The Creative Learning Partnerships program can support your school to embark on a creative project in partnership with a creative professional or organisation.

Creative Learning Partnerships provide students, teachers and creative professionals with diverse and challenging learning experiences to share. As a residency program, it encourages schools to explore how creativity can enhance and advance education outcomes across their curriculum from Prep to Year 10.

Creative Learning Partnerships projects can be undertaken in person or online, making it easier for you to find and partner with creative professionals from across the State.

CLP Information Video

Transcript for video

Are you interested in a creative partnership as a teacher or an artist? Do you want to work with students to design a project that brings curriculum to life? Or are you seeking have fun and challenging learning experience? Perhaps a Creative Learning Partnership could be just the ticket. I'm Kathleen from Creative Victoria, and I'll be the person on the other end of the phone, answering your calls about the CLP.

In this video, we'll look at developing a partnership, roles and responsibilities, developing a concept, curriculum integration, planning and budgets, and of course, how to apply.

The title says it all Creative Learning Partnerships, a learning experience through creative exploration for all partners. It's a co-design process.

Your partnership team will include: students from Foundation to Year 10, including VET and VCAL students - and you will need to think about the students that you will bring into your target cohort;  Creative Professionals - this could be either an individual creative, or a team from an arts or cultural organisation. Guest creatives can also be brought in by these organisations;  teachers - a teacher to lead the project is essential. This teacher will take on the important role of Project Coordinator and be responsible for liaising between the creative and the school.

And finally, the school community - support from your principal will make a Project Coordinator's life much easier. They will be able to drum up support in the form of casual relief teachers to cover extra work teachers will be taking on, promote the project to staff and parents, and run an 'Expression of Interest' process to formalise a school support team.

Who initiates the partnership? Well, this can come from either the school or creative. If you're with a school, ask for referrals at local galleries, in teacher networks, or considered parents of students who are professional creatives. And if you're a creative, utilise your networks, or ask around at your local schools, or those family and friends.

Regional schools are often keen to welcome creatives, as they don't get as many visiting specialists as metro schools. If you want to work with a First Peoples artist or content, you will need to contact the appropriate Traditional Owners Corporation to discuss what you want to do, and seek a letter of support for your application.

And now, the most important part of partnering is... do you get along with your partner? Catch up for a coffee and a chat. Get to know your partner. The best projects are the ones where the partners feel connected and understand each other's perspectives, motivation, and their goals.

Let's have a look at the roles and responsibilities of partners.

For creative professionals or organisation personnel working on the project, they will have a current Working with Children Check. Remember that they are not expected to be classroom teachers, they are facilitators in the project; they will know that a teacher is expected to be present when they are working with students; share insight into the skills and processes as well as the ideas involved in producing a creative work;  enrich teacher practice by passing on skills and knowledge through formal or informal professional learning sessions; and they will embrace the opportunity to enrich their own practice through the project.

A school will recognize that a CLP project needs significant school support, including financial and in-kind support; prioritise the creative professionals or organisations fees; provide adequate support to the project coordinator and other staff;  allocate an appropriate working area for the creatives, including secure storage for materials and equipment; identify the target groups of students - for deep engagement, a smaller group is recommended; brief artists working with students with additional or high needs and consider appropriate support; and welcome the creatives into the school community.

And for the project coordinator, they will understand that they play a key role and we need adequate time and support beyond their regular teaching duties. It is recommended this is discussed with the Principal prior to application. They will prepare and submit the application in conjunction with the creative and/or the arts organisation; seek a signed Declaration of Support from the Principal and School Council; liaise between the creatives and the school; and take responsibility for the Creative's stay; undertake day to day project management and consult with the School Finance Manager about funding requirements and budgeting; and ensure the project is integrated into curriculum.

Now for the big question! To get you started, you'll need an artistic concept. This is what underpins the project and brings all the different elements together. A concept should be simple but have the possibility of many layers to explore within it. It can be a question or a statement but no longer than a few sentences.

A concept guides learning about a topic and generates personal responses to the research, and the artistic outcome expresses these new learnings to an audience. Your concept should include the WHAT - the big ideas and the juicy questions; the WHY - the relevance of what you're exploring; and the HOW - how will you use the artform and curriculum to explore this idea; and everyone can contribute to the creation of an artistic concept.

Let's have a look at curriculum. Identifying the natural links to learning will be key to curriculum integration. Look for opportunities in your concept, your process and your outcome.

For your concept, what are you investigating? Look for links in the arts, English, science, humanities and maths. For your process - what kind of thinking, creativity and research will students be doing?  Look for links with Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social, Intercultural and Ethical Capabilities.  And for your creative outcome - are students co-creators of the work? Look for possible links in Design and Digital Technology, Critical and Creative Thinking, the Arts and English. Everyone's curriculum plan will be different. This will depend on the number of students, the year level and the topic. Just don't be tempted to throw in everything but the kitchen sink.

What about teacher and creative professional learning? For teacher learning - this can be formal, upfront sessions, where creatives share what teachers can expect from the project or an informal one to one relationship between teacher and artist throughout the residency.

What can create its do to create a powerful professional learning session? Show, don't tell;  allow teachers to see, hear and experience the creative practice; get their hands dirty - give them an experience of making art; use plain language and avoid jargon; make the artistic process transparent by explaining steps and do it before the project begins to allow for reflection and planning that will strengthen your project.

For creative professional learning - even an artist with a lot of experience working in schools continues to learn. There are different circumstances and challenges in every school, and for artists new to school residency projects, there is often a lot of informal learning along the way. Teachers can provide opportunities for creatives to find out more about young people and how they learn; new skills and knowledge of teaching practices and techniques; a collaborative environment to try out creative teaching strategies; and opportunities to use creative practices in new ways.

