News & Blog

How we incorporated Youth Voice into our rebrand

Our rebranding journey first started in the summer of last year, when we first started working with Buttercrumble (a local design studio) to rebrand LeedsCEP. Something that was really key for us was making sure that we had local young people part of this process, being part of the initial mind mapping session that look place in July. We held an open call for young people to join us in a workshop with Buttercrumble in July. We had 6 young people join us.
The workshop was structured around the key question: what comes to mind when you think about culture in Leeds? From this, key words, ideas, and feelings were drawn which were grouped into similar themes. The young people spoke about the importance of place and Leeds still having a part in the new name of the partnership, as well as how arts and culture in the city is for everyone across Leeds. Another strong theme to come from discussions was how Leeds is a city that nurtures creativity and culture. This then led to the idea of nature, supporting the creative growth of young people and the vibrancy that Leeds has as a diverse cultural city.
This workshop provided the foundation for a new rebrand which was also done in consultation with the LeedsCEP Steering Group, leading us to the new name of Leeds33.
The new design was inspired by the power of fractals from nature . Culture and creative partnerships in the city branch out, generating new development pathways, to enrich the local communities of Leeds. The logo design depicts the 33 wards of the city through a geometric map that is connected and growing from one and another – making it clear that cultural education and experiences are for all young people in Leeds. The map is formed through connecting triangles as the 3 sides represent culture, education and partnership, with the colour palette inspired by the vibrancy of nature, as well as to represent the diversity within the city.
The first look at the rebrand was shared at our Cultural Education Conference in December 2023 with work currently being undertaken for a new rebranded website. We hope you love the new rebrand as much as we do. Watch this space for the future of Leeds33!

End Of Year Message 

And suddenly it’s December! As we wind down towards the end of the year, it feels the right time to reflect on what has been achieved this year as a partnership! We have continued to strengthen work in our priority areas: Youth Voice, Skills and Progression, Advocacy and Comms, and Health and Wellbeing.

This has resulted in the delivery of three Youth Voice CPDs throughout the year – for freelancers, teachers and cultural organisations with Lawrence Becko Associates. Work is being undertaken for a Youth Voice audit in the city and will continue into the new year. The Health and Wellbeing Pod was launched in November to a great turnout.The end of the year culminated in the Cultural Education Conference which took place at The Tetley at the beginning of December. We had 155 people present throughout the day – a mixture of teachers and cultural organisations, with 25 of the total attendees being young people who either performed or presented at the conference. We heard from our keynote, Erica Whyman OBE, on Leading with Courage, as well as panellists speaking on topics such as partnership working, accessible cultural learning, and the impact of pupil voice on informing school’s cultural learning offers.

As part of the day, our partnership projects with the University of Leeds, Mapping Creative and Cultural Engagement in Schools and Culture on the Doorstep, were presented with toolkits and outcomes shared. We also heard from Carol Leeming MBE FRSA on The Genie is Out of the Bottle (a talk on inclusion in the creative curriculum), as well as from Professor Ally Walsh on arts learning partnerships in Cape Town. If you would like to learn more about the content of the sessions, you can see here for the slides created by our live scribe, Laura from Nifty Fox Creative.

Another key project that we have been working on this year is the rebranding of LeedsCEP to Leeds 33, with our new logo and branding shared at the conference. The partnership now has a clear identity thanks to the designs by Buttercrumble and to the young people we worked with to create this rebrand. Watch this space as we do further unveiling of the branding in 2024.

We would like to take a moment to thank all of our partners and members for their support this year, including support from LEEDS 2023, Leeds City Council and the University of Leeds. It has been quite a year unlike any other being part of the Year of Culture, and we are looking forward to what the future holds for Leeds 33 – our cultural education partnership.

We will be back in touch in the new year. Until then, we wish you all a peaceful and joyous festive season!

A summary of our Cultural Education Conference designed by Nifty Fox Creative 2023.

Special thanks to our talented scribe, Laura Evans-Hill (Nifty Fox Creative).


