Niki Collier and Bunscolie Synge Street. Photo Brian Cregan 800x500
Artist Niki Collier and the students of Bunscolie Synge Street admire their felt pyramid as part of Creative Schools. Photo: Brian Cregan

Creative Schools receive €4K funding and a Creative Associate  

The programme provides support to develop engagement with the arts in all schools 

Application deadline is 2 May 2024 


Creative Schools 2024 is now welcoming applications from Primary and Secondary schools and Youthreach centres across the country. Schools and centres that would like to participate can apply now to the two-year programme that will commence
in September. The deadline for completed applications is 2 May 2024.  

The Creative Schools initiative is designed to provide opportunities for children and young people to build their artistic and creative skills. Each school and Youthreach centre taking part in the two-year programme receives a grant of €4,000 and works
with a Creative Associate who supports them to develop and implement their own bespoke Creative School Plan.  

Participation in Creative Schools empowers children and young people to discover, implement and evaluate arts and creative activity throughout their schools and centres. Independent research published recently by Dublin City University has shown that participating in Creative Schools helps promote and inspire creativity in schools. Students in participating schools have an increased understanding of the importance
of creative thinking in education. 

All applications are made through the Arts Council’s online services system. All schools and centres interested in applying to Creative Schools 2024 can register for an account on the Arts Council’s online services system here. The system is currently open to receive applications. The final deadline for applications is 17.30 on 2 May 2024.

Director of the Arts Council Maureen Kennelly said:

“The Creative Schools programme is an excellent example of how the arts can be integrated with education for lasting success. Since 2018, we have supported more than 900 schools to embrace creativity and enjoy its many impacts. The independent research
published this year confirms participating schools have had an overwhelmingly positive experience as a result of their immersion in Creative Schools. 99% of participating schools would recommend to other schools to take part in the programme. Our
Creative Schools team are constantly inspired by the ambition and commitment of all our participating schools and we look forward to welcoming a new cohort of schools to join us in September.”

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin said:

“I warmly encourage schools and Youthreach settings across Ireland to apply to be part of Creative Schools. The programme has reached schools in every county in Ireland, and I am very pleased to see that almost 40% of special schools have been part of
the programme to date. By giving children and young people a clear voice in Creative Schools we can ensure we are responding to their creative thinking, helping develop their imagination and enhancing their educational and artistic experiences.”

Minister for Education Norma Foley added:

“The Department of Education is delighted to join with the Arts Council and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to invite schools to apply for Creative Schools 2024. The Creative Schools initiative provides opportunities
for children and young people to access and enjoy the different creative, expressive and joyful experiences which are an integral part of the arts. Creative Schools fundamentally supports the development of the creative potential and capabilities
for children and young people.”

Judith Jennings, a teacher at St.Brigid’s Special School, Mullingar on their participation in the programme:

“Creative Schools has transformed the space we are working in and has everyone thinking of how to represent the five senses in unique and safe ways. More importantly, it has given students a greater voice as their creative ideas have been put to the fore. I
have found my students have developed greater confidence in problem solving as they realised it is part of the creative process. Personally, I have found the process enlightening. I am looking at my teaching in a far more dynamic way, looking for
creative solutions and looking for ways to elevate the student voice. There is a freedom that comes with creative activity that enables you to explore different possibilities, that ultimately transforms teaching and learning and leads to a harmonious
classroom where all are reaching their potential.”

Poppy Murphy, a student in St Colman’s, Post Primary, Midleton recounts her experience of part of Creative Schools:

”I really enjoyed the Creative School Pottery Workshop. I enjoyed being able to use a medium that I am not familiar with because it could free me a bit from what expectation or limitation I might put myself in when using mediums that I am more familiar
with. It’s important to let creativity be about having fun and letting yourself experiment.”   

The programme was established in 2018 and more than 970 schools have been invited to participate to date. With this latest round of offers it means that 1 in 4 schools in Ireland will have / will be taking part in the Creative Schools initiative. Recipients
range from large schools in major cities to smaller schools in rural areas to schools situated on our islands, including Inisboffin, Achill, Inis Oírr and Inis Meáin.  


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