Transforming participation and engagement in the performing arts

Developing the creative capacities of teachers and students

The RSA’s Performing Arts Hub aims to develop an innovative, collaborative approach to transform pupil participation and outcomes in the performing arts. It will do this by creating sustainable partnerships between the RSA schools and a small number of cultural organisations, both in and outside the locality, understanding impact through rigorous evaluation that will include assessment of pupils’ creative capacities.

The Performing Arts Hub is a network of educators and artists working collaboratively on projects that enhance teaching, learning and research in arts-based education.

At a time when schools face pressures to narrow the curriculum and both schools and the arts are facing reductions to traditional sources of income, we want to advocate for, and better understand the impact of, arts-rich teaching and learning in schools.


  • Close the attainment gap – to contribute to schools’ efforts to closing attainment gaps by developing targeted arts interventions for disadvantaged students which increase engagement and participation, develop cultural capital and self-efficacy, and strengthen creative capacities
  • Support creative careers – To support students with a particular interest in pursuing careers in performing arts (including technical careers) by offering bespoke opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills, networks and leadership qualities
  • Develop teachers’ professional networks – To develop teachers’ capacity to commission and co-create, with performing arts organisations, interventions that contribute to schools’ objectives and take advantage of industry insight and resources

Photo by Drew Graham on Unsplash.

Schools involved:

Holyhead School

RSA Academy

Whitley Academy

Arrow Vale RSA Academy

Ipsley CE RSA Academy

Church Hill Middle School

Abbeywood First School

Project details:

Date Started May 2015
Date Finished July 2018
Project Funder RSA, Ernest Cook Trust, Arts Connect West Midlands, Paul Hamlyn Foundation