P.L.A.Y LEEDS 2023 Research Partnership Development Event 

P.L.A.Y (Participation, Learning and Arts for Youth) is a one year youth-arts activity programme led by LEEDS 2023 in partnership with the University of Leeds Cultural Institute, supported by Arts Council England. P.L.A.Y brings together a vast range of activity that engages young people of different ages across formal and informal education and across contexts and artforms. It is a unique,one-off investment in the creative engagement and leadership of young people in the city. The University of Leeds, Leeds Cultural Education Partnership, Leeds Learning Alliance and Leeds City Council partnered with LEEDS 2023 to explore how we can best ensure learning and legacy of this

The first P.L.A.Y LEEDS 2023 Research Partnership Development event was held on 17th May 2023, bringing together a group of researchers, arts managers and cultural creatives gathered to look at possible research collaborations and opportunities for children and young people to engage with culture beyond LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture. These areas of discussion were Creative Skills and Inclusive Growth, Child Friendly Cities and Creative Learning in Formal Education.

P.L.A.Y Leeds 2023 Research Partnership Development Discussions Summary Document

Culture on the Doorstep: Co-creating place-based learning in Beeston and Seacroft

Across Yorkshire, four Local Cultural Partnerships are exploring how place-based learning, within the context of a 15-minute neighbourhood, can build the cultural capital of children and young people. LeedsCEP, Create Sheffield, Evoke Kirklees and Spark Wakefield are delivering four simultaneous pilot programmes in their communities until December 2023. These initiatives are supported by IVE, with the LeedCEP activities receiving additional funding from the Economic and Social Research Council and the University of Leeds.

In Leeds we are collaborating with researchers from the University of Leeds, Seacroft Grange and Greenmount Primary School, and creative practitioners Hafsah Nibe and Made with Music. In partnership with teachers, young people, community members and local organisations we are co-creating place-based activities that embrace the people, places, cultures, and knowledge held within the local communities. The outcome of this work will be a toolkit with case study examples, that shares the process and learnings from the project to support place-based curriculum development.

Activities began with an online provocation session on cultural capital, highlighting its somewhat controversial nature. Professor Abigail Harrison-Moore gave an overview of the history and theory of ‘cultural capital’, before experienced art and design teacher, Anne-Louise Quinton, explored practical approaches to embedding local cultural knowledge into school curricula. Follow-on workshops allowed project partners to further interrogate our terminology and methods, developing a shared understanding of what ‘cultural capital’ means for our work.


Graphic recordings by Fero Studio from a team workshop

As the activity focuses on the hyper-local context and the 15-minute neighbourhood of each partner school, mapping this area and the cultural opportunities within it was vital. Dr Morgan Campbell, an expert in urban planning and critical geography, delivered a session for the team on participatory mapping. Creatively using this process was a means of empowering young people to make visible what may previously have gone unseen by adding new markers to or creating maps that highlight the places that are important to them.

Mapping walks took place around Seacroft Grange and Greenmount Primary, with Year 2 and 3 pupils acting as local experts for creative practitioners Hafsah, Hannah, and Kathryn. Children recorded audio, took photographs and drew maps, or directed peers and accompanying adults to talk about local knowledge and memories. Some of these recordings are presented in a short film by Hannah and Kathryn at Made with Music. Participating teachers have shared how they view the area differently since these activities with their pupils, demonstrating the impact of the mapping process and marking a key success from this project phase.

As we move through the summer term, the focus now is on the delivery of creative place-based activities in each school, which have been informed by the mapping process. These have been developed with a curriculum focus on geography. Outcomes will be shared at school celebration events in July and used as case study materials for the Culture on the Doorstep toolkit, which will be shared in the autumn.

Member Contribution: Leeds Museums and Galleries Shortlisted for this Year’s National Disabilities and Autism Awards

Leeds Museums and Galleries have been shortlisted for this year’s National Disabilities and Autism awards for a project working with a group of students with complex needs (also sometimes called profound and multiple learning disabilities) exploring the world of ASMR.

The project explored the relatively new phenomenon ASMR through working with a group of students from Fairfield School. We wanted to give a voice to a group that don’t have this opportunity very often and also to see what effect ASMR could have on their wellbeing. ASMR (Auto Sensory Meridian Response) can be described as a feeling of wellbeing combined with a tingling sensation down the back of the neck and can be experienced by some people in response to specific stimulus, often a particular sound. The first session involved us visiting the students in their school and showing them a range of ASMR videos to see their instant responses. We were able to create a calm and relaxing space. We then showed various ASMR videos (whispering, soap cutting, brushing microphones – the weirder the better!) and gave each student an opportunity to communicate their response, be it through picking an emoji, pointing, or moving their body or eyes. The students response varied from clip to clip, from individual to individual – some reacting positively and some not so positively. This gave us great feedback on sounds we could use in our completed ASMR video.

