Curious Minds: Cultural Education Partnership Bingo
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Three people sat in a busy conference room. They look to be debating a personal topic and making notes.

Cultural Education Partnership BINGO

Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEPs) are rapidly coming together all over the country. On December 5th, at the Museum of Science and Industry, we brought together these partnerships from all over the North to share best practice and be inspired.

At the start of the day… I began this blog...


Sometimes, hyper-aware and guilty of being too jargon-tastic, we play a game to poke fun at ourselves and our sector. We play sector-jargon bingo! (oh c’mon, you know you play it too!). For an LCEP conference, I’d be likely to load my bingo card with the words ‘mobilise’, ‘horizon scanning’, ‘innovative’, ‘pipeline’, ‘powerhouse’ and ‘sector'.

But what are the words I’m most hoping to hear today? The words that would indicate we’re really, truly thinking through the real challenge of the Cultural Education Challenge… How do we change the way we do things, so that those young people who face a life of (often unintentional) discrimination - who time and time again miss out, aren’t included or are an afterthought - are at the centre of our partnerships?

These words might be… ‘looked after children’, ‘carers’, ‘disability’, ‘refugee’, ‘poverty’, ‘BAME’, ‘LGBTQ’, ‘mental health’ and ‘homeless’.

6.45pm post event…


Elaine Rees from Liverpool Learning Partnership shared with us how arts and cultural experiences in Liverpool were their tool of choice for tackling the "poverty of experience" faced by asylum seekers, looked after children and those young people on free school meals.

I heard from Blackpool, about the way that the arts are being used to support schools to help those young people facing mental health difficulties.

We were challenged by Paul Khan, from National Museums Liverpool, on how we intend to be more inclusive of professionals from BAME backgrounds in the leadership of cultural education.

Steve Ball, from Birmingham Repertory Theatre, talked about a partnership between midwives and the cultural organisations of Birmingham to offer theatre experiences for children born on a certain day of the year in City Hospital for the first ten years of their lives.

We heard about working groups dedicated to ensuring that SEND schools are included in these conversations.

It’s a good start. But it’s a discussion we have to keep front and centre as these partnerships develop, because the Cultural Education Challenge asks us to consider how ALL children and young people can access the life-changing potential of our cultural organisations. So we have to start by asking ourselves who is most at risk of missing out and what can we do collaboratively to instigate systemic change.

Curious Minds is developing a series of ‘support and challenge’ workshops and ‘challenge partners’, who can provide a level of expertise to those LCEPs who are brave enough to say "we’re not doing enough for…"

It’s just one way we can keep this conversation going. It starts with us putting down our list of successes and picking up our list of ‘must-do-betters’.

Looking forward to shouting BINGO… I’ve got my dabber at the ready.

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