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Cultural Education Matters: The Way Forward


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The conference covered both the regional and bigger, national picture within education, upcoming curriculum initiatives and how cultural organisations and initiatives can help schools with their wider agendas. More than 90 delegates attended, making up an audience of Governors, Headteachers, and Arts Subject Specialists from Primary and Secondary Schools, Arts Development organisations, and The Arts Council from across the local and regional district.


The event’s keynote speaker and the distinguished guest was Andria Zafirakou, who recently made international headlines for winning the $1m Global Teacher Awards prize, which she promptly used to set up her own charity, Artists in Residence, connecting schools with artists.

Andria shared heart-warming and inspirational examples of young people who had been positively impacted by accessing art in schools, highlighting the need to fight to keep the arts in the curriculum more than ever.


  • Matt Little, Real Ideas Organisation (RIO). Matt spoke about learning lessons from across the region and beyond by making an impact through art, culture and creativity in education, exploring how to use creativity to make a difference in schools and communities.
  • Bridget Whyte, Music Mark. Bridget discussed the new national plan for music in education, and the Department for Education’s attitudes towards cultural education.
  • Dan Somogyi, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole. Dan talked on the local offer of music and cultural education hubs in the newly merged BCP council.
  • Steve Smith, HMI Lead Inspector for Visual and Performing Arts, Ofsted. Steve provided an update on the new inspection framework, highlighting the importance of ‘cultural capital’, the appreciation of ‘human creativity’, and the importance of quality education.

The conference included a networking lunch and the opportunity for guests to have a tour and private view of the HE Summer Show.

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