The next session took us to Lotherton Hall, a beautiful country house complete with Wildlife World. We started again with videos and then explored what kind of sounds we might like to create ourselves. Popping bubblewrap was a huge hit for one student, but we also found that objects that they didn’t generally use day to day were more popular. Using museum objects and microphones, students were able to listen intensely through the headphones and create their own ASMR. We recorded this and played it back to the students on our last session and the response was magical. Quiet students gained confidence to create and engage with their own ASMR and boisterous students became calm and engaged.


The teacher involved in the project said, “it encouraged positive relationships with adults and peers” and that, “our students have gained so much from it, to see them engage with the project was certainly a WOW! moment”. The project was so successful that the sessions were recreated in school to provide other students with the chance to engage and feel the benefits of ASMR. The project has also inspired the learning team to take on even more ASMR projects in different settings across our museums and galleries, so watch this space!

The awards are primarily focused on those working in social care settings so it’s really exciting that our work from outside the social care sector has been recognised as important. The awards take place on 30th June in Birmingham’s ICC – fingers crossed!


Lotherton & Fairfield School – ASMR – YouTube

By Eve Phethean

Would you like to be part of the LeedsCEP Steering Group? 

LeedsCEP is looking for 4 colleagues to join the partnership. We are looking for the following people:

1 x representative from the Community Sector to sit on the Steering Group

1 x representative from the Creative Industries to sit on the Steering Group

1 x Pod Leader for the Health and Wellbeing Pod

1 x Pod Leader for the Youth Voice Pod

We want to make sure all sectors are well-represented in LeedsCEP and that our work is informed by what each sector needs. We encourage applications from those who reflect the diversity of our Leeds communities.

This is a chance to:

  • Influence the cultural learning offer in the city, to make sure it is strategic, joined-up and responsive to opportunity.
  • Work in partnership with colleagues across sectors.
  • Strategically steer the work of LeedsCEP to support cultural and creative learning in Leeds.

Until December 2023, LeedsCEP will be working closely with LEEDS 2023. This is an opportunity to influence their offer for schools and children and young people and to be part of this unique cultural experience in the city. This is a voluntary role, although expenses and travel can be reimbursed.

If you are interested in becoming a LeedsCEP Steering Group member, please email with an Expression of Interest. This should be no longer than 500 words and include:

  • Your role now and contact details
  •  What particularly interests you and what you think you could bring to the role
  • How you feel the LeedsCEP could develop and where you would like to develop its potential

Deadline: Wednesday 28th June 2023, Role Descriptions

Selection for the Steering Group and Pod Leaders will be made by the LeedsCEP Executive Group and Steering Group by Thursday 13th July 2023.

If you would like an informal chat about the roles available, please contact Briony Thomas, LeedsCEP Chair on

Our Youth Voice Pod Leader on the Importance of Advocating for Children and Young People

Member Article


I am delighted to have been asked to lead the Youth Voice Pod as part of the Leeds Cultural Education Partnership (LeedsCEP). I have worked in cultural education in Leeds for over 15 years, and I am an enthusiastic advocate for the powerful role art and culture plays in the lives of children and young people. My ethos has always been “access for all”, championing the importance of art and culture in everyone’s lives and the significant advantages that are gained through cultural education and engagement.

Over the last few years, I have witnessed the gap between those who have access and those who don’t. I feel more strongly than ever that breadth of culture should be experienced by all, particularly the young people of Leeds.

I am fortunate in my current role as Director of the Geraldine Connor Foundation (GCF) to be able to experience cultural participation and its impact firsthand through working directly with young people on projects. GCF has no art form bias or home base, we work across a range of art forms and cultural practices in both community, education, heritage, and arts settings. These are led by the interests of the young people and Creative Associates we work with.

We aim through the LeedsCEP and the Youth Voice Pod to support the work being delivered by Laura Rakontirina, the Youth Voice Manager at Leeds 2023. Ensuring this work has a legacy through the LeedsCEP in subsequent years. The Youth Voice summit held at Leeds Playhouse on the 15th of July was the start of this process. Co-produced with young people, the event was the first of many that brought young people together to share their views on arts and culture and their priorities for the year of culture in Leeds.

Young people are our future. We need to listen and work together to ensure that young people have access to high-quality artistic cultural experiences. This will enable them to create on their own terms, making UK culture more diverse and vibrant, now and in the future.

