Worcestershire Arts Partnership Blog

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Invitation to Tender - Herefordshire Children and Young People's Arts and Culture Network


Invitation to Tender


Project Title
Herefordshire Children and Young People’s Arts and Culture Network
Invitation to tender to supply development services to the network
Contract duration
Two years
Start Date
To start at earliest opportunity
Issued by
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Arts Development Ltd. (Hereward) on behalf of the network
Date issued
Closing date:
11/4/16 5pm


1. Summary


This is an invitation to tender (ITT) to provide services and skills  to develop a strategic, powerful and effective network across Herefordshire that will improve the opportunities for children and young people (0 – 25) to engage in high quality arts and cultural activity both in and out of formal education. The principle is that by bringing together the arts, cultural, education, voluntary and other sectors we can make the impact of the network more than the sum of the individual parts. We are inviting suitably skilled and qualified individuals, partnerships or organisations to lead and co-ordinate the growth and activities of the Herefordshire Children and Young People’s Arts and Culture Network.


It is envisaged that this role will run for an initial two-year period with a contract value of £25,000 per year and we envisage that it may require 2 – 3 days of work per week. There is an additional seed corn fund to support new network funding bids and other suitable development activities as agreed. We expect that there will be a focus on better coordinating and/ or re-focusing current activity amongst network partners that does not have a budget requirement.


This document sets out the context, task, measures of success and process for applying. Potential applicants are welcome to be in contact for an informal conversation and further details.


2. Introduction


A group of Herefordshire arts and cultural organisations, educationalists, Herefordshire Council, The Elmley Foundation, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Arts Development Company (hereafter “Hereward”) and Arts Connect have formed a partnership called the Herefordshire Children and Young People’s Arts and Culture Network (HCYPCM).


This network was developed in response to shared concerns about the uncertain future for arts and cultural education (formal and informal) given the rapidly changing environment that has affected the patterns of provision, levels of resources, the de-prioritising of arts in the education system and the reduced vitality of support networks. While many young people are receiving a high quality experience there are many that do not, as highlighted by the Warwick Commission report http://bit.ly/1f6Ra9b .


The need for a collective response – and a new form of collective response – has been crystallised by Arts Council England’s (ACE) ‘Cultural Education Challenge’ http://bit.ly/1jnIUKL and the role given to the ‘Bridge’ organisations it funds across England to develop local partnerships with the capacity to take a leadership role. Arts Connect http://www.artsconnect.co.uk plays the Bridge role for the West Midlands. Herefordshire has been identified by ACE as a priority area in the region to focus resource and investment to establish and grow a local education partnership.


3. Progress to Date


The network currently involves the following organisations: 2 Faced Dance, Arts Alive, Arts Connect, Aylestone School, Borderlines Film Festival, Brightstripe, The Courtyard, Cultural Services, Dancefest, Elmley Foundation, Hereford Art College, Hereford VIth Form College, Herefordshire Archives Herefordshire Music Service, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Library Service, Madley Primary School, Meadow Arts, The Music Pool, Museum Service, Pentabus, Rural Media Company.


At the initial planning meeting in March 2015 the network identified a shared ambition as follows:


We want collective motivation and a well resourced plan to offer opportunities for young people to derive pleasure from and develop critical understanding of the arts. We want to inspire and promote opportunities for children and young people to experience the arts, celebrate their community and their participation within the arts and cultural industries.


Through collaborative planning by arts, cultural and educational organisations, we want children and young people in Herefordshire to have access to strong and valued arts activities and events. We want arts for everyone, everywhere. We want all children, young people and their families to be able to access collaborative and sustainable creative and cultural experiences in their school, community and where they live.


4. Research


As part of the planning process the network commissioned a research report from Garry Churchill into what is known about the quality and reach of current provision, the challenge of the current environment and opportunities for the network to make a positive difference. The report is available here (AC website) and the findings identified the need to strengthen existing relationships and partnerships and to build new ones, to find new approaches to increase demand, resources and opportunities in order to produce a more coherent and equitable cultural offer and opportunities or young people.


The wider group agreed that a smaller Network Development Group (NDC) should be formed to progress the recommendations of Garry’s report and to further incubate the growth of the network. The NDC have proposed a core purpose for the network:

·         to develop a collective approach to finding solutions and taking action that will improve opportunities for all of Herefordshire’s children and young people’s to engage in high quality arts and cultural activity, and so improve their personal, social, educational and civic outcomes.

And three aims:

·         to increase participation in arts and cultural activity

·         to increase the levels of accreditation and recognition

·         to increase the buy in and active support of local, county and regional stakeholders


See the Further Information section for potential measures of success.


