Evaluation Brief

Brief for an Evaluator for New Writing North’s Young Writers Programme

New Writing North www.newwritingnorth.com wants to appoint an Evaluator to design and undertake an evaluation of our young writers’ programme. 

The evaluation will particularly focus on Gateshead Young Writers. This is a brand new programme funded by the Kavli Trust and taking place over two years. Professional writers and artists will work with groups of young people, especially those from backgrounds which are under-represented in arts and culture. They will support them to develop their own creative writing and provide them with progression routes, so that they can continue their own personal cultural journey, as creators and/or consumers of culture. The approach builds on our successful Young Writers City programmes in Newcastle and Sunderland and will involve not only a key secondary school but also feeder primary schools and community groups. 

There is also within the fee flexibilty to evaluate other aspects of our programme this will be identified in conversation with the selected candidate.

The evaluator will also advise New Writing North on their overall approach to programme evaluation which we can continue once the consultancy is complete.

The appinted candidate will work closely with the Executive Director (Programme and Impact) to design and implement the evalution, which will be designed around goals and outcomes identified in the Theory of Change (attached) for our Young Writers Programme. We are also interested in locating our work in debates around social mobility, and particularly whether engaging in the arts over the longer term can lead to an accumulation of social and cultural capital. 

New Writing North staff alongside the evaluator can be involved in collecting data which will be both quatitative and qualititatve. 

The Project

We will work with a partner secondary school, in an area of socioeconomic disadvantage, around 350 pupils per year in Year 7 and 8 (11 – 14 year olds) will have the opportunity to work with writers and artists on a term-long project during school time, they will be encouraged to develop their own writing from their own experience.

At the end of each project there will be a creative outcome (group song, performance, film), which will be shared and distributed. 

We will set up lunchtime or afterschool groups which will be available to pupils across the school, so that young people who find they have a talent/interest are able to continue to develop their creativity outside of school. 3 artists or writers will be based in the school at any one time, and there will also be a Project Producer in school supporting the project.

We will also work with two feeder primary schools a transition project in arts and creative writing between Year 6 and Year 7. 

We will also work community groups to reach young people in the care system and with mental ill health. 

We will also set up a free creative writing group for 12 – 19 year olds that will take place every Saturday at a central location within the community. We will also run Summer Schools in the community. Participants in the projects described above will be encouraged and supported to attend this group.

Each of these programmes will be beneficiary-driven and led by writers and artists, and a project producer who will attend every session. The producer’s role is vital in supporting young people to maximise the opportunities available to them through this programme. They will get to know all the young people involved, support their pastoral needs and identify developmental opportunities for them outside of the school (e.g. engagement in other arts activities, mentoring opportunities, visiting speakers to the school etc.).

The approach we take to delivering this work is ‘Human Centred Design’. This approach is iterative and relies on continuous immersion with the beneficiaries to ensure that their needs are being met and that opportunities are maximised throughout the programme.

Timescale 

The appointed Evaluator will deliver two interim reports for funders and a final report for New Writing North and its stakeholders. We would also like the evaluator to either write or support us to write at least 4 blogs about the programmes. 

Key dates are as follows:

14 January 2019  Evaluation plan finalised

1 September 2019 Interim report for funders

1 September 2020   Interim report 2 for funders

February 2021  Final Report submitted

Person Specification

At least 5 years experience of evaluation or research in the arts

Experience of working on projects involving young people including vulnerable young people

Willing to have a DBS check

An understanding of current trends in arts policy and an ability to locate this work within that

An awareness of the ethical issues involved in evaluating work with young people

An interest and appreciation of where this work sits within wider social and political contexts

An accessible and engaging writing style

An interest in widely disseminating the findings from this work

The fee for this work is £8,000 per year for 2 years.

If you are interested, please upload a short proposal (no more than 3 pages) outlining your experience and how you will approach the Evaluation by 5pm on Thursday 22nd November. We will meet shortlisted candidates in late November / early December.

If you have any questions please email Anna Disley, Executive Director (Programme and Impact) at anna@newwritingnorth.com

New Writing North