There are many educators and cultural organisations who do great work with young people across the city, we need to work together to ensure young people are heard and listened to about the art and culture they want to take part in Leeds. If you wish to be involved in the Youth Voice Pod, please contact

Selina McGonagle

Director Geraldine Connor Foundation

Meet Our New LeedsCEP Manager

Jenny Scannell

Jenny brings 15 years’ experience in the education and arts sectors to the team.

Most recently, in the outreach team at Leeds Arts University she developed programmes and taught pupils from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds throughout the county in a wide range of educational settings and of all age groups. Previous to this she has managed and taught on educational projects with young offenders and refugees. She is passionate about progression and skills for children and young people in the creative arts, as well as creating as many inclusive opportunities as possible.

Currently she is primary school governor with responsibility for pupil premium, an educational charity trustee for NEON and in her spare time she has her own illustration practice. She understands and champions how pivotal creative and cultural education can be. She is passionate about leading the CEP to ensure that all children and young people in our city are able to have quality cultural opportunities and is excited about the synergy between LEEDS2023 and Leeds CEP in her current role.


MAP Charity: Providing Alternative Provision for Young People

May 2022 Member Focus

Photo Credit: Alfie Barker

MAP Charity stands for Music and Arts Production and we exist to support young people aged 11-16, who are at risk of exclusion from mainstream education. We are an alternative provision offering vital, empowering music and arts qualifications, and provide our students with an inspiring place to learn. Here, they have a safe and permanent space where creativity can flourish.

Alongside our work with young people, we support a community of local creative partners: from graphic designers to musicians, we offer tenants space and support and in return our partners provide students with enhanced learning, valuable work experience and professional development opportunities. All of this is delivered at Hope Foundry, nurturing the next generation of creative professionals.

We are at a pivotal moment of growth in the charity’s 14 year history – and we need a wealth of community support to succeed. In 2019, we purchased the building we call home, appropriately named Hope Foundry, and have ambitious plans to refurbish our site to accommodate MAP Charity’s growing services over the next 5 years. Our plans will enable us to support a greater number of young people on our education programme, will help us to establish post-16 support and will open up our site to be used by the local community in Mabgate.

The refurbishment will introduce new workspace to Mabgate for local, independent, creative businesses and charities. MAP will be able to accommodate up to 30 small businesses by 2023 on completion of the refurbishment. As an area which is experiencing rapid change, ensuring there is an affordable home for small businesses is vital to maintaining the celebrated reputation of the creative community here. If you’re interested in finding out more about our plans for refurbishment, please contact Kirsten Busby, 

Young people are referred to our programmes from schools and academies. We offer flexible placements, with the opportunity to work towards BTEC qualifications in Digital Media and Music, or Art and Design. Additionally, young people are supported with functional skills in English and maths. We aim to develop creativity, confidence and academic skills with the aim of readying learners to return to school or progress on to further education.

“I’ve said it once, so I’ll say it again- MAP is the only place that feels right for me, MAP understands me” – Gianni, recent graduate

See Gianni’s story here.

Students have opportunities to experiment with graphic design, illustration, digital photography and film, digital media, screen printing, DJing, painting, drawing and music production. We work with students, schools and homes to make sure that the choice of course and qualification is right for the learner.

“I would say that the biggest benefit is that MAP has sculpted my future, as I was able to develop a passion for filmmaking and tie it into my qualification. MAP has boosted my confidence so much since I started, as I was very quiet, but because everyone was so welcoming it made me progress in my social skills and self-esteem.” – Taylor, former student and MAP Volunteer.

If you work with young people who might benefit from services offered at MAP Charity, please get in touch with our Education Manager, Tom Edney on

Departures and Moving Forward 

All the LeedsCEP Updates

Kathryn Welford working with children in schools as part of her role as LEEDS 2023 Children and Young People Manager Photo Credit: Ant Robling

This week we are saying goodbye to Kathryn Welford, LeedsCEP Manager who is going on to a new role at Arts Council England to work on the development of Artsmark, their flagship schools programme.

Kathryn has been part of the LEEDS 2023 Creative Learning and Engagement team, with a responsibility for driving forward LeedsCEP.

‘It’s been great working with such fantastic partners in the city – Leeds is full of such amazing creative and cultural organisations and the diversity and richness of our schools and colleges is pretty amazing. It’s been a privilege to work with LeedsCEP to bring these sectors together and see what we can do collectively around creativity and culture for children and young people.

