Read The Arts Council Report on Children, Young People and the Arts

Last year, more than 600 children and young people aged three to nineteen years old from schools and youth groups across the country took part in a consultation process with The Arts Council to help plan for children and young people’s arts. Some children and young people took part in workshops at their preschool or school, and most completed a survey in their school or youth group.

A total of six-hundred-and-seventy-six children and young people across Ireland took part in the research. These young people came from cities, towns, and rural areas and many different backgrounds including Irish speakers; young Travellers; seldom heard children and young people; and those experiencing disadvantage. Four hundred and twenty-four children aged eight to twelve years answered a survey for children, one hundred and seventy-nine young people aged twelve to nineteen years answered a survey for young people, seventeen children aged three to five years in a creche were asked about the arts, forty-eight children aged five to seven years in a primary school were asked about the arts. Eight autistic children aged six to thirteen years in a primary school took part in the research.

The young people were asked how can children and young people be enabled take part in the arts. The children and young people wanted more school-based arts activities, more consulting with children about the arts, free arts classes, workshops, camps, and supplies. Other suggestions included more school-based arts activities and more promotion and advertisement of the arts.

The report also looks at what stops young people from participating in the arts and creative activities, factors included fear of failure, sports, and extra-curricular activities, parents, lack of encouragement and lack of confidence, cost, lack of time, study and homework, embarrassment, peer pressure, and bullying. 17.2% of children aged eight to twelve years old want to participate more in music and 27.2% of young people aged twelve to nineteen years old also want to participate in music more. Autistic children aged six to thirteen years responded that they liked singing, music, playing instruments, dancing and creating things. They enjoy arts and creative activities that include sensory experiences. They enjoy creative experiences with movement.

The report from the consultation is available to read on The Arts Council website at