Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools are delighted to announce an exciting opportunity for schools/centres to apply to participate in the initiative. Schools/centres may apply from 6 April and the deadline is 17:30, Thursday 10 June 2021.
Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools initiative supports schools/centres to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives. This initiative provides opportunities for children and young people to build their artistic
and creative skills; to communicate, collaborate, stimulate their imaginations, be inventive, and to harness their curiosity. It will empower children and young people to develop, implement and evaluate arts and creative activity throughout their
schools/centres and stimulate additional ways of working that reinforce the impact of creativity on children and young people’s learning, development and well-being.
Participating schools/centres will be provided with a package of supports that includes working with a Creative Associate, training and networking to support them to create their Creative School Plan, as well as seed funding to begin to implement their
Creative Associates will respond to each school/centre’s development priorities and needs in order to support them to deepen the arts and creative opportunities for children and young people. They will use their practical experience, to develop partnerships
and mechanisms that enable sustained relationships between schools/centres and the arts and cultural sectors.
All Department of Education and Skills-recognised primary and post-primary schools and Youthreach centres who have not already participated in a previous round of Creative Schools are eligible to apply.
Further information on the Creative Schools application process is available here. Please see our Information & FAQ for schools applying for Creative Schools 2021. Applications must be submitted online and Schools/Centres are encouraged to register well in advance of the deadline.
Presentations from the application information clinics held in April 2021
Below is the link to the recording of one of the information clinics, which provided an overview of the Creative Schools initiative and the application process.
All the information required to make an application is in the Creative Schools 2021 Guidelines. Creative School 2021 closes for applications at 17:30, 10 June 2021.
How do I submit an application for the Creative Schools initiative?
You must submit your application through Online Services only.
If your school/ centre does not have an Online Services account, please register here.
How much can my school apply for through the Creative Schools initiative?
Schools/centres can apply for a once-off grant of €4,000 (in total) to implement their plans over the two school years 2020–21 and 2021–22. Please see the Creative Schools guidelines for further information http://www.artscouncil.ie/Funds/Creative-Schools-Initiative/
Is my school eligible to apply to the Creative Schools initiative?
Department of Education and Skills-recognised primary and post-primary schools
and Youthreach centres that have not already participated in a previous round
of Creative Schools are eligible to apply.
See also question
regarding Creative Clusters: We are in a Creative Cluster, are we are eligible
to apply to be a creative school?
We are a fee paying school. Are we eligible to apply to Creative Schools?
All Department of
Education and Skills-recognised primary and post-primary schools and Youthreach
centres that have not already participated in a previous round of Creative Schools
are eligible to apply.
How does my school/centre apply?
Schools/centres must register with
the Arts Council as a group or organisation (not as an individual) before making the application.
If your school/centre has already registered with the Arts Council’s Online Services,
you do not need to register again. You should use your school/ centres ARN to apply.
If you are registering for the first time, please ensure your school/centre name
is the same as the one used on your bank account.
Can we apply to Creative Schools and Creative Clusters?
Eligible schools/centres may apply to both Creative Schools and the Creative Clusters initiative for the 2021-22 school year.
However, if your school/centre is successful with both applications you would need to decide which to engage with. Schools cannot participate in both initiatives at the same time. Schools/centres leading or participating in Creative Clusters that started
in the school-year 2019-20 are eligible to apply to Creative Schools 2021.
How do I register my school/centre?
Schools/ centres must register with the Arts Council as a group or organisation (rather than as an individual) before making the application. If your school/centre has already registered with the Arts Council’s Online Services, you do not need to register again, and you should use your ARN to apply. If you are registering for the first time, please ensure your school/centre name is the same as the one used on your bank account.
I registered with online services last week but have not heard anything yet. I am eager to login in and begin my application, when can I expect my registration to be progressed?
Registration normally takes 5 working days. You can contact online services to find
out the progress of your ARN registration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While waiting to be registered, applicants can familiarise themselves with the guidelines.
An ARN is your schools ‘Artistic reference number’, you will need this to access your Online Services account.
What happens if I forget my ARN?
Refer to your schools offer letter which has the ARN. Alternatively, contact the Creative Schools team who will provide you with your ARN. Email email@example.com
What happens if I forget my password?
When logging into Online Services there is a prompt where you input your details advising “Forgot my password”. The email address you registered with will then receive a temporary password.
Do I need to update my school/ centres bank and tax details in order to apply?
You will only need to supply these details if you are awarded a grant.
I already have an Online Services account but do not know my password?
Online Services (OLS),
you can simply enter your school's/centre's ARN and click ‘Forgot password’ under
the sign in section. A temporary
password will be sent to the email address your school/ centre originally
I already have an Online Services account but I do not know my ARN (Artist reference number)
firstname.lastname@example.org who can give you your ARN.
Where can I find the Creative Schools application form?