These last couple of years have been a challenge with Covid, but there’s such an appetite now for doing some amazing, fun, life-affirming projects and putting the arts and culture back at the heart of learning. We need it more than ever and with LEEDS 2023 just around the corner, this is a great time for LeedsCEP and the city!’

Although Kathryn is leaving us, LeedsCEP is striding forward. We have a new way of working and are looking for new roles within the Steering Group and also to drive forward the work of our Priority Pods. Complete our questionnaire to let us know how you want to be involved going forward. Or send an Expression of Interest to be on our Steering Group or Pod Leader.

Maddy Irwin will be managing LeedsCEP on a part-time basis until a permanent successor for Kathryn’s role is appointed.  You can contact LeedsCEP through

Siza Dube will also carry on doing a fantastic job of communicating stories and news for and about LeedsCEP members. If you have anything to share, contact Siza at

More information on changes and how we work here

Steering Group Role Description

Questionnaire: How to Get Involved


With thanks and best wishes,

Kathryn Welford

LeedsCEP Manager

Artist Project Call Out

Looking for Young Women and Marginalised Genders

Working with under 25s of all marginalised genders an exciting art installation is being collaboratively created for Merrion Gardens in Leeds city centre this summer. Melody would love to hear from anyone interested in seeing their thoughts and ideas reflected in the city centre, we want to make this green space welcoming, inclusive and fun! The project will also create a video of interviews on how public spaces could be more #womenfriendly and empowering portraits of around 10 young people – do get in touch with Melody if you could be interested in being involved.

Contact: Melody Sutherland

GAP (Generational Arts Project)

We are pleased to introduce an exciting opportunity hosted by MAP Charity

Sessions will take place in MAP Charity’s education department, Hope House, 65 Mabgate, LS9 7DR. All music and art activities will take place between 4-6pm every Friday for 10 weeks from 6th May, 2022Please see the attached brief for further details.

They are looking to recruit care-experienced young people, care-leavers and people aged over 65 to take part in the project. Please can you share this opportunity through your contacts and networks.

If you work with a person who would like to take part please complete a referral form and return to Tom Edney (GAP – Project Coordinator) at [] before 4th May 2022.

If you have any questions or queries pleases contact Tom at the same email address.

Be an Active Part of the new LeedsCEP

Welcoming new roles and ways to get involved 

LeedsCEP has gone through a period of reflection and consultation this last six months. Back in November, we held a workshop for members about the value of the LCEP and what benefit members wanted it to have for them. This was followed by two half-day workshops each digging deep into what our four Priority Areas actually meant and how we could deliver on them – basically, what we wanted to do! Various ‘Delivery Plans’ began to take shape against our Four Priority Areas:

  • Advocacy & Access
  • Youth Voice
  • Progression & Skills
  • Health & Well-being

From these workshops it became apparent that members didn’t want to just ‘talk and share’ but to ‘do’ and work together.

What we found out

Our current Steering Group was too big, and there needed to be more space for action. We needed a smaller Steering Group that could steer and advocate and influence at a strategic level.   Members wanted to get involved in an active way, bringing their expertise and interest into ‘action groups’ to share knowledge and best practice and develop collaborative projects or new initiatives.  Members wanted to get together more, to network and to bring in wider representation, particularly from the education and community sectors so that we could understand each other better, our shared needs and opportunities.  All this thinking and talking has led to a restructure and new ways of working.

What we are doing

We are recruiting for a new smaller Steering Group who can represent the different sectors – cultural, community, education, commercial and local government.  The new Steering Group role focuses on strategy and making sure we are delivering on our promises made in the LeedsCEP Action Plan

We are setting up ‘Priority Pods’, led by a Pod Leader, which will drive forward activity related to that priority area. Any LeedsCEP member can join any number of pods and contribute ideas and thinking and get involved in activity.

We are recruiting Pod Leaders who will also be part of the Steering Group.

There was a real desire to involve young people in our governance and our work. Our next step, probably for our ‘Youth Voice Pod’ is to look at how we can support this.

Some members just wanted to be kept informed and in the loop. All LeedsCEP members will receive our emails, newsletters and be kept informed of Pod meetings, work being done, networking opportunities, member news etc. Sign up as a LeedsCEP member

How to get involved

Role Descriptions for the Steering Group and for Pod Leader can be found here: Role description

Take a few minutes to fill in this questionnaire to let us know how you’d like to be involved with LeedsCEP. If you would like to be on the Steering Group, be a Priority Pod Leader or a member of a Priority Pod – use this form to express your interest.

