Reflections on a Campaign Championing Creativity

18 February 2016

Over the last three weeks some of the biggest leaders within the creative and arts industries have been highlighting the power of creative subjects to state school students across the UK. Here we look back at some of the highlights from the campaign, with additional pictures and stories.


All our fantastic ambassadors’ talks have focused on the ubiquity of skills gained from studying creative subjects, the industries’ need for diversity as well as the sheer wealth of unknown opportunities that the sector has to offer.


Kenneth Tharp at Bethnal Green Academy

One of the most interactive and unusual talks took place at Bethnal Green Academy with Kenneth Tharp, OBE and CEO of The Place giving students a workshop centred around dance but with hidden meaning. Running throughout the session were messages applicable to any student; being confident and resilient, communicating effectively and being a team player. Kenneth also discussed the wealth of job opportunities that the sector has to offer including in finance, HR, costume design as well as lighting and stage technicians.

Kenneth Tharp Collage


David Morrissey at Northumberland Park School

David Morrissey, actor and director recently known for his role in The Walking Dead, kicked off the campaign by telling students in Tottenham that Drama changed him for the better, allowing him to engage differently with school; he became more confident and finally looked people in the eye when he spoke to them.

David Morrissey Tweet

Read more on David’s talk on our news post about his visit here and check out the piece David wrote for TES about the teacher that first got him interested in acting.


Deborah Bull at Sion Manning Girl’s School

As a dancer, writer and broadcaster, Deborah Bull’s life lessons talk highlighted the depth and value of not only dance, but all the arts as key to students well being and giving them the skills to think about all of life’s challenges from a variety of perspectives which are invaluable to creating understanding between people in society. As Deborah herself put it “The arts allows you to experience other peoples’ lives.”

Deborah Bull Tweet

You can read the full story on Deborah’s visit here.


Toby Jones at Oasis Academy Hadley

Award winning actor Toby Jones spoke about his career and the interesting roles and paths he has taken to becoming successful. He emphasised the importance of Drama as a broad, central way of understanding the world.

Toby Jones Tweet


Geoff Mulgan at Challney High School for Boys

Geoff Mulgan, CEO of NESTA, told enraptured students at Challney High School in Luton to ‘think outside the box and apply yourself’ – Creativity is the driving focus for future jobs.

Geoff Mulgan TweetGeoff Mulgan (19)


Baroness Young at Gumley House

Baroness Young’s talk focused mainly on the importance of Art in society, how it shapes so many aspects of our lives, and especially its impact on politics and art’s ability to inspire change. Students were captivated, hearing about how social movements have often influenced and been influenced by books, music, fashion, etc., and it inspired students to ask plenty of questions. Among many other examples, Baroness Young even spoke on contemporary street art and how art comments on society, showing a recent David Bowie memorial in Turnpike Lane.

Baroness Young Talking at Gumley House School 01/02/2016 Pic-Peter Kindersley

Read the full story on Baroness Young’s talk on our website here.


Michael Obiora at Southgate School

Michael spoke to students about his life in acting and how his hard work and effort has put him into the position he is in today. He gave them an insight into acting and also spoke about his own personal interests. The acclaimed actor and writer also spoke about diversity in the acting world and how this has improved over the last decade. Michael grew up in North London and went to a nearby comprehensive so was easily able to relate Southgate’s students and them to him. He was engaging, fun and ‘cool’ in the words of some students. Michael’s talk has helped inspire and motivate the students and to show them how hard work pays off. Michael was also very impressed with the maturity of Southgate’s students and their open mindedness. He was also delighted to realise how much they appreciated the importance of diversity in our multi-cultural society.

Michael Obiora Talk 2

Our thanks to all speakers and schools involved throughout this incredible campaign! Have you seen the variety of arts and creative resources available to schools at the moment? Check out just some of them here.