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Planning and application guide

This page contains guidance, tips and helpful prompts to assist with your planning and proposal (application). You can follow this step-by-step, or may prefer to incorporate relevant elements in your own planning process.

It’s worth watching the videos below and reading the information on this page before you start. If you have further questions about the programme and the application process, please email CreativesinSchools@education.govt.nz

Step-by-step guide video on how to submit your joint proposal (application)


Video outlining tips for creating an effective joint proposal (application)


On this page

Step 1: Initial scoping

Initial scoping is important before you begin brainstorming with your creative partner/s on what your creative project will be. Here are some prompts/tips to assist your thinking:



  • Find out more about the programme and how it works.
  • How the programme works and selection criteria
  • Frequently asked questions  
  • Check if your school has capacity to deliver a creative project.
    • Is a teacher or kaiako available to lead the project if you get it?
    • Select the lead teacher who will work on this project.
  • Identify your students’ creative needs or a creative project that will support student and ākonga learning or wellbeing.
    • What are the creative needs and desires of your students and ākonga? You can ask your students what they’re interested in and think about how you can link it with your local curriculum.
    • What are the skills, gaps and opportunities within your school and community? Talk to other teachers for some ideas and inspiration.
  • Make sure this project is over and above your existing arts initiatives. This is an opportunity to try something new. Your school may have been thinking of doing a creative project for a while, and this is your chance to start fleshing out that idea further and implement it for your students.

You can check out our case studies and lists of projects in past rounds for inspiration and reference.

Case studies

Successful schools – Round 1

Successful schools – Round 2

Successful schools – Round 3

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Step 2: Find your creative/s

Find a creative that will help bring your idea to fruition and work with you on your joint application.

Your school may already have some creative contacts that you can work with. If not, try asking around or approaching your regional arts group, community arts venues, or local arts and design school and tertiary providers for professional artists they can refer to you.

If you can’t find one through your networks, you could try finding a creative from our database of Available creatives and request their profile using  this form .



Some tips when engaging with your creative/s:

  • Ensure they are a practising creative or an artist with a ‘track record of experience and success’ or that they will undertake the project in partnership with another creative or artist that does have a track record. A track record of experience and success means the creative(s) have:
    • achieved recognition from peers or experts OR
    • achieved a degree of critical success OR
    • previously delivered a successful project with a school or kura OR
    • specialised training or practical experience.
  • Make sure they have the appropriate skill levels to help you deliver the project you have in mind. For example, if your project is in Ngā Toi Māori, ensure the creative is well versed in that particular art form.
  • Make sure that everyone is clear about what the project is and how it will be carried out.
  • Check they are a good fit for the project – see what ideas they might bring and how they might build on your original thinking. Are you able to collectively deliver on project outcomes?
  • Let them know that as part of the application process your school will need to organise their Police Vetting Check after your joint creative project has been selected. This must be completed before the project starts.
  • They will have to work a total of 100 contact hours spread over 8–20 weeks during the project. Get some idea about their availability and discuss the timeframe in detail as you finalise your project.

If they are not a good match for your project or unavailable, repeat your creative search. If you’re having a difficult time finding a creative, you can email Creatives in Schools regional coordinators at cisregionalsupport@core-ed.ac.nz

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Step 3: Plan your creative project

When planning your creative project, involve your lead teacher, creative/s, and representatives of parents, whānau and community so they are aware and can contribute to the project. This will help you achieve desired outcomes for parents and whānau and will also strengthen family, whānau and community ties.

A clear and detailed project brief is a good starting point, but ongoing planning will be needed as the project moves from planning to delivery stages.

For planning purposes, you can check out the PDF version of the Online application form, so you know what’s required. You can print this PDF and if you wish, write your notes on the form as you plan so you have a base to use when completing your online Creatives in Schools application.

Salesforce application form for reference (PDF 233 KB)

Salesforce application form for reference (Word 2007 30 KB)

(Please note this is not the actual application form)

Below are some additional prompts/tips for creating an effective joint application.



