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Bolton Cultural Education Partnership (BCEP)

The Bolton Cultural Education Partnership (BCEP) has been brought together by Curious Minds (NW Bridge Organisation for Arts Council England).

The BCEP aims to provide quality cultural provision for all children across the Bolton borough, closing the provision gap, connecting schools in cultural partnership with NPOs in the area and has ambitions to achieve Artsmark Town status for the borough (53%+ schools who have carried out arts development and achieved an Arts Council standard mark).


Bolton School sought a steering role, along with Council, museum and libraries, Octagon theatre and three other school members.

Critical factors for success include percentage of schools engaged in Artsmark and increased participation in key town-wide cultural events. The group has secured funding to support schools’ cultural partnership work and provides cultural marketplace and CPD opportunities for teachers.


Bolton School's own Artsmark journey connected School to BCEP via Curious Minds. The opportunity was identified by Director of Creative Learning and Partnerships. The BCEP has evolved over the past three years from 2016.


Staff time/cost of staff time, expertise and release from school and/or use of staff’s own time is required to participate in the range of activities listed.

Extensive resources produced by staff to develop and augment each of the projects mentioned. If not resources produced, then project and event management skills shared.


Capturing impact of creative and cultural activities is a current area of growth. We are part of the RSA Cultural Evidence Champions to this end, developing methodology to capture quantitative information.

Artsmark advocacy and development is a key structural element behind out partnership work – staff enfranchised by Curious Minds (Arts Council Bridge) to present case studies at schools festivals and to contribute to their Leading the Arts course – developmental mastery of arts development including partnerships indicated by shift to sharing expertise with other school arts leaders.


Ongoing with intermittent focus on new projects within the continued partnership.