MLC’s Community Short Breaks Activity: Impact Study

Learn more about MLC’s Discovering the Creative Industries pathway, which formed part of our Community Short Breaks provision for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The programme, spanning an initial ten weeks, was implemented with the goal of fostering inclusive musical experiences and promoting holistic development among participants. The available download (below) evaluates the impact on the participants’ musical abilities, social skills, and overall well-being.

It has been lovely to see him go with a smile and come back with one. I think he wants to be part of the team and have a job.

In 2023, Nottingham City Council (NCC) were successful in securing funding for Short Breaks through the Department for Education (DfE). NCC subsequently sought providers to deliver a range of reliable Community Short Breaks activities for children and young people with disabilities. Short Breaks provide opportunities for disabled children and young people to play and socialise, whilst giving their families and primary carers a break.

These opportunities can include evening activities such as youth groups, weekend activities and school holiday clubs. NCC were looking at Community Short Breaks for disabled children over the age of 8 years and particularly for those with disabilities, complex health needs and behaviour that challenges.

In collaboration with Community Catalysts, NCC commissioned the MLC to provide Short Breaks to children and young people over the course of six months, beginning in January 2024. It was delivered in partnership with Impacd C.I.C, Source Distribution. and Ardour Healthcare Services.

MLC’S Discover the Creative Industries pathway encourages children and young people to experience different art forms, and develop their own creativity and voice during the process. Participants record what they have achieved and share it with others to enjoy.

As they Discover the Creative Industries, learners build their artistic knowledge, creativity and confidence—and have the option of gaining a recognised qualification in the process. They explore a range of genres, creators and arts organisations, and make full use of their imagination and communication skills. These pillars, not only help children achieve their stake in Cultural Capital, but can assist curriculum leaders and teachers achieve higher Ofsted ratings.

[The participant] has loved coming and has wanted to come every week which is amazing for him. He is sad that it's coming to an end.

The impact study indicates that the MLC’s Short Breaks music pathway for children with SEND has yielded positive outcomes, not only in musical development but also in social skills and emotional well-being.

The inclusive nature of the programme has provided a model for effective education and enrichment for children with diverse learning needs. Further investment and expansion of such initiatives are recommended to continue fostering a more inclusive and supportive educational environment.

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