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Burberry’s new in-school study explores the impact of art on student development

King’s College London will investigate the effect of immersive arts and creative education on young people’s learning.

Leeds Playhouse - Anthony Robling
Leeds Playhouse - Anthony Robling

The Burberry Foundation is launching the first in-school programme of its scope and scale to understand how deep experience of the arts can have a positive effect on young people’s lives.

The impact of the four-year-long programme will be studied by researchers from the Policy Institute at King’s College London, who will examine how cultural and creative education can help young people to transcend challenging circumstances, widen their horizons and realise their aspirations.

Created in close partnership with the Ideas Foundation, the Burberry Inspire programme will be delivered in eight schools in Yorkshire, and run by four eminent, local organisations across theatre, film, dance and art: Leeds Playhouse, Leeds Young Film, Northern Ballet and The Hepworth Wakefield.

By measuring the impact of the programme on the students’ personal and academic development, the Policy Institute at King’s College London aims to generate valuable evidence about the effects of creative learning and provide a greater understanding of effective ways to engage with young people.

Leeds Playhouse will help students explore their sense of what it means to represent the future of Yorkshire today, inspired by the play Partition, a story about the impact of heritage. They will also have the opportunity to work with voice coaches, public speakers and performers.

Northern Ballet will partner with Leeds East Academy and Dixons Unity Academy. Photographer: Gavin Joynt

Alexander Ferris, Director of Creative Engagement at Leeds Playhouse said: “We are incredibly excited by the potential of the project and our shared ambitions of inspiring young people, raising achievements and aspirations through participation in the arts. Creative activity in our schools is a vital part of every young person’s education – fostering skills in empathy, reflection, resilience, communication and adaptability.”

Leeds Young Film will run filmmaking related workshops to develop transferable skills including virtual reality, documentary, music video, social media, vlogging and art film; developing the students’ technical abilities, problem-solving and creative communication.

The Hepworth Wakefield will support students to explore the relationship between place, emotion and identity, focusing on the changing industrial cityscape and what excites and inspires them about their city.

Northern Ballet will introduce the students to creative dance, developing their confidence and team working skills and helping them to discover different ways to express themselves through a universal language of movement for diverse communities.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We know that our young people will benefit hugely from access to the essential and transferable skills that cultural organisations can offer. We are excited to see how the programme develops alongside existing cultural activity across Leeds City Council and within our communities.”

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