This publication explores the impact of creative projects on the work of Pupil Referral Units and Learning Support Units around England. During 2003, writer and researcher Richard Ings visited a dozen centres that participated in First Time Projects, a programme devised and funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Arts Council England. He talked to the teachers and the learning support staff, the artists and arts companies, and the young people themselves about the benefits and challenges of engaging in arts practice. Creating Chances is an important contribution to the literature on how arts interventions can help to reach the marginalised and excluded child. It provides the teaching profession with fresh ideas and new approaches to making connections with our most troubled young people. And it examines the role of the artist as a catalyst for creativity and personal development. This report is of vital interest to professionals working towards social inclusion, including those responsible for funding and setting education policy. Its publication is intended to encourage better and wider use of creative approaches in PRUs and LSUs across the country.
Richard Ings is a freelance writer and researcher in the arts with a particular interest in young people and creativity. Among his publications are The Arts Included, a report on the conference that launched the First Time Projects programme (Nick Randall Associates: 2002); Mapping Hidden Talent, the first book to examine grassroots youth music projects across the UK (The Prince's Trust/National Youth Agency: 1998); Creativity: Caught or Taught? on new creative approaches to the school curriculum (CAPE UK: 2000); Funky on your Flyer on extending young people's access to cultural venues (Arts Council England: 2001); Taking it seriously: Youth arts in the real world (National Youth Agency: 2002); and Connecting Flights: Debating Globalisation, Diaspora and the Arts (British Council: 2003). Most recently, NESTA has published The Inventive Answer, an essay on creativity and young people (2004).