Welsh Government and the Arts Council of Wales are delighted to announce that applications are open once again for the pioneering Lead Creative Schools Scheme, as part of the second phase of Creative learning through the arts – an action plan for Wales.

From today, schools can embark upon a memorable journey that will allow you to explore creativity and bring about fundamental changes in how you work. You will join thousands of like-minded professionals who are committed to helping learners fulfil their creative potential and achieve their best in all areas of learning and development.  

Since the beginning of the programme in 2015, 658 schools have participated in the Lead Creative Schools Scheme with over 1,700 teachers having experienced the benefit of collaborating with creative professionals to explore creative approaches to teaching and learning.

What is the Lead Creative Schools Scheme?

The Lead Creative Schools Scheme provides the opportunity to explore creative approaches to teaching and learning with the support of creative agents and practitioners.

Each project is unique and is designed to help address specific challenges identified in the school’s development plan. In addition, it aims to nurture the creativity of learners, raise attainment aligned to Welsh Government’s priorities and support whole school change to prepare for Curriculum for Wales 2022.

Lead Creative Schools offer – what you can expect:

Becoming a Lead Creative School will support your school to:

  • address your school development priorities
  • bring about transformational approaches to teaching and learning
  • improve outcomes for learners and
  • develop your creativity.

Successful Lead Creative Schools will receive funding to explore:

  • how creativity and creative approaches to teaching and learning can transform learner outcomes and support a change in the learning culture in schools
  • what it really means for young people to be creative and how they know when it is happening
  • what teachers and other creative professionals can do to encourage and develop creativity and
  • how the qualities of a high functioning classroom can support creativity across the whole curriculum


Schools will apply to join the Scheme for two academic years receiving a grant of £10,000. After their first year, schools will have to demonstrate they have met the requirements of the Scheme and that they have a clear plan for the next phase of their involvement.

  • Grant funding will pay for your project work over each academic year you are in the Scheme. You will be expected to make a school contribution of 25% of the grant total. This may be met by cash from your school budget and/or other grants and can include the cost of your School Coordinator’s time (up to 10 days) working to support your engagement as a Lead Creative School

 Eligibility criteria:

  • available for any state-maintained schools (Foundation phase – KS4)
  • schools who have not yet participated in the Lead Creative Schools Scheme and
  • any partner schools from Year 3 school to school development programmes, partner schools from Developing Creative Leaders programme and Lead Creative Schools ‘cluster’ schools (2015-2020)
  • Schools that participated in the Lead Creative Schools Scheme online, who have not already participated in the Scheme are also welcomed to apply.

The commitment we expect from schools:

  • supply cover costs you incur when the school coordinator and participating teachers are attending the Lead Creative Schools training and networking events. Training will be delivered over 1 day running from 10 – 20 November (excluding Mondays)
  • allow participating teachers time to plan, evaluate and reflect with all partners and to actively support them to experiment and to teach creatively
  • involve teachers and learners as active partners and co-constructors of learning in planning, delivery and evaluation
  • Demonstrate active support for the Scheme from the headteacher and senior leadership team
  • Use the learning from the project to inform the future School Development Plan


How to apply

Schools should complete the Lead Creative Schools Application Form. The deadline for applications is 17.00 on 7 October 2020.

We will aim to notify schools of our decisions by 4 November.

If you have questions about your application to the Lead Creative School Scheme you can contact us at creative.learning@arts.wales but before doing so you are advised to read the Handbook fully.