5 Organisation of the Cultural Rucksack – status and further development
In its evaluation, NIFU STEP stated that there was a need to review the organisation of the Cultural Rucksack with a view to simplifying it. More specifically, the report recommended clarifying the division of work between the school and cultural sectors, strengthening the cooperation arenas and further developing the bridge-building functions of the various parties.
As pointed out in Chapter 2, there is no need for comprehensive changes to be made in the organisation of the Cultural Rucksack. The consultation bodies pointed out that there seems to be broad agreement that the present organisation, with its three levels and two sectors, helps to ensure programme quality, cooperation across the school and cultural sectors, and local ownership and influence. Experience has shown that the organisation should continue to be adapted to regional and local conditions, and that both sectors at national level should facilitate and support the efforts at regional and local levels.
Both the evaluation report and the consultation comments showed that the line of administration and division of responsibility need to be specified more clearly. Good communication between all the administrative levels and the two sectors is required. The two sectors must have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, but they must also cooperate on planning and implementing the programme. Steps should be taken to involve the Directorate for Cultural Heritage more closely in the cooperation.
5.1 The ministries and the steering group
The Cultural Rucksack is organised as a cooperation between the school and cultural sectors at three administrative levels. The Ministry of Culture is responsible for the programme at national level. The Minister of Culture is responsible for the allocation of Norsk Tipping funds for cultural purposes, including the allocations to the Cultural Rucksack.
The Ministry of Culture cooperates closely with the Ministry of Education and Research on the development of the programme, and the two ministries are responsible for ensuring that their respective sectors receive the same messages. The Ministry of Culture follows up the allocations and ensures that they are being used as intended and that the quality of the programme remains high.
The cooperation between the ministries is organised by a steering group headed by the Ministry of Culture. The steering group consists of a state secretary from each of the two ministries, and advises the Minister of Culture on the objectives and activities of the programme and the block grants allocated to the programme from Norsk Tipping funds. The group evaluates matters of policy and frames the priority areas of the programme.
The evaluation report concluded that the cooperation between the two ministries on the Cultural Rucksack has developed over time and that there is greater agreement on the division of roles and work.
The steering group arrangement will be continued. It ensures cooperation between the school and cultural sectors at ministry level and serves as an important meeting place between the two sectors. The Cultural Rucksack will continue to be given priority in both ministries.
5.1.1 The Secretariat for the Cultural Rucksack
A secretariat has the day-to-day responsibility for the work on the Cultural Rucksack, and answers to the Archive, Library and Museum Authority in administrative matters. The Secretariat follows up the allocations from the Ministry of Culture to the national and regional bodies, deals with reports, compiles statistics, provides information, operates websites, and establishes meeting places for national and regional bodies.
The Secretariat maintains contact with the various bodies involved in the programme and facilitates professional development, for example through conferences, network meetings and brainstorming sessions. It also advises the government on the programme on the basis of qualified evaluations. The Secretariat cooperates with the Directorate for Education and Training on providing information, developing networks and facilitating professional development.
The evaluation report and several of the consultation comments claimed that the Secretariat’s work was inconspicuous and that there was some uncertainty and disagreement about its role and function. Several consultation bodies questioned the Secretariat’s position in the organisation.
When the Cultural Rucksack was established, the Secretariat was placed in the Archive, Library and Museum Authority. It was felt that placing it under a subordinate agency to the Ministry of Culture would ensure close cooperation with all the bodies responsible for allocating Norsk Tipping funds and strengthen the efforts to facilitate professional development. It was also felt that the expertise and networks of the Archive, Library and Museum Authority would be important in the development phase of the programme. It was understood from the beginning that the programme would be developed with the minimum of government control and bureaucracy. The Secretariat has consisted of two employees during this period.
During the development phase there was a need for an operative secretariat to take initiatives and serve as a prime mover in the development efforts. However, the Cultural Rucksack is now more firmly established; the structures are in place and it is possible to concentrate on improvements. This means that networks of experts (see Chapter 6.2) should be given a more prominent role as prime movers in the further development of the programme, and the Secretariat should have a more general role. Thus its capacity for dealing with reports, statistics and analyses should be strengthened.