5. The Brief


The NDC envisage that the successful applicant will spend the initial period, possibly up to three months, to orientate, research, meet and familiarise themselves with the organisations and opportunities in the county in order the produce proposals for an action plan. This plan will show clear priorities, quick wins and longer-term deliverable activity that will enable us to meet the aim, objectives and signs of success. This will be discussed and agreed with the NDC and once signed off will be adopted as the plan for the network and be used for monitoring progress, making revisions and assessing performance. It is expected that the plan will develop and change in response to circumstances and opportunity.


The NDC anticipate that the plan will identify actions under the following overarching themes and we have provided some examples of the sorts of actions these might be.


1. Partnership development and funding

e.g. identify the potential for developing innovative or new partnerships that can create new opportunities for children and young people

2. Developing the network

e.g. identify and run a programme of activities that builds the capacity and impact of the network

3. Wider wtakeholder engagement

e.g. build strategic partnerships with the county’s formal and informal education sectors

4. School and education engagement

e.g. promote the engagement of schools in Artsmark http://www.artsmark.org.uk/ and to promote the uptake of Arts Awards http://www.artsaward.org.uk/ for young people

5. Communications and Advocacy

e.g. develop and implement a communications plan





7. Who might this contract suit?


This would suit an individual(s) or organisation excited by:


·         The chance to input and shape the strategy, operations and activities of a network that will make a difference to the lives of young people and the health and vitality of future arts and cultural opportunities

·         The opportunity to play a developmental and defining role in a programme of regional significance


We expect that the successful applicant will have a strong track record of achievement in developing cultural and creative opportunities for young people and good experience of working with schools, community organizations, funders etc.  They’ll need the confidence and ability make contacts at a strategic level and be able to plan and deliver development activities. It is essential that they have or can show how they will gain a good knowledge of the county, its arts and cultural organisations and civic life.


Above all they will need the ability to build relationships and to make connections around a common vision and galvanise a range of individuals and organisations to contribute to achieving it.  They will be a strong advocate for the contribution that the arts, culture and creative industries makes to the county’s children and young people.


8. Required skills, aptitudes and knowledge


We expect that the successful applicant will bring the following leadership skills and experience:



1.       Skills in developing and managing senior level relationships

2.       Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

3.       Ability to plan and implement high quality programmes of activity

4.       Ability to manage a portfolio of duties, prioritise and achieve results

5.       Ability to make connections, identify opportunities and propose ideas

6.       Good skills in the production of high quality written narrative and financial reports


Experience and knowledge

1.       Experience of developing strategic plans that enable effective delivery

2.       Experience of working in a developmental role and growing a start up operation

3.       Good understanding and skills in developing communication plans

4.       Can apply knowledge and insight into successful network building approaches

5.       A good knowledge of arts, culture and education in the county

6.       Insights into what makes for high quality participation and learning programmes

7.       Good knowledge of current debates in culture, education and public policy

8.       Track record in coordinating programmes of arts and cultural engagement/ education with young people


1.       Committed to working through partnership and building collegiality

2.       Demonstrates generosity in their dealings

3.       Committed to the values and benefits of diversity and inclusion


9. Practical Contract Details


Reports to:         The Development Committee and the Chair

Works with:       Herefordshire Network, Elmley Foundation, Arts Connect

Area:                     Across the county of Herefordshire with occasional travel across the region

Relationships:   artists, cultural organisations libraries, museums, the formal & informal education sectors such as senior leaders, art form teachers, music hub, voluntary & statutory service providers, trusts & foundations, Marches LEP, local businesses

Fee:                       £25k per year to deliver these services

From:                    The contract is offered for a two year fixed term for two years from the start date subject to effective performance reviews and achieving agreed progress measures through quarterly reviews.


10. Application Process


There is a two-stage process:


1) We would like an initial written response to this document detailing:


1.       Applicant’s (individual or organization) full contact details:

·         Name of Company / Key Contact; status (sole trader, company, charity, partnership etc.); trading address inc Tel, email, website address;

·         If a company, company registration / charity no.

2.       General Information:

·         Relevant accreditations: Data Protection Act, OFSTED, CQC etc.

·         Insurance cover details and limits: Public Indemnity; Employer’s Indemnity if appropriate; Professional Indemnity 

·         If an organisation information on key policies Safeguarding, Equal Opportunities and Equality & Diversity Policies

·         If a sole trader, do you have an up to date Disclosure and Barring Certificate in place?

3.       Your interest in the tender

4.       How you would approach delivering the brief including an outline plan for the first six months and how much time and resource you can devote to the task.

