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Tips for creating a good joint proposal

This page gives more information about the Creatives in Schools programme and provides tips to help you to submit a good joint proposal. It also contains tips for making sure your project is successful if it is accepted.

Video outlining tips for creating an effective joint proposal


What is the Creatives in Schools programme?

Creatives in Schools is a programme in which professional artists and creative practitioners partner with schools and kura to share their specialist knowledge and creative practice with students and ākonga.

The creative learning experience will enhance the wellbeing of students and ākonga and develop their knowledge and skills in communication, collaboration, and creative thinking. It will also raise their awareness of careers in the arts and creative sectors and help them prepare for possible future careers.

This programme is inclusive of Toi Māori, Pacific arts, and creative practices from all cultural traditions within the curriculum and arts disciplines of Aotearoa New Zealand.

What this programme is trying to achieve

This programme has four strategic groups of outcomes. A strong project will deliver on all four.

1: Outcomes for students and ākonga

As a result of participating in the project, students and ākonga will:

  • have their mental wellbeing supported through
    • the opportunity to express themselves creatively
    • a sense of personal achievement and fulfilment from their creative experience
  • develop key competencies:
    • thinking
    • using language, symbols, and texts
    • managing self
    • relating to others
    • participating and contributing
  • be better informed and engaged with career opportunities and pathways in the arts and creative industries.

2: Outcomes for teachers, kaiako, schools and kura

As a result of participating in the project, teachers, kaiako, schools, and kura will:

  • be more confident in designing teaching and learning projects that engage student and ākonga creativity, across the learning areas of the curriculum
  • build or strengthen productive partnerships with parents, whānau, and communities.

3: Outcomes for parents and whānau

As a result of the project, parents and whānau will:

  • have opportunities for active participation and planning in student and ākonga creative learning experiences
  • become more supportive of creative pathways for students and ākonga.

4: Outcomes for artists and creative practitioners

As a result of participating in the project, artists and creative practitioners will:

  • develop personally and professionally as creative practitioners by engaging with students, teachers, parents, families, and whānau
  • have a more sustainable career and a portfolio that reflects their specialist creative expertise.

Understanding the Creatives in Schools programme

These pages have more information about this programme:

Do you have capacity to deliver the project?

Check if you have the capacity to participate in this project.

  • Is a teacher or kaiako available to lead the project if you get it?

Identify your students’ creative needs

Begin by identifying the:

  • creative needs and desires for your students and ākonga
  • skills, gaps and opportunities within your school and community
  • a creative project that will support student and ākonga learning or well-being.

Identify the creative you want to work with

Once you have identified the type of project and your creative needs, find the creative(s) from your community or from our website .
  • If you find the creative(s) from your community, ensure that 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.
    Note: 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.
  • Discuss the project with the creative(s).
    • Make sure that they have the appropriate skill levels for teaching the relevant art form(s). For example, if your project is in Ngā Toi Māori, ensure the creative is well versed in the particular art form.
    • Check that they are a good fit for the project – see what ideas they might bring and how they might build on your original thinking. Will you be able to collectively deliver the project outcomes?
  •  Make sure that everyone is clear about what the project is and how it will be carried out.

Discuss and plan your project

Thorough and thoughtful planning is essential for a successful project. A clear and detailed project brief is a good starting point, but ongoing planning will be needed as the project moves from the planning to delivery stage.

After you have identified your creative(s), plan your project together.

Your project must:

  • involve the lead teacher, creative(s), parents, and whānau
  • align with the four groups of outcomes of the programme
  • be over and above your existing arts initiatives
  • have a clear 

    budget (Word 2007 41 KB)


    timeline (Word 2007 44 KB)

  • include a process for monitoring and evaluation
  • deliver to the funding criteria laid out in the application form
  • have a timeline outlining how the 100 contact hours will be used over the 8–20 weeks of your project.

You should also decide:

  • whether you want to include more schools in your project – if so, identify them and include them in discussions from the beginning
  • the materials, supplies, services, venues, permits, and anything else that you’ll need (both at the start of the project and as you progress)
  • how the lead teacher and creative(s) will work together and support each other to achieve the outcomes.

Submitting a joint proposal

Applications need to be submitted through the new online application form. (This replaces the application process for previous rounds of Creatives in Schools.)

You will need to get Education Sector Logon (ESL) access to the Creatives in Schools online application form. Your school’s Delegated Authoriser can give you access to the new role Creatives School User. You will be then able to login using your ESL logon credentials and access the Creatives in Schools application . Find more details about submitting the joint proposal here .

Once you have completed your project planning and you’re ready to submit the joint proposal:

  • complete the application form and the budget and timeline templates, keeping your answers clear and to the point
  • submit the joint proposal by the due date – this is the school’s responsibility
  • attach the project timeline, budget, CVs or biographies of the creative(s) and any other relevant documents (such as additional project details or letters of support).

Keep the creative(s) informed about the application submission and any correspondence with the Ministry of Education.

If your project is due to start early in term 1, apply for the police vetting check for your creative(s) once you have submitted your application. This will reduce chances of delays to your project.

Results announcement

You’ll get 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.

Note: 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 must be informed, so the creative’s profile can be removed from the Arts Online website, and the project will not go ahead.

If your application was unsuccessful, let your creative know and try again next year. You can also ask for feedback on your project and application to see how you might be more successful next time.

Funding agreement

If you are successful, we will work with you to finalise the funding agreement.

You’ll also need to provide more information such as:

  • the start and end dates of your project
  • details of your school or kura’s professional indemnity and public liability insurance.

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

As soon as you know your project is accepted, continue discussions with your creative(s). These include:

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

Payment and induction book

Once the agreement is signed by both parties, you will receive payment of 85% of your budget. 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 the induction book carefully with your creative(s) and follow the instructions it contains to make sure your project is successful.

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 that 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.

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.

General information

  • This is a collaborative project. School and kura (including students) will work with the creative(s) to design, plan, apply, execute, monitor, and report on the project.
  • Interested families/whānau can be involved in the development and delivery.
  • Teachers know their students well and are in the best position to manage the class during the project, so everyone gets the most out of their time together.
  • This is an opportunity to learn and develop from each other’s skills and resources.
  • Schools, kura, and the creative should promote and incorporate:
    • appropriate skill levels for the teaching of art forms that are culturally specific (for example, Ngā Toi Māori)
    • social inclusion and equality – respecting diversity and being inclusive of differences and needs
    • active participation
    • creative collaboration
    • transparency, clear processes, and honesty
    • a clear understanding of expectations, process, and context
    • reciprocity – sharing, caring, and generosity
    • respect and trust
    • the empowerment of participants
    • the development of skills, knowledge, capacity, and capability
    • a shared understanding that everyone has rights and responsibilities.

You can find more information on our FAQ page.

If you still have questions or would like more information, please contact us at CreativesInSchools@education.govt.nz

Download the tip sheet (Word 2007 51 KB)

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For schools, kura and creatives

Submitting a joint proposal

Available creatives


Case studies

Project proposal checklist

Page last updated: 17 June 2021
Watch this space for future updates.

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