Barnet and Culture for Youth

Bringing together educational & cultural expertise to benefit young people in Barnet

Barnet and Culture for Youth is the Local Cultural Education Partnership for Barnet. The partnership brings together educational and cultural assets & expertise – sharing best practice and resources, testing approaches, and creating a cultural education strategy for mainstream and alternative education providers including supplementary schools, PRUs, SEN and faith schools, as well as homeschooled and looked after children.

Barnet is London’s most populous borough with 397,049 residents in 2018. Rapid population growth is linked to affordable housing and strong results in schools performance tables. The borough has a diverse make up with 39.5% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic residents. Whilst Barnet’s schools perform well academically, cultural participation is low, with Artsmark engagement less than half the London average. Whilst many schools are proactive in seeking out cultural activities, some do not engage, sighting cultural or economic reasons.

Within a changing landscape where Ebacc deprioritised the arts, but OFSTED reporting is likely to return arts & cultural provision to the agenda, we want to work collaboratively bringing resources and knowledge together to improve the cultural offer for all children and young people in the borough. We are particularly interested in how successful cultural engagement models and new innovations can benefit those within alternative education provision.

Founding partners include artsdepot, Barnet’s Schools Improvement Service, representatives from SEN, PRU, primary and secondary schools, LBB Libraries, Barnet schools music and dance festivals, the Young Barnet Foundation, Middlesex University, London Studio Centre and the RAF Museum.

Our partnership will engage the cultural & educational sectors coalescing around three themes; performing arts in education, heritage interpretation and mental health and wellbeing. We will work to share best practice and resources, test new approaches, support accessibility, and design a Cultural Education Strategy. A New Direction is funding a Network Manager who will organise events and meetings, and facilitate a Strategic Steering Committee and Stakeholders Group.

Key outcomes anticipated:

  • More cultural enrichment opportunities for young people in Barnet leading to improved educational outcomes and enriched lifestyles and tools for life.
  • A cultural education strategy for Barnet providing a roadmap for progress and tangible objectives that CEP partners can follow to achieve the ambitions of the plan.

Find out more

Barnet & Culture for Youth Challenge London blog

Challenge London investment from A New Direction: £75,000 over three years

This partnership is also receiving Challenge London Legacy Funding


Tim Burley, Development Director -

Follow Barnet and Culture for Youth on Twitter: @BarnetCEP

Image credit: Andrew Twesigye for Kairos Creative