The Secretariat will therefore be moved from the Archive, Library and Museum Authority to the Ministry of Culture. This will provide a link with the overall administration carried out by the Ministry, give more prominence to culture for children and youth in general and strengthen cooperation between the Cultural Rucksack and the rest of the cultural sector. The condition for this move is that reporting should continue to be handled in cooperation with the Archive, Library and Museum Authority (see Chapter 6.5).
The Secretariat will now be responsible for the overall coordination of Cultural Rucksack activities. It will develop infrastructure, networks and meeting places, carry out information activities, deal with reports and compile statistics. It will work closely with the school sector, the cultural sector and executive personnel at all levels. Finally, it will prepare the meetings of the steering group.
5.1.2 The reference group for the Cultural Rucksack
A reference group of experts for the Cultural Rucksack was active during the period 1 March 2003 to 31 December 2007. The members were personally appointed from the cultural and education sectors.
A programme like the Cultural Rucksack requires continuous discussions on content and form, and the decision-makers need to be able to draw on a broad range of contacts. It was particularly important at first to gather many different views, and the reference group also helped to give the programme the necessary legitimacy.
In the evaluation of the Cultural Rucksack it was pointed out that the reference group was large, represented many different interests and played a number of different roles. The terms of reference were vague and the links with the steering group were weak. The evaluator recommended that the members of such a group should have greater cultural and educational expertise and greater insight into systems thinking at all levels, and that parents and teachers should be represented.
The Ministry considers that given the complexity of the programme and the many actors involved, a permanent reference group for the further development of the Cultural Rucksack would not be an optimal solution. When the reference group was appointed in 2003, the intention was that the members should represent most of the groups of actors involved in the programme, while at the same time not being too large. However, the Ministry considers that this has been only partly successful. On the other hand during the development phase the group functioned as an arena for the exchange of views, and the members have provided a good deal of important input to the efforts to shape the policy for the programme.
In order to promote a continuous and constructive discussion on central issues, the Ministry intends to replace the reference group with a more flexible arrangement consisting of different forums adapted to the issues at hand and in which the two sectors are represented. Examples of such forums are dialogue conferences, consultation meetings, brainstorming sessions and ad-hoc groups appointed to provide expert advice. This working method will ensure that the necessary input for the further development of the programme is provided and that the parties involved are able to have their views heard.
5.2 The education sector
5.2.1 The Directorate for Education and Training
The Directorate for Education and Training is responsible for the development of primary and secondary education, and is the executive agency of the Ministry of Education and Research. It was established in 2004 as a replacement for the former Læringssenteret. The Directorate has the overall responsibility for supervising education and the administration of the education sector, and for implementing legislation. It also compiles statistics for primary and lower secondary education. Until now the Ministry of Education and Research has delegated all responsibility for administering the Cultural Rucksack to the Directorate.
According to the new strategic plan for 2007–2010, Creative Learning – Art and Culture in Education, the Directorate will seek to ensure that the programme is integrated with the school’s educational programme and is used to promote the learning goals.
5.2.2 Norwegian Centre for Arts and Culture in Education
The Norwegian Centre for Arts and Culture in Education was established on 1 January 2007 for the purpose of implementing the government’s educational policy platform, as set out in the White Paper on art and culture in schools (Report No. 39 (2002–2003) to the Storting). The Centre, which is located at Bodø University College, received a grant of NOK 6 million from the budget of the Ministry of Culture in 2007.
The Centre is a national resource centre in the field for pre-school, primary and secondary schools and for the municipal schools of music and the arts. One of its main tasks is to implement the government’s strategic plan for art and culture in education.
The main target groups are preschool teachers, art teachers at schools and teacher’s training colleges, school principals, students, researchers and developers of learning materials. The Centre also cooperates with other institutions in the field in Norway and the counties.
Several of the consultation bodies felt that the Cultural Rucksack should be integrated more closely with the education sector at the national level, and the Centre will be able to play an important role in such efforts.
The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Research will continue their efforts to coordinate the activities of the cultural and education sectors at the national and local levels, and will consider the role the Centre should play in relation to the Cultural Rucksack.
