Summer Arts Colleges

A Summer Arts College provides a three week course for 10 young people, held over the summer holidays for five hours a day. 

The young people who take part are aged 14-19 and priority is given to those at high risk of reoffending and those who are also at risk of, or actually disengaged from, education, training or employment together with those who are looked after.

Summer Arts Colleges reintegrate young people into education, training and employment by offering vibrant arts experiences through a structured programme. Working with a unique combination of practitioners in art, music, drama, dance, photography and creative writing, Summer Arts Colleges are a proven way to improve outcomes in literacy, numeracy, progression to education and reduction in reoffending.

Extensive evaluation of the programme has shown that it delivers high levels of attendance and completion by even the most challenging young people. In addition, 90% of young people completing the programme go on to achieve an Arts Award.

Summer Arts Colleges are proven to:
  • Increase educational engagement
  • Facilitate transition to mainstream education and employment
  • Reduce rates of reoffending
  • Significantly improve literacy and numeracy
  • Offer accreditation through 3 levels of Arts Awards (Discover, Explore and Bronze)

Over ten years, Unitas has run Summer Arts Colleges with over a third of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) in England and Wales. SACs work to a standard model, delivering high quality arts provision to some of the most challenged and challenging young people.

Evaluations of the Summer Arts Colleges reveal that:

  • A statistically significant number of young people move back into mainstream education, training or employment
  • More than 90% of young people who complete the programme achieve the Arts Award, a nationally recognised accreditation.
  • Over two thirds of young people increase their literacy and numeracy levels
  • Offending rates reduce significantly

Unitas will provide you with:

  • Substantial grants towards funding your programme
  • Help selecting artists and practitioners, and support with resources
  • A comprehensive training programme for Project ManagersProgramme management support

To run a Summer Arts College you will need to:

  • Appoint a dedicated project manager to be responsible for planning, implementing and running the college
  • Secure a suitable venue
  • Identify a group of 10 suitable high risk young people
  • Ensure the young people attend the programme
  • Record and supply data to support Unitas’ programme evaluations