Eight Teesside primary schools are preparing to brush up their artistic talents after winning a £150,000 grant to enable their teachers to learn new skills whilst working alongside professional local artists.

Tees Valley Education Trust’s Teaching School Alliance will lead the visual arts initiative following the grant from Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Teacher Development Fund.

The eight schools are part of the Tees Valley Creative Learning Partnership project, which will run for two years from September.

Tees Valley Education academies Brambles, Pennyman and Dormanstown will be joined by Aspire Learning Partnership primary schools Wilton, Bankfields and Overfields, plus Sunnyside and Ash Tree Academy in an initiative designed to upskill teachers by working alongside and learning from talented local artists.

Teachers will be given an opportunity to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, confidence and experience to teach non-arts subjects using creative approaches.

More than 2,500 children, aged between 3 and 11, across the eight schools are set to benefit from the partnership.

Each of the schools will work with lead art practitioners, freelance art teacher Janet Barker and Sara Calgie, director of The StArt Studio in Middlesbrough, to decide what types of visual arts they want to develop, depending on the existing talents and requirements of their staff and pupils.

But 3D arts such as sculpture as well as painting and drawing are expected to feature in a venture described as “incredibly exciting”.

Janet and Sara were part of the team who prepared the funding bid along with Aspire Learning Partnership’s Sue Cochrane, Liam Bradley from The Northern School Of Art (CCAD) and Tees Valley Education’s Deputy Head Teacher Louise Stogdale.

After a challenging application process, which included a two-hour interview at Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s London offices, only six projects were selected to receive the funding cross the UK.

Mrs Stogdale, Tees Valley Education’s deputy head teacher with responsibility for leading on music, performance and the arts, said: “Everyone involved is elated to have won this £150,000 from Paul Hamlyn Foundation.”

“A visual arts programme on this scale would have been impossible without this type of funding.”

“Utilised carefully and effectively across the schools, these funds could have a truly positive and lasting impact on our staff and children.”

“For Tees Valley Education, this is another testimony of our dedication to our children by upskilling our fantastic teachers and further developing our long-term commitment to the arts. “

“The schools within our trust have a proud reputation for the performing arts so we’re looking forward to expanding our skillset by branching out into the visual arts.”

“We’re keen to work with our parents, art organisations and the wider community to deliver some potentially amazing results to our children, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Mrs Stogdale said the schools would be looking to work with “the highest calibre of artists”, with schools matched with suitable professionals.

“We’re looking to use the existing strengths and skills of our teaching staff, allowing individuals to shine in their areas of expertise to deliver some fantastic experiences for our children.”

Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Teacher Development Fund is a new initiative supporting the delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom.

Moira Sinclair, chief executive at Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said: “Learning through the arts can engage and inspire young people, support key educational outcomes and develop skills that prepare them for the next phase of their lives.”

“For many young people, particularly those experiencing the most disadvantage, the only opportunity to gain access to arts education is at school.”

“That’s why we are delighted to announce the six partnerships that have a received a grant from our Teacher Development Fund.”

“We were impressed by the quality of applications and look forward to seeing how the projects equip teachers with the skills and confidence needed to provide quality and impactful education and learning through the arts.”

Expressions of interest from local artists interested in working with the Tees Valley Creative Learning Partnership are now being sought. Contact louise.stogdale@tved.org.uk