Summer Arts Colleges

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Classification: Level 2
Age: 14-19
Gender: n/a
Cost: Yes
Duration: summer holiday period, 5 days per week



Intended Outcomes:

  • Summer Arts Colleges are intensive educational projects designed for young people on Detention and Training Orders (DTOs) and subject to Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (ISS)
  • Increase educational engagement and facilitate transition into mainstream education, training and employment after the programme
  • Provide a structured, full-time, arts-based project, combining arts enrichment and arts appreciation activities, and explore possible routes into employment and careers within the arts
  • Reduce levels of (re-) offending among participants during the project and in the following months
  • Work with the arts to improve literacy and numeracy skills and to achieve an accreditation through the Arts Award



Summer Arts Colleges re-engage young people in education, training and employment through the provision of vibrant arts experiences.

Summer Arts Colleges were originally launched as part of the Youth Justice Board and Arts Council England's strategic partnership. To date, we have run over 130 Summer Arts Colleges on their behalf, reaching more than 1500 young people in England and Wales. Young people on Summer Arts Colleges work with a unique combination of artists, literacy and numeracy practitioners, and youth justice practitioners.  The proportion of young people who increased their numeracy score was 67 per cent, with 37 per cent increasing their numeracy level. The proportion of young people who improved their literacy score was 69 per cent, with 35 per cent increasing their literacy level.

For those young people, who completed the programme, the outcomes post programme were particularly positive, with 72 per cent achieving and attending an education, training or employment destination during the first month following the Summer Arts College. This was significantly higher than the proportion in education, training or employment leading into the programme among this group. In 2011, over half of those who completed the Summer Arts College and who have been previously NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) progressed on to other education, training or employment following the Summer Arts College.


Mean offending rates among young people who completed the Summer Arts College were highest in the weeks before the programme, falling while on the programme and then falling further in the weeks following. The mean offending rate for the weeks following the Summer Arts College was significantly lower than the mean offending rate measured before the programme.


We are looking forward to be able to provide you some case studies of how various Youth Offending Teams have implemented Summer Arts, in the coming year. 




Source Organisation: Unitas
Telephone: 08455 190414


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