Museums in England have been encouraged to reach out to schools involved in the UK Government’s Summer Schools Programme before the deadline at the end of this month.
The programme offers funding for schools to run catch-up activities for children throughout the summer holidays.
Some museums have already confirmed education partnerships. The Hepworth Wakefield and other arts partners involved the Burberry Inspire programme will be running a programme of arts workshops and other activities activity with local secondary schools as part of their summer school provision.
Nottingham Contemporary is working in partnership with Nottingham Forest in the Community and other arts organisations to provide activity and lunch throughout August for families eligible for free school meals. Creative activities will take place in 10 secondary school sites for children aged six to 16. A curator will support the work across all sites with a view to creating a public-facing display.
Leeds Discovery Centre is running a series of outreach workshops for secondary schools, using objects to look at the history of Leeds across time, and focusing on interpretation and history skills.
Museums considering getting involved should be aware that schools are not paid for students who don’t attend sessions, and are advised to base their pricing agreements on delivery rather than student numbers.
In addition, the government has advised that support staff, supply teachers, trainees and ex-pupils may be employed in the running of summer schools in place of regular class teachers; museums are advised to bear in mind the difference this could make on student interaction in the museum space.
“This is a really good opportunity for museums that want to work closely with schools in their community and help make a difference in what have been such challenging times for young people,” said Rachel Tranter, director of the Group for Education in Museums (GEM). “The programme gives museums a chance to reach out to their local schools to establish new partnerships for the future.”
Schools must confirm their plans by 30 June.
An analysis of the impact of Covid on education in museums will be in the July/August issue of Museums Journal