Youth Voice in the work of Creative Partnerships

Bragg, Sara; Manchester, Helen and Faulkner, Dorothy (2009). Youth Voice in the work of Creative Partnerships. Creativity, Culture and Education, London.



This report summarises the findings of an 18-month research project into ‘Youth Voice in the work of Creative Partnerships ‘, 2007-9, conducted by Sara Bragg, Helen Manchester, Dorothy Faulkner at the Open University, funded by the Arts Council England.

Creative Partnerships (CP) was established in 2002 and is a ‘flagship creative learning programme’. It aims to foster innovative, long term collaborations between schools (often in areas of socio-economic deprivation) and creative practitioners. In particular CP states that it places young people ‘at the heart of what we do’ and claims that its programmes are most effective when young people are actively involved in leading and shaping them.

CP highlights three key areas: involving young people in governance (the design, delivery and evaluation of the programme of work); building and maintaining ‘positive relationships’ with young people; working as ‘co-constructors of learning’ with them.

The report maps existing youth voice initiatives in Creative Partnerships in those three areas. In addition, it considers the nature of the links between creativity and participation; explores issues of access to youth voice, such as patterns of inclusion and exclusion; explores what skills, experiences, identities and relationships are developed through participation. More broadly it attempts to understand, analyse and theorise youth voice, starting from the empirical but aiming to interpret the features of particular activities or projects to understand them more fully.

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