Creative Clusters is a pilot initiative of the Department of Education and Skills, led by and in partnership with the 21 full-time Teacher Education Centres (Education Support Centres Ireland - ESCI) and funded through the Schools Excellence Fund – Creative Clusters Initiative.
Creative Clusters is an initiative of Creative Youth – A Plan to Enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person, which was published in December 2017 as part of the Creative Ireland Programme. The Creative Youth Plan aims to give every child practical access to tuition, experience and participation in art, music, drama and coding by 2022.
A Creative Cluster will typically consist of between three and five schools collaborating on the design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of an innovative arts and creative learning project which supports them to address a common issue or challenge.
Each Creative Cluster will receive funding of €3,000 per school in each cluster over a two year period to implement their project in the 2020–2022 school years (e.g. a cluster of 3 schools would get €9,000 over two years while a cluster of 5 schools would receive €15,000 over two years). Clusters will receive 50% of the total funding in Year 1, with the second 50% being provided in Year 2.
Schools in a cluster are expected to collaborate on how this funding is allocated and spent to support the implement of their project.
In addition, paid substitution will be provided for the Regional Cluster Training event and two/three local cluster meetings per school year.
Schools can apply as part of a cluster which may be an existing network of schools or a potential cluster. Each cluster must nominate a lead school and a Creative Cluster Coordinator. Substitution costs to the equivalent of 1 day per term for the duration of the pilot project will be provided for the Lead School Creative Cluster Coordinator.
The local Teacher Education Centre will have a key role in identifying and supporting a Creative Cluster for their local area.
Applications should be sent to the local full-time Teacher Education Centre (list at Appendix 1 of Guidelines document).
The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 26 June 2020.
The local Teacher Education Centre will then inform the identified cluster in their area. Unsuccessful applicants will also be notified.
Creative Cluster applications will be assessed by the Local Teacher Education Centre. Applications will be assessed and scored against the following criteria:
Further details on the criteria are available in the Guidelines document.