Summer Arts Colleges

Summer Arts Colleges are intensive educational projects designed for young people on Detention and Training Orders (DTOs) and subject to Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (ISS). They re-engage these young people in education, training and employment through the provision of vibrant arts experiences.

Summer Arts Colleges were originally launched as part of the Youth Justice Board and Arts Council England's strategic partnership. To date, we have run over 165 Summer Arts Colleges on their behalf, reaching more than 2000 young people in England and Wales. Young people on Summer Arts Colleges work with a unique combination of artists, literacy and numeracy practitioners, and youth justice practitioners.

Summer Arts Colleges aim to:

  • increase educational engagement and facilitate transition into mainstream education, training and employment after the programme
  • provide a structured, full-time, arts-based project, combining arts enrichment and arts appreciation activities, and explore possible routes into employment and careers within the arts
  • reduce levels of (re-)offending among participants during the project and in the following months
  • work with the arts to improve literacy and numeracy skills and to achieve an accreditation through the Arts Award.

Youth Music

Unitas has welcomed an opportunity to work with Youth Music, the leading UK charity using music to transform the lives of children and young people. Over the past few years Youth Music have supported the delivery of Summer Arts Colleges. In 2013 Unitas has been working with a number of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) who successfully secured grants from Youth Music to run their own music mentoring projects. 

Unitas has also recently secured a grant of its own from Youth Music, to work with YOTs across England to implement a series of music-making projects with young people in the youth justice system. Each YOT will  work with a music organisation or artist to deliver music projects which improve the quality of music delivery for young people and help to build the learning and effective practice of YOT and music partners.

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