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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.3 National strategy on creativity and culture for young people

Last update: 25 January 2021
On this page
  1. Existence of a national strategy
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority for the implementation of the strategy
  4. Revisions/updates


Existence of a national strategy

A Cultural Strategy for Scotland 


In 2018, public consultation opened on a draft Culture Strategy for Scotland. In January 2019 the full report, including the findings of the public consultation, was released. This strategy is not specifically designed for young people however it fully recognises the role of creativity and culture for the lifelong formal and informal education and skills development of young people. It also states:

Culture and creativity helps young people grow confidently as citizens and can play an important role in helping children cope with stress and adversity that they may be experiencing in their lives. Creative and cultural education fosters young people’s critical thinking, problem-solving and visual and literacy skills that are essential for 21st Century society.

In February 2020, the final strategy was published. The strategy sets out a vision for Scotland centred around three ambitions and a summary of actions. Amplifying young people’s voices in cultural decision-making is a key theme of the strategy. 


Time to Shine: Scotland’s Youth Arts Strategy

Scotland's first youth arts strategy, Time to Shine: Scotland's Youth Arts Strategy for ages 0-25, was commissioned by the Scottish Government and published in 2013 by Creative Scotland, the national development agency for the arts and creative industries. The strategy aims to support children and young people to flourish and achieve in and through the arts and creativity, and also establish Scotland as an international leader for young people's arts and creativity.


Scope and contents

A Culture Strategy for Scotland 


The strategy is not specifically for young people. However, the strategy commits to access to culture as a right for every child in Scotland through collaboration with Creative Scotland and Education Scotland to support learners through the arts and creative sector and curriculum. The strategy discusses the launch of Creative

Communities, a new initiative to support and empower individuals and communities

to further develop their own cultural activity. The programme will provide support for cultural projects that produce positive outcomes for young people at risk of reoffending. Continuing work with Creative Scotland and the National Youth Arts Advisory Group is also planned out in the strategy, to secure ways to ensure that the voices of children and young people continue to be heard and they are involved in cultural decision-making


Time to Shine: Scotland’s Youth Arts Strategy


The strategy is centred around the three objectives of participation, progression and provision. They were developed in consultation with young people. A number of actions to meet these objectives are outlined, using seven guiding principles:

  • place young people at the centre of the strategy's aims, ambitions and delivery plans
  • work within the context of Curriculum for Excellence and additional policy frameworks related to young people
  • work collaboratively, improve information sharing and peer support and networking
  • use digital technology proactively
  • work with local and national government
  • tackle inequalities
  • strive for quality improvement

Key actions highlighted in the strategy, alongside their associated objectives, include the following:

Participation - engagement

  • establish a young people's advisory group to implement the strategy
  • explore the opportunities for establishing a sustained programme for arts engagement across all art forms
  • work with partners to develop a common understanding of barriers to access and a framework for addressing them
  • implement a Young Arts Ambassador's scheme to encourage peer engagement and challenge perceptions of the arts
  • establish a National Children and Young People's arts conference every two years to share best practice
  • work with partners in formal education to deliver more arts and creative opportunities in line with the curriculum

Progression - nurturing potential and talent

  • establish a national mentoring programme
  • develop a youth employment initiative for young people to gain paid employment in the arts and creative industries
  • establish a calendar of young people's arts events to celebrate and showcase talent

Provision - developing infrastructure and support systems

  • explore the possibility of establishing a national youth arts network, which would act as an advocate for young people's arts
  • develop regional hubs as focal points for young people's arts
  • develop a self-evaluation framework for organisations delivering arts for young people.


Responsible authority for the implementation of  strategy

A Culture Strategy for Scotland 


The Scottish Government is responsible for the implementation of the strategy. In June 2020, the National Partnership for Culture was formed to deliver Scotland’s culture strategy. The National Partnership for Culture (NPC) is made up of 14 experts from across Scotland’s culture sector. The group will advise on challenges facing the culture sector from coronavirus (COVID-19) and will build on the recommendations recently set out to the First Minister by the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery. The group is chaired by Joanna Baker CBE.

The main objectives of the Partnership will be to:

consider and advise how to promote the culture sector’s recovery in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst speaking out for the many ways culture can help to support society post-pandemic provide advice and guidance on key strategic issues affecting culture in Scotland champion A Culture Strategy for Scotland and make recommendations on delivering the Strategy’s vision, ambitions and aims establish a Measuring Change Group to advise the Partnership on appropriate measures, data and research for decision-making on culture matters


Time to Shine: Scotland’s Youth Arts Strategy


Creative Scotland is responsible for delivering Time to Shine. It received funding from Scottish Government for the first 3 years of its implementation. 

Other organisations involved in the implementation of Time to Shine include:

  • Local authorities, which are responsible for education, transport, economic development and cultural and leisure services in their respective areas
  • Youth Scotland, a membership organisation representing a range of youth work groups, young people and youth workers
  • Young Scot, a national youth information and citizenship charity which works with young people aged 11-26
  • YouthLink Scotland, the national agency for youth work in Scotland, with a membership of voluntary and statutory youth organisations
  • Skills Development Scotland, which works to ensure that Scotland has a diverse workforce with the right skills to meet the needs of employers
  • the Scottish Qualifications Authority, which is responsible for the assessment and certification of qualifications other than degrees
  • the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, which represents the heads of the education services in local authorities
  • Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People, which works to protect the rights of children and young people
  • professional arts companies
  • cultural organisations
  • further and higher education institutions



Time to Shine: Scotland's Youth Arts Strategy for ages 0-25 is Scotland's first arts strategy for young people. However, several additional policies have been published by the Scottish Government and its partners, which are of relevance:

  • Education and the Arts, Culture and Creativity: an Action Plan, published by the Scottish Government in 2010, which was aimed at developing the impact and role of creativity within and across the curriculum.
  • What is Creativity? Scotland's Creative Learning Plan, published in 2013 by a group of partners including the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, which sets out their ten-year vision for creativity in education by raising the quantity and quality of creative learning opportunities; the document acts as an overarching policy, which includes Time to Shine, alongside a number of other policies focusing on the arts and creativity.
  • Creativity Across Learning 3-18, published in 2013 by Education Scotland, which examines how creativity and associated skills can be developed in educational contexts.