Arts Award & Artsmark

Artsmark and Arts Award are the Arts Council England’s flagship programmes for schools and children and young people. Edsential creative and performing arts projects, CPD and performance events can support your school on their journey to achieve Artsmark and Arts Awards.

As a partner with Artsmark, a recognised Arts Award Centre and working closely with Curious Minds, our Arts Council Bridge Organisation, Edsential is committed to providing opportunities to develop Arts for children and young people.

Edsential aims to encourage young people to explore their artistic and creative potential. We can provide visual, tactile and sensory experiences and an alternative way of responding to the world: our creative practitioners can help your setting achieve ArtsMark and provide exciting and inspirational learning journeys for children and young people’s in attaining individual Arts Awards, JASS and Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

How does Edsential support your school on their journey to achieve Artsmark and Arts Awards?

Look for the Arts Award and Artsmark logos on our CPD, projects and performances, these indicate the content and provision will support children and teachers learning and opportunities to engage in exciting cultural and artistic activities.

Edsential Music Tutors can assess children and young people to achieve a Music Medal. The First Access Instrumental Learning Programme and the ABRSM Music Medal awards may be used by schools to contribute towards their Artsmark and ArtsAwards.

What is Artsmark?

Artsmark has been designed by schools, for schools, to align with School Improvement Plans and support core EBACC and STEM priorities, giving the curriculum breadth and balance.

As well as recognising schools that are making the arts come alive, the Artsmark award is a practical and valuable tool for enriching a school’s arts provision whatever the starting point: It provides schools with access to enviable networks of leading cultural organisations that will enable them to use the arts to engage and develop happy, self-expressed and confident young people and inspire teachers.

Artsmark supports Arts Award which recognises the creative development of individual young people.

  • The new Artsmark application process is light on paperwork and flexible to each school: find out more about which education settings can apply for Artsmark.
  • Schools are awarded Silver, Gold or Platinum, based on their achievements. Find out which schools near you are on their Artsmark journey.

What are Arts Awards?

Arts Awards are a range of unique qualifications that supports anyone aged up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world through taking challenges in an art form – from fashion to digital art, pottery to poetry, music and performances.

Through progressing through the five levels, young people get to:

  • Discover the enjoyment of creating and participating in arts activities
  • Experience arts events
  • Develop creative and communication skills that are essential for success in 21st century life
  • Explore the work of artists and craftspeople and gain insights into the professional arts world
  • Gain experience and knowledge to help progress into further education and employment

There are no entry requirements, no time limit for completing the award, and no set rules on how to present final work.

How does Arts Award work?

Arts Award’s flexible framework means it can fit around a wide range of arts, cultural and heritage activities and projects, including creative and technical roles. It can be delivered in many ways and in a wide range of settings. You can map it to your existing activity or use it to kick-start something new.

Arts Award delivery happens in curriculum or extra-curricular programmes and enrichment options, museum or heritage projects, weekly clubs or groups, and partnership projects.

To find out more, download the Arts Award Guide containing everything you need to know about doing Arts Award. Edsential Musical Routes (the Music Education Hub) and Edsential Creative and Performing Arts teams are proud to be supporting and promoting the Arts Council initiative, the Local Cultural Education Partnership.


The direction provided by our bridge organisation, Curious Minds, collaborating with local and national organisations to support and promote children’s and young people’s access to Arts and Cultural activities. Edsential is delighted to be working alongside our local and national arts providers, schools and families within the LCEPs in both Cheshire and Wirral; #CheshireLCEP and #WirralLCEP. You can find details of the LCEPs and our Arts Council Bridge organisation, Curious Minds, here.