Govt launches Creative Youth – A Plan to Enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person

7th December, 2017

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, T.D., together with the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe T.D.Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms. Josepha Madigan, T.D., the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D.,  , today (Thursday 7th December) launched Creative Youth – A Plan to Enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person.

Creative Youth, which was launched in St Laurence O’Toole’s Girls National School, Seville Place, sets out measures to deliver on one of the key goals of the Creative Ireland Programme, to ensure that every child in Ireland has practical access to tuition, experience and participation in music, drama, art and coding by 2022. Underlying this plan is a firm conviction that creativity and culture should be at the heart of education for all our young people There is a very broad range of cultural activities available to children and young people and this Plan aims to build on what already exists while simultaneously developing new projects and initiatives. 


Underpinning the vision behind Creative Youth are four long-term strategic objectives: Supporting collaboration between Formal and Non-Formal approaches to Creativity in Education; Extending the Range of Creative Activities for our Young People; Embedding the Creative Process by developing programmes that will enable teachers to help young people learn and apply creative skills and capacities; Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers working in Early Years, Primary and Post Primary Schools.  


The first stage of implementation of Creative Youth , which is a five year Programme,involves a series of key actions for 2018-2019 which include:


  • Scoileanna Ildánaca/Creative Schools initiative, bringing artists into the classroom, will be piloted.
  • A Creative Clusters Schools Scheme to generate creative cultural and artistic projects will be piloted.
  • Creativity programmes for young people in disadvantaged communities will be developed.
  • An Early Years CPD Project will be developed and existing Primary Schools and Post-Primary Schools CPD Projects will be mainstreamed.
  • Increased opportunities for students to learn coding and computational thinking will be introduced.
  • Opportunities to participate in drama/theatre outside of school will be expanded.
  • A strategy to develop and extend choral singing will be developed.
  • Cruinniú (formerly Cruinniú na Cásca) will be redesigned and developed as a national creativity day for children and young people in consultation with the local authorities;
  • Local Creative Youth Partnerships will be established on a pilot basis.
  • Implementation of additional elements of the Arts in Education Charter will be supported


Speaking at the launch today, an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD., said: “The Creative Ireland Programme is designed to nurture and invest in the creativity and imagination of our people, strengthen and empower our communities and create the space for ideas and innovation to flourish and grow. This plan – Creative Youth – is about securing an opportunity for our children and young people to become creative citizens.  While our education system has served us very well over the last 50 years, new policy choices are needed so that we can change and adapt to the new challenges we are facing. The links between culture, creativity and wellbeing are well known: by providing increased access for our children and young people to cultural and creative activities we are also equipping them with the tools to live a happier and more creative life. ”


Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD., said:

“Creative Youth, which I am delighted to say, was launched today in St Laurence O’Toole’s Girls National School, Seville Place, provides a clear statement that this Government believes in cultural value for young people.  I am a firm believer that engagement with the arts and creativity can help young people to develop self-confidence and identity, show them that they can be creative and imaginative and that their expression is valued by society. Just last year, the Arts Council and the ESRI published an extremely important report called Arts and Cultural Participation among Children and Young People.  That report shows that Irish children who participate in artistic and cultural activities cope better with schoolwork, have more positive attitudes towards school later on, are happier, have reduced anxiety, better academic skills and fewer socio-emotional difficulties than those who are less engaged.  Creative Youth can successfully build on this by placing arts, culture and creativity at the very centre of education and development for all of our children and young people”.

Speaking today the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms. Josepha Madigan, TD. said: “We are all aware of the importance of the arts in education and learning.   and considerable progress has already been made in arts provision, particularly in the primary school curriculum and in the junior cycle at post-primary level. However, the Creative Ireland Programme marks a new development in that it is an all-of-government initiative that recognises that arts, culture and creativity affect all our lives in a multitude of ways. It is driven by a belief in partnership and collaboration, which is why the Creative Youth plan places such a strong emphasis on aligning formal and non-formal approaches to education in the arts and creativity.”


Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, said: “I have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe within a decade. Ensuring our children are creative, flexible thinkers is key to delivering on this ambition in a modern society. Pillar One of the Creative Ireland Programme puts a strong focus on developing such skills by setting out a plan for every child in Ireland to have practical access to music, drama, art and coding by 2022. This plan aligns well with our recently launched STEM Education Policy Statement 2017-2026 which includes a commitment to introduce a new primary Maths curriculum, which for the first time will include elements of coding and computational thinking and also the objectives we have laid out in the Arts in Education Charter.”


Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D. added: “As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs I am delighted to celebrate the launch of the Creative Ireland Programme Creative Youth Plan. This innovative plan will strive to enable the creative potential of every child and young person. A core principle in this plan is that the voice of children and young people should be heard in both the development and delivery of programmes. Listening to and involving children and young people in this way is a vital process i44n Ireland today. Responding to the needs of young people by including them in decision making can promote children’s protection, improve their confidence, communication skills and ability to negotiate, network and make judgements. Education in the arts, culture and creativity lends itself naturally to this kind of child-centred ethos and is well placed to act as a beacon for other subject areas.”