Cultural & Arts Leaders in Schools and Academies

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What is CALSA

Cultural & Arts Leaders in Schools and Academies (CALSA) is a key regional programme developed by Festival Bridge in 2015 to ensure that the benefits of cultural education are accessible to children and young people across our region.

Engagement and understanding of arts and culture stimulate spiritual, moral, and cultural (SMSC) development of children and young people, which are Ofsted criteria contributing to the overall assessment rank of each school.

CALSAs are confident education leaders who enable other teachers to introduce a sound element of cultural education as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. Whether it’s about initiating an arts project for students, starting Arts Award or applying for Artsmark – CALSAs can use their knowledge and expertise to support the ambitions of other education settings.

The CALSA model was piloted in the academic year 2015/16 with two teaching schools taking on the Lead School role and 10 teachers becoming CALSAs. Over 3014 students were impacted thought CALSA work in its first year. In 2016/17 academic year Festival Bridge is rolling out the model and expects to work with 8 lead schools and between 40-50 CALSAs across the Festival Bridge area.


How can I get involved?

Become a CALSA

Join the community of like-minded peers and contribute to arts provision in schools in your area. Contact our Education Managers to find out more.

Bring in a Cultural and Arts Leader (CALSA) to support your school or academy in arts provision

Each CALSA has a unique set of skills and expertise, supported by the Lead School and having access to Bridge organization resources they can help you bring your arts project idea to life.

Become a Lead School

Want to become a lead school and support a cohort of CALSAs in your area? Please contact us at

Arts Organisations…

Support CALSAs by including them into your network, tell CALSAs about opportunities for schools to engage with your arts activities.

Students and Parents…

Talk to your school about arts provision for your children and discuss the possibilities of involvement in CALSA programme.


Search for CALSA Lead Schools, CALSAs and CALSA Leads:



CALSA evaluation

We are currently looking to commission an organisation or freelance consultant/evaluator with prior experience of education as well as the cultural sector to evaluated the CALSA programme

The successful contractor will review the work that teachers who act as CALSAs are offering across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The CALSA model was a completely new initiative that has been running for three years. Festival Bridge is now seeking to evaluate the current work led by ten Academies and Schools and to provide recommendations for future measurement of impact going forward.

Download the CALSA evaluation brief

Deadline for applications is Monday 18 June. For more details and how to apply please visit the Norfolk & Norwich Festival website here or contact us for more information at

Get in touch

Tel: 01603 878285

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Image credits: Masthead © JMA Photography