Scoileanna Ildánacha/Creative Schools, a central initiative of the Government’s Creative Ireland Programme, was launched in Dublin this morning by Minister for Education Richard Bruton and Minister for the Arts, Josepha Madigan.

The initiative is intended to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children and young people’s lives.

Up to 150 schools across the country will participate in the pilot and work with artists, creative practitioners and educators to develop their own unique programme of arts and creative work, connecting them to the full range of local and regional cultural resources and opportunities.

In addition, all schools participating in the programme will receive a further range of supports including a once-off grant of €2,000 and training for teachers in the school.

“This Creative Schools pilot is a vital element of the Government’s Creative Ireland programme,” said Minister Madigan.

“It means participating schools will be provided with funding and expertise to enable them to explore the potential impact of the arts and creativity on school life.”

“Every place is different, and every school is different, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how each of the 150 schools will design their own, unique programme.”

“Creativity and flexibility are vital skills for any young person to have in a modern society,” added Minister Bruton.

“The arts challenge a person to think differently and be inventive in finding solutions to problems. That is why participation in the arts is ideal for equipping young people with the ability to be inventive, critical and adaptable.”

“Developing the creativity of children and young people enables them to achieve their full potential and grow as well rounded individuals.”

The call has now gone out to all primary and post-primary schools as well as Youthreach centres to apply to be part of the Pilot programme.

Registration to express interest is open from today and online applications from schools will be accepted between February 20th and March 22nd.

The successful schools will be announced in May with the programme getting underway in September.