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Fife: The Story So Far

Big Book Brain Quiz - Schools competition organised by Fife Cultural Trust Libraries - involves all Fife primary schools

Fife’s Creative Learning Network was created in 2011 under the umbrella of Fife's existing cultural network - the Cultural Consortium.

The aim of the CLN was to bring together the community representatives and key local and national cultural partners of the Cultural Consortium with education representatives. The network was strategically developed in Fife through: a series of network meetings; consistent communication via email and Glow (Scotland’s intranet for schools); funding support for creative and cultural projects and investment in the use of Glow and active engagement with it.

Funding for the network was secured by The Cultural Partnerships Team of Fife Cultural Trust and the network has been led by the Cultural Trust from the outset.

Achievements

Membership of the network has increased from 39 to over 150 and a dedicated Glow Group and blog has been established including creative learning opportunities, news from the partners and web-links. Several event/networking opportunities offered members of the Fife Creative Learning Network (FCLN) an opportunity to share their experiences, resources and expertise.

Fife’s CLN has also been used to support the provision of creative learning and CPD opportunities in Fife.

Key Issues

However, a key concern which has become apparent has been the lack of a robust and strategic engagement with and alignment to Fife's Educational Priorities. This has meant that although much has been achieved it has not had the impact or value that it would have if it were better engaged with senior education management. In short if the network is not valued by Senior Education Managers then it has no real value and the sustainability of Fife's CLN is at stake.

This year therefore we planned to take stock and review the structure and focus of the network in consultation with Fife Council's Education Service, CLD and Fife Cultural Trust (FCT), with the desired outcome of a robust strategic 3-way partnership which is led by Education.

This has proven problematic due to restructures in all three fields - Education, CLD and Fife Cultural Trust.

Creative Approaches to Change

With no clear way forward we have decided to kick start this new relationship with a Dangerous Conversation event in June 2014 which will review the journey of the FCLN to date and plan for a new partnership approach with joint leads from Education and Fife Cultural Trust.  The event (facilitated by David Cameron) is a journey in itself, starting on a bus in Leslie and travelling across the Kingdom to both Falkland and Kingsbarns to explore the story of 2 very different institutes.

In Falkland we stop to discuss The Life & Death of the Institution. The journey will then continue to Cambo Estate to discuss ‘Letting go in a controlled way...’.  Throughout the day the focus is on questions, analogies with the Institute of Education and solutions, inclusive of the future of the FCLN and its partnership with Education. The journey’s destination will mark a new beginning.

Desired outcomes of the Dangerous Conversation event 

  • A robust partnership approach between FCT and Fife Council Education to lead Fife's CLN
  • Raised awareness of the benefits of Fife’s CLN with strategic managers across Education, CLD, Fife Cultural Trust and the Cultural Sector in Fife
  • For the FCLN to be led by, complement and enhance local education/CLD and FCT priorities.
  • A new framework and action plan to shape and drive the future development of FCLN.

The Dangerous Conversation event is part of the Emporium of Dangerous Ideas 2014.

Michelle Sweeney
Team Leader
Fife Cultural Trust