Let's get down to the nitty gritty with some planning.

A strong artistic concept with curriculum links, and a shared learning approach form your foundation. Once established, the success of your project will depend largely on planning. Creatives generally work in a flexible, exploratory way but to an outsider that can sometimes look chaotic. Teachers may work in a structured way, and that can appear to outsiders as rather rigid. Both approaches have their merits and limitations. The important thing is to agree to a plan. A plan usually includes dates and times, using the school calendar to block out holidays, curriculum days and staff leave for example. It will include what you are going to do, how you will do it, and who will do it?

You'll then need to consider your budget. You'll either be applying for a $10,000 grant if you're working with an individual creative; or a $35,000 grant if you're working with an arts organisation. Your budget needs to reflect everything the project will require, including time and resources. This is your expenditure. Resources may include donations, or in kind contributions, and these should be included as part of the total project amount. The budget also needs to show your income, like the grant and other contributions.

The School Project Coordinator should talk to the school's Finance Manager about managing the budget across the life of the project. Group items together under headings. For expenditure, these could be salaries and personal costs; project and production costs; marketing and promotion; and administration.  And for income, this could be income from fundraising and sales; contributions from partners such as the school; all grants, including the CLP grant; and donations and volunteering - this is known as 'in-kind'.

So, you now know all about the important considerations that go into a project. Ready to tackle an application? First things first, the school must be the applicant.  The grant funding is provided to schools to engage your creatives, and the school is responsible for the grants management and reporting.

To get started, head to the CLP page on the Creative Victoria website. This is where you'll find a program overview, guidelines and other documentation you will need to apply.

At the bottom of the page is the link to our Great Partnerships resource. This is where you'll find more detail about all the things we've covered, including planning tools, and project videos. This is what it looks like. And here's the planning section.

How do we assess your application?

An independent panel of arts and education sector specialists assess your application by looking at the creative merit - is it a strong and innovative artistic concept for the project? Creative professionals - a suitable creative professional or organisation with demonstrated high quality work within a school context. Learning - this is student learning, teacher learning and creative professional learning. And finally, viability - is it well planned and supported by the school?

And here's a tip don't assume the panel know what you mean. Spell it out! They will have a lot of applications to read, so don't waffle.  Be clear and concise.

To prepare your application, you should read the program guidelines, taking careful note of the opening and closing dates for the round; contact creative Victoria about any questions. We encourage partners to work out the nuts and bolts together on a draft application and budget tool.

You'll also need to complete and attach the additional Application Documents and Supporting Materials as part of your application. They include: the Creative Professional or Arts Organisation Personnel CVs, Creative Professional or Arts Organisation Personnel Profile, Declaration of Support, letters of support for projects with First Peoples content, examples of the creative's work, demonstrating the quality and extent of the work. It may also include examples with other schools or communities, and URLs are fine.

Who submits the application? This will be the School Project Coordinator.

Go online to the Creative Victoria Grants Portal to register. Once you're happy with your draft, cut and paste the information into the online application on the portal and submit. Phew you made it!

Need more help. I am here.

I've seen many projects, each one as different and special as the people in them. I've seen the joy and excitement of students, and I've seen teachers and parents brought to tears with pride. Is it hard work? If you do it well, yes, it will be, but you won't mind either! The CLP is a partnership between the Department of Education and Training and Creative Victoria. So from one partnership to another, give it your best shot, put your heart into the words, make some simple and cross your fingers. It might be you!

Watch Creative Learning Partnership program staff step you through the important considerations of creating an application to put your best foot forward!

Learn about:

  • Developing a partnership
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Developing a concept
  • Supporting learning across the Victorian Curriculum

Funding available

Projects with an individual creative professional working with the school for approximately 20 days - $10,000

OR

Projects with a creative organisation working with the school for at least 20 days - $35,000.

Who can apply?

This grant is open to all Victorian schools* including Catholic, Government and independent schools.

*To increase access and equity, schools that received Creative Learning Partnerships funding between 2021 and 2023 aren’t eligible to apply for the Creative Learning Partnerships 2024 round.

Haven't got a partner yet?

Schools and creatives are encouraged to find their own partners before applying, but if you don’t have a partnership in mind, Creative Victoria will circulate a ‘networking’ form    to help you connect with a creative professional or organisation prior to lodging your application. We recommend that you watch the Creative Learning Partnerships information video and read the program guidelines before contacting us to provide your details.

Who can I talk to?

How can I apply?

Applications for this program are currently closed.

Guidelines and tools

After you apply

Once you submit your application on the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions Portal you’ll receive an email acknowledgement.

Our Grants team will then check that your application meets all the eligibility criteria, and we’ll assess it against the published aims and criteria.

You’ll be notified by email of the outcome approximately 12 weeks after the published closing date.

See Information for applicants

Successful applications

If your funding application is successful, you’ll receive a funding agreement outlining the conditions for funding, payment information and reporting requirements.

See Information for current recipients

Notification of funding outcomes

There’s high a level of demand for Creative Victoria funding, so we recommend that you plan for contingencies if your application is unsuccessful (e.g., other funding sources). Please don’t make commitments based on the assumption that you’ll receive funding until you’ve received written confirmation of your final funding outcome.

Funding recommendations are subject to approval by the Minister for Creative Industries. Feedback on your application is provided at Creative Victoria’s discretion and may not be available when you receive notification of your funding outcome.

Payment of grants

Program funding payments are conditional on you meeting your obligations under your Funding Agreement with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, including fulfilling any payment milestone outcomes or deliverables set out in the Funding Agreement.