The Centre will be an important resource in the further development of the programme and in the efforts to involve the education sector more closely with the Cultural Rucksack. It will also build competence in implementing the programme and presenting art and culture, and together with the Secretariat for the Cultural Rucksack it will be able to strengthen networks and other forms of competence-building.
Textbox 5.1 Fellesrådet for kunstfagene i skolen (the joint council for arts subjects in schools)
The members of Fellesrådet are the following interest groups for dance, theatre, media subjects and Norwegian as school subjects: Dans i Skolen, Landslaget for Drama i Skolen, Landslaget for medieundervisning i skolen and Landslaget for norskundervisning. The two interest groups for music and for art and design are no longer members, but continue to receive government grants that are channelled through Fellesrådet.
The aim of Fellesrådet is to strengthen the teaching of aesthetic subjects in schools and promote competence-building and cooperation between the various arts subjects in the education and training programmes. The council receives funding from the budget of the Ministry of Culture. In 2007 the allocation was NOK 3.654 million, and for 2008 it is NOK 3.991 million.
5.2.3 The county governor’s office
The education department at the county governor’s office (the county governor represents central government in the county) is an important cooperation partner for the county. The main responsibility of the department is assuring the quality of primary and lower secondary schools through reports, evaluations and guidelines. The department also supervises the implementation of legislation at all school levels and decides appeals in accordance with the detailed provisions of the Education Act.
Part of the department’s quality assurance effort is to seek to ensure that all levels of the education sector are involved in the Cultural Rucksack. In accordance with the strategy for competence development in primary and lower secondary education 2005–2008 (Ministry of Education and Research 2004), the education department at the county governor’s office also provides guidelines for the municipalities concerning competence development and cooperation between school owners, universities, university colleges and other bodies involved in education.
The education department has been responsible for the concert tours arranged by Rikskonsertene for many years, but as from the school year 2007–2008 the counties are taking over this task.
In the further development of the Cultural Rucksack, arrangements should be made for systematic, binding cooperation between the county cultural department and the education department at the county governor’s office. Ideally, this should be included in the county’s plans for the Cultural Rucksack.
Textbox 5.2 Close cooperation
In 2002 the County Governor of Sør-Trøndelag initiated a network project entitled “Creating opportunities with the Cultural Rucksack”. The aim was to build competence in the field of culture in schools. Seventeen of the county’s schools participated.
In this project the schools drew up their own plans for teaching art and culture, in which the Cultural Rucksack was one of several elements. The teachers were aware of the programme and its potential to contribute to the school’s educational efforts.
As a result of the project, the participating schools and the counties now cooperate closely on the Cultural Rucksack; roles have been clearly defined and networks have been strengthened.
5.3 The counties
The county authorities have a special responsibility for the Cultural Rucksack. They distribute the largest share of the Norsk Tipping funds and ensure that cultural productions of a high quality are available to the municipalities. They also assist municipalities in developing the programme in their areas, and coordinate programme activities at regional level.
Today 80% of Norsk Tipping funds are allocated to local and regional activities. In 2007 this amounted to NOK 134 million. The counties allocated NOK 122 million of this to activities for schools up and including to lower secondary level, NOK 6 million to seven counties for a pilot project to introduce the programme in upper secondary schools, and NOK 6 million to the science centres. The funds to the counties were allocated according to a distribution formula based on pupil numbers, geographical distances and cultural infrastructure in the county.
Table 5.1 Distribution of Norsk Tipping funds to the Cultural Rucksack in primary and lower secondary schools in 2007, by county (NOK)
|Østfold||6 290 729|
|Akershus||10 808 543|
|Oslo||7 933 998|
|Hedmark||5 441 008|
|Oppland||5 315 776|
|Buskerud||6 242 535|
|Vestfold||5 686 312|
|Telemark||4 844 611|
|Aust-Agder||3 712 832|
|Vest-Agder||4 915 443|
|Rogaland||9 762 535|
|Hordaland||10 134 180|
|Sogn og Fjordane||4 434 496|
|Møre og Romsdal||6 924 971|
|Sør-Trøndelag||7 021 312|
|Nord-Trøndelag||4 558 477|
|Nordland||7 693 991|
|Troms*||5 501 404|
|Finnmark||4 776 848|
* The allocation to Troms County included NOK 100 000 to Svalbard.