Alternatively, email your Expression of Interest to

Deadline for both roles:  Friday 13th May

Selection will be made by the LeedsCEP Executive Group by Friday 20th May.

If you would like an informal chat about these roles, please contact Briony Thomas, LeedsCEP Chair on

Scheduled Steering Group meetings:  Thursday 16th June, 2-3.30pm.  


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Spring Newsletter 2022

Member Focus…The Benefits of Teaching Weaving to Children and Young People

‘Table Loom – Weaving Workshop – Bedale High School’ – Staff and students learning how to use a table loom at Bedale High School. Photo Credit: Agnis Smallwood

One of the joys of my job is being able to share my passion for woven textiles with others, this is especially true when it comes to sharing this with children and young people.

My name is Agnis Smallwood and I am a Designer Maker Researcher and Educator specialising in woven textiles. I live in Leeds and as a freelancer work within my home city as well as across Yorkshire and beyond.

I have shared my passion for weaving with children and young people both within communities and within primary and secondary education for over a decade. When I visit schools I am often introducing a traditional craft and sharing new and unfamiliar techniques. As well as students working independently, my role can also involve designing a collaborative outcome. Ensuring that every person’s woven contribution is equally included and valued. This can mean so much to students to see their work displayed for the whole school to appreciate.

My work within schools can also be about providing an opportunity for GCSE students to engage with a contemporary maker answering questions about my career and helping give another perspective on their projects. Equally important to me is to encourage teachers and help them broaden their weaving skills to share with those they teach.

I hope students take away that being a craftsperson and working within the creative sector is a viable career path. There are so many different jobs within textiles alone and many thousands across the creative industries as a whole. I had imagined that I would go on to study for a degree in graphic design. It was only when I had the opportunity to weave, whilst studying on an arts foundation course, that this changed. Although not every student will become a professional weaver I think it is important for students to have wide ranging cultural experiences so they are aware of the many possibilities for the future. It is hard to imagine enjoying a career if you have never experienced an aspect of it before.

Weaving can provide an impactful opportunity beyond learning a new skill and all this teaches. The repetitive nature of weaving can contribute to creating a relaxing but equally absorbing experience, increasing wellbeing and health. Excelling at a new experience can increase a students confidence overall as they appreciate the talents that they are developing whilst at school. This can go beyond weaving and raise their aspirations across their learning leaving them with a sense of pride.

It is always a privilege to be invited into a school and help add to the rich range of cultural opportunities teachers provide for their students.

Agnis Smallwood

Twitter: @WovenByHand

Instagram: Agnis Smallwood

Facebook: Agnis Smallwood


LeedsCEP, School Partnerships and Stepping Forward Together

What is LeedsCEP for? What value does it have and for whom? What are we trying to achieve and how?  LeedsCEP is going through a bit of a ‘re-set’ – post-covid, pre-LEEDS 2023, where we get to remind ourselves of why we are here, what we want to achieve and what the journey ahead may look like. Education partnerships and young voices, currently under-represented, are a key focus as we begin to plan ahead.

With LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture just around the corner, we have a real opportunity to come together and put creative and cultural learning centre-stage, to do something big and wonderful. LeedsCEP holds the ideal space to begin to broker those relationships, to realise those ‘wouldn’t it be great if..?’ ideas and solve those ‘what we really need is..’ challenges.

A new School Partnership Seed Commission Open Call from LEEDS 2023 is about nurturing ideas that could be realised as part of 2023’s creative education programme. The focus is on bringing different partners, from across different sectors, together with schools, colleges or other education providers, to explore an idea that excites them and that they haven’t had opportunity to do before.

LeedsCEP is in the perfect place to broker these links, to support the development of these ideas.  Anyone with a spark of an idea that they feel may fit the LEEDS 2023 brief should contact me ( to see how the LCEP can support it, and how we can broker those partnerships.

As a partnership we have recently come together (in a real space!) to recalibrate and redefine our way forward post-covid. External facilitator, Charlotte Mead, led a session where members began to define the purpose of LeedsCEP, what we wanted to achieve and how the structure of the LCEP could best support that. A follow-up session in January will focus on members planning clear deliverables against our priorities. Education partners are key to this process, as are young people and our focus will be on broadening our engagement to include these voices.