  • Discuss whether you want to include more schools in your project. If so, identify them and include them in discussions from the beginning.
  • Select the students who will participate in the project.
  • Think about how your project will align with the four groups of strategic outcomes of the programme .
  • Discuss budget ( 49 KB) and timeframe ( 49 KB) , including how the 100 contact hours will be used over the 8–20 weeks of your project. 
    • When deciding on your project’s starting date, take into consideration the time it may take for you to complete the Police Vetting Check of your creative partner, particularly if you’re planning to start early in Term 1.
    • Here are some examples of completed templates:
  • Talk about how you will monitor and evaluate your creative project.
  • Decide on the materials, supplies, services, venues, permits, and anything else you’ll need (both at the start of the project and as you progress).
  • Agree on how the lead teacher and creative(s) will work together and support each other to achieve planned strategic outcomes.
  • Discuss a contingency plan on how you will deliver your Creatives in Schools project in the event of a COVID-19 community case in your school. Make sure you follow your school’s health and safety guidelines and current Ministry of Health directives.
  • You can find more details about “what to do at different alert levels” here.

Check out the links below for more information.

Watch the video: Tips for creating an effective joint proposal (application)

How the programme works and selection criteria  

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Step 4: Get an ESL login

Applications for Creatives in Schools will be made through the online Salesforce app. You will need to get an Education Sector Logon (ESL) user account with the “Creatives School user” role to access the application form.

Role name Description
Creatives School User The Lead teacher of the Creatives in Schools project will have this role.

To get access:

  1. Each school and kura has a Delegated Authoriser. The lead teacher of the Creatives in Schools project should contact the school’s Delegated Authoriser to have the Creatives School User role assigned to your ESL user account, or to receive an email invitation for a new ESL user account. If you do not already have one, the  accept an invite process is available here .

    There are a couple of ways to find out your school’s Delegated Authoriser if you have an existing ESL account associated with your school:

    • login to self-service, then click  My Delegated Authoriser  on the left-hand side
    • check with a colleague, your principal, or manager.

    If you do not have an ESL account associated with your school:

  2. Your school's ESL Authoriser/Delegated Authoriser will assign the Creatives in Schools Funding Application School role Creatives School User to you in the ESL online tool. If you receive an email invite you will need to accept it – the  accept an invite process is available here .

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Step 5: Complete the online application form

When the application round opens, you can apply for funding from the Creatives in Schools programme by completing the online application form using your ESL user login.



We highly recommend that you do not wait to submit your joint application on the closing date. If you submit your application well before the closing date, we will be able to review your project documents and come back to you for additional information if needed. Please bear in mind that if a joint application is submitted on the closing date and does not meet all requirements, it cannot be considered.

Below are instructions on how to access and complete the online application form . You can also view a video guide here

  1. Click on the Creatives in Schools funding application link.
  2. You will be taken to the Education Sector Logon screen.
  3. Enter your ESL Username and ESL Password and then select the Logon button (please note the user with “Creative School user” role can access the Creatives in Schools online application form only).
  4. You will be taken to the home page of the Creatives in Schools funding application. You will see an article about Creatives in Schools.
  5. Click on the “Apply now for Creatives in Schools funding” button on the right-hand side of the screen.
  6. Fill in the form, keeping your answers clear and concise.
  7. Attach the project timeline and budget using these templates.
    • Project timeline template ( 49 KB) . Please remember the project must run for between 8 and 20 weeks (excluding planning time). Creative(s) need to spend a minimum of 85 contact hours with students and ākonga.
    • Budget template ( 49 KB)
  8. Attach any other relevant documents to support your application such as CVs or biographies of the creative(s), additional project details, and reference materials or pictures.
  9. Once you’ve completed your application, press the ‘Submit’ button. A notification will appear on-screen showing your application submission number. We recommend you keep a record of your submission number in case you have a query about your application.
  10. We may be in touch with you if we need clarification on your application. Keep the creative(s) informed about the application submission and any correspondence with the Ministry of Education.
  11. You can also check your submitted application by clicking “All requests” button.

Watch the video: Step-by-step guide on how to submit your joint proposal (application)

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Step 6: Results announcement and police vetting

You’ll receive an email from the Ministry of Education about whether your application was successful or not.

