Cultural & Arts Leaders in Schools and Academies (CALSA)

CALSA is a key regional programme developed by Festival Bridge as part of their work as one of Arts Council England national Bridge network. It was created in 2015 to ensure that the benefits of cultural education are accessible to children and young people in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Engagement and understanding of arts and culture stimulate spiritual, moral, and cultural (SMSC) development of children and young people, which are Ofsted criteria contributing to the overall assessment rank of each school.

Cultural and Arts Leaders in Schools and Academies (CALSAs) are confident education leaders who enable other teachers to introduce a sound element of culture education as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. Whether it’s about initiating an arts project for students, starting Arts Awards or applying for an Artsmark – CALSAs would use their knowledge and expertise to support your settings ambitions.

The CALSA model was piloted in the academic year 2015/16 with two teaching schools taking on the Lead School role and 10 teachers becoming CALSAs. Over 3014 students were impacted thought CALSA work in its first year. In 2016/17 academic year Festival Bridge is rolling out the model and expects to work with 8 lead schools and between 40-50 CALSAs across the Festival Bridge area. 


  • Become a CALSA

Join the community of like-minded peers and contribute to arts provision in schools in your area. Fill out the Application Form in PDF or in Word and send it to the Lead School in your area. Download CALSA Handbook to find out more about the role.

  • Bring in a Cultural and Arts Leader (CALSA) to support your school or academy in arts provision

Each CALSA has a unique set of skills and expertise, supported by the Lead School and having access to Bridge organization resources they can help you bring your arts project idea to life. 

  • Become a Lead School

Want to become a lead school and support a cohort of CALSAs in your area? Please contact Michael Corley at Download Handbook for Lead Schools to find out more about the role.

  • Arts Organizations

Support CALSAs by including them into your network, tell CALSAs about opportunities for schools to engage with your arts activities.

  • Students and Parents

Talk to your school about arts provision for your children and discuss the possibilities of involvement in CALSA programme.