LEEDS 2023 will be an amazing year for children and young people, but it can also be a catalyst for a more joined-up relationship between education and the cultural sector. LeedsCEP is key to this partnership approach. If we use this time to build effective and inspiring partnerships, to model a way of working together which has real value for members – teachers, senior leaders, young people, artists, creatives – then LeedsCEP will be here, and thriving, way beyond 2023.

by Kathryn Welford, LeedsCEP & LEEDS 2023 Children & Young People’s Partnership Manager

Member Focus… Dance Futures Reflections

Dance Futures was a youth focussed conference created by Yorkshire Dance with support from Yorkshire’s Regional Dance Development Network. The day, hosted at Leeds City College, brought together youth groups, industry professionals and young people to explore new ideas, listen, learn and reflect on the future of youth dance.

It was inspiring to hear directly from young people about their experiences and hopes for the future of dance, including a specially commissioned animation film by local artist Jem Clancy which captured the voices of young people through recorded interviews. Other highlights included the ‘Young People Taking the Lead’ session led by CAPA College students and performances by Leeds City College and Kick Off Boys.

“Amazing performance today by Kick Off Boys Dance Project […] highlighting dance with a social purpose […] an insightful presentation”

A fabulous inspiring morning so far, reminding us all why we do what we do, and why it’s important we keep doing it”

Many young people shared reflections of the power of dance to connect them socially and emotionally. Dance continues to offer a voice for many young people who find expressing themselves in other ways really challenging. There were many examples of dance as a therapeutic experience, and an element of the conference that particularly resonated for many was the focus on wellbeing, inclusion and accessibility, in particular the ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing’ session and the ‘Moving Beyond Inclusive Practice’ sessions. Both of these highlighted areas in which organisations and freelancers alike could learn and incorporate ideas into their practice to make dance more accessible and viable for all. In particular, it was brilliant to hear from Ruben Reuter with TIN Arts whose presentation was inspiring, informative and important for breaking down barriers.

“Thank you Dance Futures, today has been a good day. I didn’t know that I needed it as much as I did… I’ve been inspired, informed & invigorated!”

Regardless of career progression in dance, the experience of taking part in a youth dance project, gives young people a sense of identity, self-worth and confidence – all of which are good life skills. Dance in school is in crisis with far less dance being offered in schools. This is NOT a reflection on uptake as when it is offered uptake is incredibly high. As stated in One Dance UK’s 2021 report, ‘Everything We Loved About Dance Was Taken: The place of dance in UK education’:

“[…] the pressures of the EBacc accountability measure and nationwide focus on subjects that are perceived to be ‘more academic’ and of ‘more value’ to students’ future careers that are causing this detrimental effect on dance in education. When children and young people are questioned about their participation and enjoyment of dance in out of-school settings, a very different picture emerges. In their 2020 ‘Girls Active’ report, Youth Sport Trust found that when asked what activity they most like to do, dance was voted third most popular by teenage girls. The annual Taking Part survey, which for 5 to 10-year-olds only collects data on activity that takes place outside of school, has reported a vast increase in the number of girls choosing to take part in dance, rising from 42% in 2011 to 53% in 2019.” (One Dance UK, ‘Everything We Loved About Dance Was Taken’ The place of dance in UK education, 2021: 15)

Dance Futures was an opportunity for young people, freelancers and organisations to be together in the same room, discussing and exploring the future of youth dance in a sustainable and captivating way. The event engaged with people of all ages and at all stages of their dance career with a real emphasis on human relationships and the pastoral support that young people have needed both during the pandemic and during the recovery. To summarise, below is a word cloud created out of audience feedback:


By Josephine Sillars, Yorkshire Dance


Food Means Home

Young people who have been separated from their families and are now living in Leeds are part of an exciting project exploring food culture from around the world, which was recently featured in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine (17/18 July 2021).

Being able to cook, eat and share food from their countries of origin opens up a window into a young person’s life before they arrived into the UK. The young people are creating a recipe collection which will not only be a useful tool for foster carers when young people are new to Leeds, but will also represent the young people’s presence and value in our city.

Child Friendly Leeds and Leeds Children and Families Social Work Service are working with The British Library to deliver the project, alongside project practitioners, Thahmina Begum and Nicola Parker (photographer). Sessions began online due to the national lockdown and included art based activities and then as the situation eased, the group were able to meet in person to cook, create and photograph food at Herd Farm.

