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Inspiring Futures: The LBBD Cultural Education Partnership

Vision 2018-2022

Every young person can confidently participate, shape, and take pride in creative and cultural opportunities, making their voice heard.

Inspiring Futures: The Barking and Dagenham Cultural Education Partnership nurtures links between cultural organisations and schools to work towards every young person having the opportunity to be creative, either in school or beyond. We ensure every school has the opportunity to collaborate with other schools in hubs, form partnerships with cultural organisations, and take part in bespoke projects. 

How can we support your school? 

Inspiring Futures has three main threads of activity: 

CPD for stakeholders

Throughout the year we offer career progression and development for teachers, governors, senior leadership, and creative organisations in the borough to ensure they are prepared to deliver a strong creative offer in Barking and Dagenham schools. Alongside this, we hold an annual conference brimming with CPD opportunities for schools. 

We also work with schools to create Inspire Hubs, where local schools work together for peer learning, distribute knowledge, and develop larger sized cultural projects. 

We ask each school provide a cultural lead, and send updates of upcoming CPD through this designated person.  

Developing the Barking and Dagenham Cultural Education Offer

As part of our work, we create projects which develop cultural and creative opportunities for young people within the borough, including accredited achievements, wellbeing offers, and lobbying for opportunities for young people in local organisations and developments. 

A key project is the Arts Award transition project, which happens every September. Please get in touch if your secondary school would like to be involved. 

We also provide bespoke Artsmark support, to accredit your school with the creative standard for education. It ensures creativity is embedded across the curriculum and is recognised nationwide. Artsmark is managed by Arts Council England, Find out more on the Artsmark website.

Pathways into the creative digital industries

We develop pathways for young people into the creative and digital industries, by empowering teachers to be able to guide students into these careers. 

Inspiring Futures works to develop resources and sessions for young people to get advice from industry professionals, and create links for work experience, as well as tasters of creative skills. 

Want to get involved in Inspiring Futures?

Email amelia.hart@lbbd.gov.uk with details about your organisation or school to be added to our contact list and be invited to future events. 


Arts Award Transition Project 

The Transition Arts Awards programme worked with Green Shoes Arts and secondary schools to help year 7 students adjust to their new secondary school environment, whilst introducing them to arts and culture. Working with 6 secondary schools, and over 1200 pupils - nearly 50% of all year 7 students in the borough - students had a fun and engaging way to discover new artistic methods, as well as use art as a tool for relationship and confidence building. 

Well done to every young person who received their Arts Award Discover Award, and to all schools involved! 

The programme will be delivered again in the Autumn term 2021 and we will be recruiting and promoting soon.

Resetting Cultural Learning - the 2020 Barking and Dagenham Cultural Education Conference

Our annual conference this year went digital! Over two weeks (09-19 Nov) through recorded and live sessions, we reflected on the learning from our experiences of lockdown and to begin to look at a new future. With 27 sessions to get involved in, young people, teachers, senior leadership, governors, and cultural partners worked together to ensure creativity, culture, and the arts are central to wellbeing, recovery and resilience. 

The conference was a success – with over 85% of attendees rating the quality of the conference sessions to be above average or excellent, with 100% stating that it encouraged them to be involved in further projects and events with Inspiring Futures again. 

Thank you to everyone who joined us, and the partners who provided time and content for the conference!

Inspiring Futures Logo Competition 

In September 2020 we launched our logo competition, asking local school children to design two logos to be professionally designed and used by Inspiring Futures, and the Inspiring Futures Festival. There were two categories - 10’s and under, and 11-19 year olds, with prizes including vouchers for the London Graphics Centre, and gift bags of film merchandise for every entrant provided by CAMA. Find out more on the CAMA website.

With over 240 entrants, from 11 schools in Barking and Dagenham, the competition was fierce. The final overall winner was Rizwan Wadud, from Gascoigne Primary school. The panel loved the bright colours, and how recognisable and unique the design was. Well done Rizwan!     

Upcoming Events


Inspiring Futures has been working with Iniva, the Institute of International Visual Arts and have developed a bespoke Emotional Learning CPD offer for schools in the borough. These workshops will introduce ways to open up important conversations in the classroom or small group setting by introducing emotional learning using Iniva Creative Learning’s innovative card sets. Led by an art therapist and an artist who represent often silenced voices, the workshops provide a space for emotional learning through creativity, using contemporary international artists to open new vocabulary and experience around exploring the issues that have affected us all over the past year.

Iniva is an evolving, radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation, working predominantly with British-born and British-based visual artists of African and Asian descent.

Iniva also established an award-winning education and research programme.

Video - Marsh Award for Excellence in Gallery Education - Susan Damali Ibreck on Vimeo.