Schools Application forms can only be downloaded through your Online
If your school/ centre does not have an Online Services account, please register here.
Does the application form have to be completed in one sitting?
No, as you save a copy of the application form to your computer you are free to return to it at your own leisure.
Can I email or post my Creative Schools application?
All applications must be made through the Arts Council’s Online
Services. Applications made in any other way (by post, fax or email) will
not be accepted.
I have an enquiry, who should I contact?
I was not able to attend the info clinic for Irish medium schools. Is it possible to apply to the Arts Council through Irish?
Yes, the guidelines and application form are available in both Irish and English through the Arts Council’s online services system. We welcome applications through Irish.
If I make a mistake in my application, can I correct it after I have submitted it through the Arts Council’s online services system?
No, unfortunately not. If you are still in advance of the application
deadline, you can submit a new application, and we can withdraw the earlier
On the application should we have a specific project in mind or should it be very open and more student led?
We ask that you keep an open mind and not to set yourself plans for particular projects or events in the application stage. However, in your application form do identify your school’s development priorities and provide other information that is prompted by the questions in the application form. If your school/centre is selected to participate in the programme, you will be appointed a Creative Associate, who will support both you and the children and young people in your school to build your Creative Schools Plan together.
Is there substitution cover available for teachers released for training?
Yes, there is substitution paid to cover the School Coordinator to attend Creative Schools training sessions.
Can Gaelscoileanna and Gaelcholáistí undertake the Creative Schools journey through the medium of Irish?
Yes, we will try to pair you with an Irish speaking Creative Associate and all documentation we supply can be completed in Irish also.
How many schools take part each year?
This varies each year depending on the funding we receive, but to date, approximately 150 schools have joined the programme each year.
Are Creative Schools the same as Creative Clusters?
No, they are separate initiatives, but they are both under the ‘Creative Youth’ pillar of the Creative Ireland programme.
Does a school's involvement in another school-artist funded collaboration preclude involvement in Creative Schools?
The only other funded initiative you cannot run concurrently with Creative Schools is Creative Clusters.
How have schools timetabled Creative Schools as part of the curriculum?
Each school and Youthreach Centre is different, and Creative Schools has been included in the timetable in many different ways, from weekly sessions to short modules and once-off workshops. For example, Primary Schools have timetabled Creative Schools activity across the full range of the curriculum, from SPHE, Arts Education and Language, to Physical Education and Mathematics. There is a lot of opportunity to include creativity in many aspects of the curriculum in Post Primary schools and Youthreach Centres. Creative Schools activity can be very useful for cross-curricular collaboration, and it is also very relevant to key skills and wellbeing. Assemblies and other existing forums can be very useful for sharing Creative Schools ideas and work, and to make the programme visible across your school/centre.
Do all classes have to be involved?
No. This is your school’s decision to make. Some of our schools get the whole school involved while others focus in on a number of particular class groups.
Do we choose our Creative Associate?
No. Our team has an established panel of Creative Associates and you are then matched with one. This is chosen by geographical standing. However, your school/centre does choose the external professional artists and other creative practitioners who you might work with on projects and activities arising from your school’s Creative Schools Plan. Your Creative Associate can advise you and help your school/centre to make connections with artists, creative practitioners, cultural groups and organisations.
Does the Creative Associate work directly with students?
Yes, but not all the time. Often, a teacher may be leading Creative Schools activity, or a visiting artist or other creative practitioner. At various stages of the Creative School journey the Creative Associate might engage directly with students, and also with teachers, e.g. by facilitating an introductory creativity workshop. The Creative Associates works closely with the School Coordinator. They listen actively to what the students and school community are saying about creativity, and help reflect that back to them. Creative Associates can also advise and help in the planning of key activities and projects decided by the school and included in the Creative Schools Plan.
Can Creative Associates work directly with students during the pandemic?
During the pandemic, Creative Associates have continued to work directly with students. During the lockdown, they were able to work directly, but remotely with students. They have also engaged with outdoor group work when it has been safe to do so. Currently the Creative Associates can work in the schools and they follow the Government health and safety advice at all times.
Are there art competitions involved in Creative Schools?
Each school/centre works with their children and young people to develop a Creative Schools Plan unique to their own school. The activities and projects that they include in their plan are very wide ranging because they have been developed from the ground up in each school/centre. It is possible that students might want to run a competition for themselves, or participate in an existing competition, event or cultural programme, and include this as one of the activities in their Creative School Plan.
As some of our usual activity did not take place this year because of Covid, should we still list them here?
Yes, we would like to know your school activities when there are no
restrictions in place.
How do I stay informed of Creative Schools news and opportunities?
up to the monthly Arts
Council newsletter for future opportunities and arts related news.
Where can I find information about the Creative Schools initiative?
You can find Creative Schools information on the Arts Council website: http://www.artscouncil.ie/creative-schools/