In their recipe collection, Millen, Winta and the other young women from Eritrea and Ethiopia share a complementary set of six of their favourite dishes to be eaten with injera, the iconic East African flatbread.

Recipes from the first cohort of young people are now freely available on The British Library website. Three additional groups will take part in and contribute to the project, ahead of the publication of the full recipe collection in summer 2022.

by Jane Kaye, Child Friendly Leeds

photo credit: Nicola Parker


October 2021

A message from our new Chair

We’re thrilled to have Dr Briony Thomas as our new Independent Chair.  Briony explains why culture, learning and Leeds are so important to her and what she wants to bring to LeedsCEP.

Born and raised in LS2, I grew up on the doorstep to the city centre.  I walked everywhere, I was always in town; the theatres and galleries, nightlife and live music venues became part of who I was.  I took it all in, it was a privilege to be involved in it all.

Every job I had as a young person in this city worked its magic on me – from a first job in Jumbo Records where I developed a love of music that led me into DJing – to a passion for fashion that flourished while working in Harvey Nichols as student.  From starting my BTEC through to completing my Masters – accompanied by my small baby – I studied continuously in Leeds before taking on a role working at the University.

Outside teaching, I work with communities and schools to try to help young people to connect with art and culture; to examine how science and art go together.  To explore how geometry is used to make patterns or symmetry in microscopic natural forms, and demonstrate that you don’t need to be ‘the arty one’ or maths whizz to benefit from taking a closer look at both and bringing them together.

I’ve seen first-hand how Leeds has evolved over the past 40 years and the impact the city can have on its young people.  It’s now time for me to help my community through the Leeds Cultural Education Partnership [LeedsCEP] where I’m honoured to have just been appointed Chair.
LEEDS 2023: New Leeds Cultural Education Partnership to ‘inspire our young people’ | Yorkshire Evening Post


Member Focus…. Leeds Museums and Galleries

Leeds Museums & Galleries’ Primary School Membership Scheme met schools’ needs during the pandemic, forging surprising opportunities for the museum and school partnerships. It’s evaluation report ‘A New Way of Working’, shines a light on the unexpected impacts of the Membership Scheme and the opportunities that lie ahead.

In September 2021 Leeds Museums and Galleries Learning and Access team launched a new report – ‘LMG Primary School Membership Scheme: A New Way of Working’. The report is the result of a 2 year external evaluation project aimed at really getting to the bottom of the Primary School Membership Scheme, its impact, and the way it is valued by our member schools. However, in the circumstances of the pandemic, which struck only a few months into the initial evaluation, it became a real opportunity to track the way that LMG has pivoted how it works with schools to respond to their needs, and the impact that this has on the relationships between member schools and Leeds Museums.

The membership scheme has three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. All members receive loans boxes of real artefacts from the museum collection, object handling training for teachers to ensure the teachers are confident in handling the objects safely, and curriculum support. They also receive credits towards workshops, assemblies and access to special projects through the year. The membership scheme provides a hands-on way of teaching and learning, making it fun and engaging for both teachers and children, and enhancing cultural capital. As part of Gold membership, schools also have access to 6 hours of bespoke CPD.

The New Way of Working report specifically focuses on LMG’s Gold Members. Over the course of the pandemic, the way that LMG’s Membership team worked with our Gold members really grew and changed in response to their needs, and as a result our ability to understand and support all of our members has also developed into a new way of working. What started as one school asking us to deliver specific training and support them to feed local history into their Medium Term Plans grew into co-writing new curriculums with our schools that were locally and micro-locally rooted, diverse, and authentic to the school. This helped us to have conversations with our schools about using their CPD hours strategically, with a mix of whole school training and in-depth topic work with individual year groups.

With the launch of virtual workshops, and shorter object-based virtual drop-ins (which will continue post-pandemic) our members were also able to access the museum collections in a way that they never had before. This really enabled us to bring to life our vision for the membership as a holistic, whole school scheme which helps schools to embed cultural capital through local history, objects and experiential learning, and virtual access to the collections. We’ve been able to really understand what our schools value and need from us and have grown our offer to provide this.

The New Way of Working report follows the growth of our offer and the impact it has had. It sets out a framework for the future that we hope any museum or cultural organisation might find useful. To top it all off, shortly before we launched it, we were honoured to receive the Museums and Heritage Show Learning Outreach Award 2021. It just goes to show that positive change really can come out of adversity in some cases.

Find out more here

by Emily Nelson, Learning & Access Officer, LMG