Explore the background and policy guiding arts work with refugees, and case studies of good practice

Explore the background and policy guiding arts work with refugees, and case studies of good practice

By Belinda Kidd
Samina Zahir
Sabra Khan
Arts Council England
The Baring Foundation
The Paul Hamlyn Foundation


This report of research into the circumstances, policy and issues surround arts for, by and with refugees in the UK gives background to the circumstances governing this work, the numbers of people involved and an idea of how the research was carried out. Alongside this are short case studies of projects with refugees from around the country. Artistic directors and arts marketers or audience development workers will find examples of good practice among the case studies.

The schools and academic sector

The DfES report, Aiming High23, highlighted the fact that a large number of local education authorities have refugee pupils within their schools and it recognised the need for guidance and support to help local education authorities and schools develop appropriate policies and action plans. MultiVerse24 and the Network for Global Perspectives in Schools have both been proactive in trying to improve the experiences of refugee children in formal education and producing information resources. Major charities active in the schools sector include Save the Children, and an increasing number of arts organisations, including Banner Theatre, Greenwich & Lewisham Young People’s Theatre, Music for Change, Oval House, Soft Touch, and Small World Theatre – to name a few – are supporting and raising awareness of children and young people of school age through their work.

The Village Storytelling Centre

The Village Storytelling Centre is located in Greater Pollok, Glasgow and has had core support from regeneration programmes since it was established eight years ago in a local church. It works in schools and with the local community and has developed a particular interest in refugees and asylum seekers. The work has been supported by one particularly active asylum seeker volunteer, and through a series of strong partnerships, for example with the local integration network.

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Resource type: Research | Published: 2013