If your application was successful:

  • let your creative(s) know the result
  • apply for police vetting of your creative(s) immediately. Before a creative can start working in a school and kura, they must undergo a police vetting check. This is the school and kura’s responsibility to organise and must be done before the project can start. If the creative doesn’t ‘pass’ the vetting, the Ministry has to be informed, so the creative’s profile can be removed from the Arts Online website (if relevant), and the project will not go ahead.

If your application was unsuccessful, let your creative know. You can also ask for feedback on your project and application.

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Step 7: Finalising the funding agreement

If you are successful, the Ministry of Education will be in touch to finalise the funding agreement with you.

When you receive the agreement, talk to your creative/s to confirm details such as:

  • finalising the start and end dates of your project
  • preparing for your project start
  • any other important planning
  • negotiating with your suppliers and service providers
  • agreeing a contract with your creative(s).

When you’re ready and have finalised all your project details, email the following to the Ministry:

  • project start and end dates
  • details of your school or kura’s professional indemnity and public liability insurance
  • name of your creative(s), if you are working with an organisation.

After the Ministry of Education receives this information, you’ll be sent the final funding agreement ready for signing.

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Step 8: Payment and induction book

Once the agreement is signed by both parties, you will receive payment of 85% of your budget (you will need to send an invoice to the Creatives in Schools administration team). The final 15% payment will be made upon completion of your project and submission of Milestone report 2.

You’ll also receive an induction book to help you run your project successfully. Go through this carefully with your creative(s) and follow the instructions to help make sure your project is successful.



  • Send an invoice for 85% (+GST) of your original budget to the Creatives in Schools administration team at creativesinschools@education.govt.nz as soon as you have signed the agreement. This will speed up your payment process.
  • Apply for and report the police vetting results of your creative(s) as soon as you are notified that your application is successful.

Please note, your payment will be on hold until you sign the funding agreement, provide your 85% (+GST) invoice, and report the police vetting results of your creative(s).

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Additional information: General principles for creating a successful project

Good communication

A successful project depends on establishing good communication between the school, kura, and the creative(s), as well as engaging with the wider school community.

  • Make sure you have a shared vision and clear objectives.
  • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved during your initial planning stage – this means that the 100 contact hours will be productive for everyone. For example, teachers and kaiako are responsible for classroom management, while the creative is responsible for taking the artistic lead.
  • Make sure there is regular communication between the school and kura and the creative(s) during the project.
  • Be clear about how you will monitor progress and share reflections on how things are going and what could be improved or enhanced. This will help your project to adapt to the needs of the students and whānau and strengthen the partnership between the school and kura and the creative(s).
  • Keep the wider school or local community engaged and informed about the project and its progress with regular updates. These could be via the school newsletter or website, or by holding progress report meetings (if appropriate) during the project.
  • Document the project through video, images and reflections by participants. This can help with wider engagement as well as being a good resource for writing the final report for the Ministry of Education.

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Strong partnership with family/whānau

Build relationships with family/whānau based on honesty, mutual trust, and respect to get strong outcomes.

Make sure that everyone (school and kura, students and ākonga, creative practitioner, parents, whānau, and community) involved in the project:

  • understands the project and its goals
  • discusses how to make the project relevant and accessible to the participants
  • has opportunities to meet together.

Effectively manage relationships and expectations by:

  • approaching your families/whānau early, before the creative part of the project starts, and with respect
  • making sure you are familiar with their kaupapa and aspirations – if this is not clear, ask them
  • involving them in a discussion about ways to strengthen the project
  • discussing what they could offer and what you can offer them
  • making sure everyone is clear about what has been agreed
  • setting up clear, consistent and regular communication with your families/whānau
  • looking after them by:
    • inviting them to key events
    • weaving them into the project
    • creating opportunities for them to engage in the process
    • thanking them.

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You can find more information on our FAQ page.

Download the tip sheet (Word 2007 1 MB)

If you need support with your application, please email our Creatives in Schools regional coordinators, cisregionalsupport@core-ed.ac.nz

For questions about the programme, email creativesinschools@education.govt.nz

For further support/guidance for school Delegated Authorisers, go to: Support for school Delegated Authorisers | Education Services

For Education Sector Logon (ESL) support, contact the  Education Service Desk

For further support/guide for school users, go to:  User support | Self-service


Page last updated: 16 June 2022
Watch this space for future updates.

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