5.       The key skills, competencies and track record that you or your organisation bring to the delivery of the work and information on the key personnel involved

6.       Please give an indication of the costs involved in delivering this service e.g. staffing, overheads, administrative, travel, delivery costs etc. The maximum budget per annum is £25,000 and bids in excess of this figure are unlikely to be accepted. Please note that we may have access to sponsored office space at Hereford College of Art that may relieve elements of this budget if appropriate.

7.       If your bid is accepted the payment terms will be negotiated with you.


2) We will then invite shortlisted applicants for interview with the NDC


Please send your written response to Arts Connect’s Administrator Jo.derecki@wlv.ac.uk 


Closing date:      April 11th 2016

Interviews:         19th April


We welcome informal enquiries. Please contact Arts Connect’s Director rob.elkington@wlv.ac.uk to arrange a call.

11. Further Information


In his report Garry Churchill identified the following as signs of success that this is being achieved:


In schools/colleges


1.       Increased number of schools being awarded Artsmark

2.       More celebration type inter-school events [including some of the things that were formerly organised by arts advisers] to raise the profile and give opportunities beyond what individual schools can provide

3.       Improved communications with schools by the cultural sector, leading to more work in schools by practitioners and cultural organisations

4.       Increased take-up of arts subjects as examination subjects

5.       New initiatives which use arts to address curriculum priorities, e.g. with visiting writers and poets in schools (link to literacy) [this would need project funding]

6.       Higher public profile for creative work produced by young people, e.g. visual arts and craft work having more opportunities for general public display

7.       Projects which address typical gender imbalances (e.g. more boys in dance and singing, more girls in jazz and rock music)


Out of school


8.       More accessible information for young people on the range of opportunities that are available

9.       Increased numbers and take-up by young people in regular activities organised by cultural organisations

10.   Increased funding secured for out-of-school cultural projects and activities (e.g. project grants)

11.   Improved cultural offer in the informal sector (youth work)

12.   Success by cultural organisations in winning commissions/contracts for services (e.g. relating to social inclusion)

13.   Young people directly involved (creative consultation) in:

·         What cultural opportunities they would like and how the barriers could be reduced (15-18 age group)

·         Planning the City of Culture bid

·         What changes would be needed in cultural and social provision for 18-25 age group to strengthen proposals for a University

14.   Increased recognition/validation e.g. by number of YP gaining Arts Award


About Cultural Education Partnerships


The idea of Cultural Education Partnerships (CEP) has developed from an Arts Council of England campaign called the Cultural Education Challenge. Herefordshire is a priority area for ACE under this campaign and the network is an example of a CEP. See http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/cyp/cultural-education-challenge-find-out-more/ for more details and http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/Cultural_Education_Partnerships_Pilot_Study_FINAL.pdf for the NFER initial research report into the pilot CEPs


About Arts Connect


Arts Connect is funded by Arts Council England to be the 'bridge' organisation for the West Midlands, working with the education, arts and cultural sector to overcome the barriers that prevent all children and young people to engage with high quality culture.


We aim to provide regional leadership, developing and brokering new partnerships, building new connections, and identifying strategic investment opportunities that will encourage innovation and growth.


In particular we focus on:


·         Supporting innovation and take up of Arts Award and Artsmark

·         Influencing the quality and breadth of cultural education in schools including partnerships with the cultural sector

·         Working with the cultural organisations to develop their offer to children and young people

·         Supporting the growth and impact of local cultural networks on opportunities for children and young people

·         Partnership investment to grow the level of sustainable resources available for arts and culture

·         Developing opportunities for young people to have a greater say in the cultural offer available to them

·         Communicating the many and various offers of the region’s arts and cultural organisations for young people


We do not directly fund arts and cultural projects.  The key outcomes of our programme are to:

i)                    grow informed demand for arts and culture amongst young people and their ‘gatekeepers’ and

ii)                   improve the sustainability of the cultural sector in providing high quality opportunities and programmes



About Herefordshire and Worcestershire Arts Development Ltd. (Hereward)


The objective of The Charity is “to promote the maintenance, improvement and development of the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.”


The NDC is a sub-committee of the Hereward charity with agreed terms of reference for the network development and holds the funds for the post. We have this arrangement because:


·         The Charity offers a formal structure with established processes for managing activity, reporting and financial management and this proposal is congruent with the leadership role of the charity. 

·         It offers transparency of process and decision-making and is independent from the network members.

·         It enables the network to move quickly into action while it considers the options and the most appropriate form for a more formal independent structure. The sub-committee is to be regarded as an interim development group.

·         The Charity is holding the resource for network activity and development.  The sub-committee can spend this resource efficiently through the charity.



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