A New Direction Advocates
Our Advocates are a group of teachers and senior leaders from schools across London with a passion for the arts and culture in education
Advocates support networks of schools, advise on and advocate for cultural education, including A New Direction’s programmes and Artsmark, represent A New Direction, and support other schools in developing their arts and culture offer.
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Advocates are supported by A New Direction to act as leaders in cultural education and to further develop their strategic leadership skills. Working in a cohort of like-minded peers, participants are able to share practice and ideas, build partnerships, and develop new work.
Participants will attend at least three CPD sessions alongside peers working in A New Direction’s Cultural Leadership Community, engaging as active contributors to the sessions (i.e. through presentation or co-facilitation). These sessions will develop participants’ leadership skills and their understanding of the impact and importance of cultural education on a London-wide, national and international level, as well as connecting them with a network of like-minded peers to share practice and ideas and explore the issues schools face around cultural education.
The first and last sessions of the programme will run as a full day and are compulsory for all Advocates. Interim sessions delivered as half-days, and Advocates should attend at least one of these. Each session will explore key themes in leadership development and cultural education, including:
- Curriculum Innovation through the Arts
- Pedagogy/Practice Innovation through the Arts
- Wellbeing and the Arts
- Building Creative Skills for 21st Century Global Competitiveness
When applying to join the programme please indicate which optional session(s) you will attend.
The sessions will be delivered through a combination of external speakers and discussions supported by practical exercises that can be taken into the classroom.
Advocates will also gain professional experience by undertaking advocacy activity over the course of the programme. This will comprise:
- Creation of a schools network (or development of an existing network) – see below for details
- Co-planning and co-delivering a Teachmeet along with one or more other Advocates, in partnership with A New Direction
Presenting at one of the following:
- CPD session within this programme
- Teachmeet run by other Advocates
- A New Direction INSET
- A New Direction Artsmark training or support
- Other A New Direction programme events
Advocates will be expected to identify and initiate or further develop a teacher network locally to their school. This may be based on existing structures such as a MAT or teaching school alliance, secondary and feeder primaries, etc, or common interest such as art form, phase, etc. Where no network exists, a new network opportunity must be identified at the application stage. If there is an existing network, this should be identified at the application stage and the Advocate should then work to support and expand this. A network should comprise at least five schools and should be active (ie meeting or communicating regularly).
Each Advocate will be eligible to apply for a small amount of funding to support their network, and will also receive half a day of mentoring from Nimble Fish to support their network development and leadership activity, as well as connections into other networks such as Local Cultural Education Partnerships via A New Direction, where relevant.
Advocates will also receive:
- Advocacy resources and materials from A New Direction
- Signposting to opportunities, resources and events from A New Direction and the cultural sector and other relevant organisations
- Artsmark support from A New Direction’s Artsmark team for the reregistration process
- Match funding for Arts Award adviser training for one member of staff when another is trained
- Support from A New Direction and Nimble Fish and peers between sessions via a closed social network (Basecamp)
- Certificate and transcript of CPD at end of the programme
Outcomes for participants
Cultural leadership and networks
- Increased understanding of cultural leadership and improved cultural leadership skills
- Development of strategic relationships with a network of schools across London
- Evidence of having undertaken significant leadership activity in culture and the arts, including network building
- Connection into other key networks in arts, culture and education, including establishing relationships with the cultural sector
Arts and cultural learning
- Increased knowledge and understanding of the value of arts and cultural learning in schools
- Increased knowledge and understanding of current debates on effective pedagogy in arts and cultural education
- Increased knowledge and understanding of the research base around the value of arts and cultural learning in schools
Impact assessment, evaluation and fundraising
- Increased skills and confidence to evaluate cultural education activity
- Knowledge and understanding of how to raise additional funding for cultural education
Time commitment and costs
The estimated time commitment for the Advocates programme is around 8 days in total:
- 1.5 days for attendance at compulsory CPD sessions (two full days, one half day)
- Half a day of mentoring from Nimble Fish
- Plus around 6 days independent work to develop a schools network and undertake other Advocacy activity
This programme is offered by A New Direction free of charge. We regret that we are not able to pay for cover or transportation costs. For half day CPD sessions, we will provide refreshments; for full days, lunch will also be provided.
In order to be eligible to become an Advocate, applicants:
- Must be working in London school,
- Must have participated in the Cultural Leadership Community (or other A New Direction programme) or be from an Artsmark Platinum school (or Gold now aiming for Platinum)
- Must hold current Artsmark or be on the Artsmark journey (ideally aiming for Platinum) and be prepared to advocate for Artsmark to others
- Must commit to attending induction, sharing and at least one other CPD session. Please check dates carefully against your school calendar and get sign off from your Headteacher or another member of senior leadership for your absence. Success of the CPD sessions depends on consistent attendance by all participants.
- Must commit to creating an active network of schools or developing an existing network, and acting as an Advocate within this network
- Must commit to undertaking core advocacy activity, EITHER co-planning/co-delivering a Teachmeet with one or more other Advocates, in partnership with A New Direction, OR presenting at an A New Direction event (CPD session, Artsmark, Teachmeet, other)
- Must commit to writing one blog post for the A New Direction website
Applications to this programme have now closed. If you work in a school recently awarded Artsmark Platinum and would like to join the programme, please contact Laura Fuller.