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Creative Sparks Initiative

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pupils have (a) performed music live to an audience, (b) taken part in a theatre production, (c) visited an art gallery, (d) visited a library and (e) visited an historic building under the Creative Sparks initiative since its inception. (187765)

[holding answer 21 February 2008]: The DCMS Five Year Plan ‘Living Life to the Full’, published in March 2005, included a proposal to develop the Creative Sparks initiative by 2010.

From 2005 we trialled the idea of a cultural offer for children and young people in three areas of the country—Telford, Durham and Bournemouth and Poole—through the Cultural Hubs programme. We have also continued to develop our cultural programmes aimed at children and young people, including Creative Partnerships, the education element of Renaissance in the Regions and the Strategic Commissioning Programme for Museums and Galleries.

We will now take these programmes forward under the new title of ‘Find your Talent’. As announced on 13 February 2008 a series of ten regional pilots will be selected by the summer.

It is not possible to give figures for the number of pupils who have taken part in the activities listed in the question, but the ‘Taking Part’ survey shows that young people took part in the following levels of activity:

(a) Played a musical instrument to an audience: 21 per cent.

(b) Rehearsed or performed in a play: 38 per cent.

(c) Visited a museum or gallery: 55 per cent.

(d) Visited a library: 72 per cent.

(e) Visited a historic environment site: 72 per cent.

The data relate to activities done in and out of school by 11 to 15 year olds living in private households in England. The interviews were conducted between January and December 2006.

The 10 pilots under the ‘Find your Talent’ scheme will be asked to audit the level of provision and the take-up of cultural activities by children and young people.