Creatives in Schools

The Creatives in Schools programme is a wellbeing programme delivered by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatū Taonga and Creative New Zealand.

Extension of closing date for Creatives in Schools’ Round 3 applications.

Due to the current changes in Alert Levels for Auckland and the rest of New Zealand, we have extended the closing date of applications from 20 August to 11.59pm Sunday, 5 September 2021.

Applications for Round 3, of up to 117 projects, are open for implementing at any time during Terms 1 to 4 in 2022.

All successful schools and kura for Round 3 will be confirmed by late November 2021.

About Creatives in Schools

Creatives in Schools aims to provide creative learning experiences that enhance the wellbeing of students and ākonga and develop their knowledge and skills in communication, collaboration, and creative thinking and practice.

The Ministry of Education invites schools and kura throughout New Zealand to apply for funding to deliver a new creative project in partnership with a professional artist or creative practitioner.

Schools, kura, and creative(s) work together to plan a project and then submit a joint application. If your proposal is successful, schools and kura will work with the creative to deliver the creative experience for students and ākonga. The project must run for between eight and 20 weeks. Creatives in Schools supports Years 1–13, including students with learning support needs and from a refugee background.

The Creatives in Schools learning experiences enhance students’ wellbeing, improves their core competencies in communication, collaboration and creative thinking, and inspires their interest and awareness of careers in the arts and creative sectors.

Schools and kura can either work with creatives from their community or select one or more creatives on the available creatives page.

Available creatives – Arts Online(external link)

We encourage all creatives interested in participating in Creatives in Schools to complete an Expression of Interest so that interested schools can find them on the available creatives page.

Expression of interest form(external link)

Photo of fine flax weaving

Round 1 update

Thirty-four projects were funded in Round 1 of the Creatives in Schools programme, out of which 31 projects have finished. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, schools and kura had the option to extend their projects until the end of Term 2, 2021.

Round 1 successful schools(external link)

Evaluation of the Round 1 project is now complete. The evaluation found that Creatives in Schools makes a worthwhile and valuable contribution to sharing knowledge and offering creative practices in schools. It has made an early difference to the students and ākonga, teachers and kaiako, creative practitioners, and parents and whānau involved.

Round 2 update

A total of 143 projects were funded in Round 2 of the Creatives in Schools programme. Of the Round 2 projects, 10 are from kura and one is from a New Zealand Sign Language school. They will start implementing their projects this year.

Successful projects in Round 2(external link)

Round 3 update

Up to 117 projects will be funded for Round 3, which will take place in 2022.

It will also be the first time that the Ministry of Education will be using the Salesforce online application portal as the main way for schools and kura to submit their application. We have made an explainer video on how to apply via this online application portal.

Creatives in Schools – Arts Online(external link)

About the Creatives in Schools funding

Funding will allow 510 projects to take place in New Zealand schools and kura from 2020 to 2023.

Schools and creatives can jointly apply for up to $17,000 per project. The table below shows the funding allocation.

Allowance per project



There is a $10,000 fixed fee to cover the work undertaken by the creative practitioner/s. This fee includes 100 hours of contact time with students, plus planning, travel, and other time spent on the delivery and wrap-up of the project. Where more than one creative practitioner is involved in a project this fee can be split between the creatives., However, the number of creative/student contact hours should still total 100. For example, two creatives delivering 50 contact hours each will total 100 creative/student hours.

Up to $4,000

Reimbursement for the school(s) or kura, covering planning and liaison with the creative, teacher/kaiako release time, and monitoring and reporting on the project.

Up to $3,000

Reimbursement for the school(s) or kura for project materials and (if applicable) travel costs.

Information for schools, kura and creatives

Schools, kura, and creative(s) work together to plan a project and then submit a joint application. If your proposal is successful, schools and kura will work with the creative to deliver the creative experience for students and ākonga. The project must run for between eight and 20 weeks.

The Ministry of Education is looking for professional artists and creative practitioners to partner with schools and kura in designing creative projects.

As a creative or group of creatives, there are two ways you can get involved.

  • If you already have a relationship with a school or kura, get in touch with them to see if they would like to put together a joint proposal with you. They will also help you with the expression of interest all creatives are required to submit.
  • If you don’t have a relationship with a school or kura, then you can submit an expression of interest. The information you provide will be made available to schools and kura as a brief, anonymous profile on the Arts Online website. A school or kura may then request your contact details from the Ministry of Education and get in touch with you to put together a joint proposal.

Expression of interest form(external link)

Search creatives – Arts Online(external link)

If the school or kura’s proposal is successful, you will then work with teachers and kaiako to deliver the creative experience for students and ākonga.

Note: although you’ll do your proposal jointly with a school or kura, the school or kura will be the ‘lead applicant’ – they will submit the proposal and have overall responsibility for delivering the project.

Selection criteria of the creative practitioner(s)

To participate in a Creatives in Schools project, you must be a practising professional artist or creative practitioner with a track record of experience and success. Alternatively, you can undertake a project in partnership with another creative with a strong track record.

A track record of experience and success means you 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
  • undergone specialised training or have significant practical experience.

Selection criteria of a joint proposal (application)

To be accepted as a Creatives in Schools project, your proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear focus on improving the wellbeing of your students and ākonga
  • a strong focus on the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum or Ngā Uara me Ngā Waiaro of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa
  • how the project supports local curriculum/marau ā-kura planning and your programme for the arts/ngā toi learning area
  • your capability and capacity to ensure strong support for the project
  • how the project connects with and is valued by whānau and the community.

Application selection process 

Your proposal will be reviewed by an assessment panel with representatives from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Creative New Zealand, and independent creative practitioners.

Police vetting

All professional artists and creative practitioners who participate in Creatives in Schools must undergo Police Vetting.

The school or kura you are working with will organise the check as part of the application process and ensure your police vetting is completed before the project commences. If you do not ‘pass’ the vetting, your profile will be removed from Arts Online (if you are selected from our website), and you won’t be able to participate in that project.

Information about vetting – New Zealand Police(external link)

Creatives in Schools schedule

The table below shows the anticipated number of projects to be funded over the next three years. up to 2023. 

Calendar Year Terms (1 to 4)





Expected number of projects

34 funded

143 funded








Submitting a proposal

For Round 3, schools and kura will submit their application through our new online Salesforce application portal. This replaces the previous online application form. 

A Creatives in Schools funding application from a school and kura must be made using your ESL login credentials to verify your identity. 

Apply for Creatives in Schools – ESL(external link)

Step-by-step guide video to submit your joint proposal. (link here)

Note: We suggest that you don’t wait for the application closing date before you submit your joint proposal. If you submit your application well before the closing date, we will be able to review your project documents and request additional information if needed. 


We have created example templates for a project timeline and budget to help you clearly understand the requirements. You must attach the completed budget template, timeline template, and artist CV/biography to your joint proposal. We also recommend that you review the checklist and tip sheet before completing your proposal.

Example templates

There are a limited number of applications that are selected per round, so using these tips, checklist and templates will help increase your chances of success.

Induction for successful schools

All successful schools are provided with an induction pack that guides through your Creatives in Schools project.

Further information

Creatives in Schools – Arts Online(external link)

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