Impact and Value – Research facts sheet: The 'arts-rich' school

Longley, L. (1999) Gaining the Arts Advantage: Lessons from school districts that value arts education. Presidents Committee on the Arts and Humanities and Arts Education Partnership. Washington DC, pp.9–14).

The arts-rich school offers:

  • arts access for all and a learning continuum in the arts
  • a commitment to providing a basic education in the arts to every child
  • the arts are acknowledged as a strong component in an interdisciplinary curriculum in the elementary years
  • a continuum of learning in and through the arts that follows through sequential coursework
  • senior pathways in the arts to enable tertiary matriculation.

Specialised curriculum and culture of excellence:

  • a wide range of specialised programs for students of the arts
  • an environment that encourages students to aspire to excellence
  • students that demonstrate commitment to their work and win praise and recognition
  • student achievements that contribute to community enthusiasm for the arts
  • a belief in the excellence and quality of the school’s educational system.

Collaborative practice:

  • teams of classroom teachers, arts specialists and teaching artists working together on building curricula, delivering instruction and learning from each other
  • the use of varied approaches in the classroom including: arts specific subjects, arts integration, teaching artists programs and industry residencies.


  • arts specialist teachers creating and sustaining sequential arts education
  • district arts coordinators who mobilise community support for arts education through budget priorities, interschool communication and community partnerships
  • principals who create high expectations, and whose support for arts education is unswerving.

Planning, research and advocacy:

  • a comprehensive plan for incremental implementation of arts education
  • a school district and state-level resource commitment to facilitating arts education
  • ongoing data gathering about arts integration, productive pedagogies, teacher engagement strategies and student achievement.

Community partnerships:

  • community members (parents, families, artists, art organisations, local civic and cultural leaders) are given the opportunity to actively engage in the school arts education programs
  • community involvement is the most critical factor in sustaining arts education in schools.

This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.