Source Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs
The county authorities are responsible for ensuring that cultural productions of a high quality are made available to the municipalities. At least a third of the allocation must be spent on the purchase and presentation of productions or on arranging tours. A more detailed overview of these activities is given in Chapter 4.2.
Another third of the allocation must be distributed to the municipalities, and the last third may be allocated at the discretion of the individual county.
The accounts for 2006 showed that half the counties allocated one-third of the funds to municipalities, and that the remainder allocated between half and two-thirds of the funds to municipalities.
The counties play a major role in regional development, and thus in administering regional policy instruments. Most of them spend funds from their own cultural budgets on the Cultural Rucksack in addition to the funds from Norsk Tipping. Chapter 7 gives an overview of the income and expenses of the counties in connection with the Cultural Rucksack in 2006–2007.
The county authorities are responsible for cooperating with the education department at the county governor’s office and the municipalities, as school owners, to ensure that the schools are involved in the Cultural Rucksack. Written agreements with the municipalities ensure that all pupils are regularly able to participate in programme activities. The agreements also facilitate planning and division of roles at these two levels.
The county authorities are required to draw on regional and local cultural resources when drawing up their programmes, and cooperate with national institutions that present art and culture to schoolchildren. Representatives of the appropriate university colleges and the cultural and education sectors in the region should also be involved in the cooperation.
The implementation of the Cultural Rucksack by the county is decided at the political level. When planning the programme, the county authorities must consult municipalities, schools and the local cultural sector. The annual reports of the counties must show how the county authorities coordinate, administer and contribute to the programme, as well as their networking and other efforts to cooperate with municipalities. The reports must also describe the cooperation with the cultural and education sectors at county level and with regional and national cultural institutions.
Setting up networks involving municipalities and cultural actors in the region is an important part of the work of the county administration. All counties have a cultural coordinator for the programme, and about twice a year these attend meetings arranged by the Secretariat to discuss technical and practical questions.
The evaluation report recommended that the lines of administration and bodies at county level should be reviewed in order to slim down the organisation of the programme. It also recommended that the county authorities should take particular care to ensure that target groups are consulted during this process.
The existing model, in which the counties and municipalities are responsible for administering most of the funds for the Cultural Rucksack, will be continued. The arrangement has the advantage that regional and local expertise is utilised through cooperation and networks, which helps to ensure the quality of the programme. The system of regional touring productions also ensures that large numbers of pupils are able to benefit from them, since tours can be organised more rationally under this arrangement.
Each county is responsible for organising a programme of high-quality productions adapted to local conditions and provided by qualified professionals for the pupils in its schools. Regional and local freedom of action will continue to be a key principle.
It is also important for the county to ensure that every municipality and school is involved in the programme, that all pupils are reached and that the quality is high at every level. The Ministry considers that the best way of achieving these aims is through close cooperation between the regional and municipal authorities and across the school and cultural sectors. In the further development of the programme, the county and municipal authorities should enter into cooperation agreements specifying, for example, the division of work and competence-building.
Close cooperation between the county governor’s office and the municipalities in their capacity as school owners is required if the school sector is to be involved in the Cultural Rucksack. The introduction of the programme in upper secondary schools will also require cooperation between the county education department and the school principals in the county. The county authorities should establish procedures that promote dialogue with the users. Since the county is also the regional cultural heritage authority, this will ensure the quality of the cultural heritage activities in the programme.
Good digital tools for logistics and reporting are an important condition for the work of the county authorities (see Chapter 6.5).
5.3.1 The counties of Nordland and Akershus – examples of two different models for implementing the Cultural Rucksack
The counties of Nordland and Akershus have both succeeded in fulfilling the objectives of the Cultural Rucksack, but by means of different methods. The counties are very dissimilar; Nordland has a scattered population and wide geographical distances, while Akershus is densely populated, has a great number of schools, many of them large, and is close to the major cultural institutions in the capital.
The strengths of the model adopted in Nordland are that there is strong local enthusiasm and engagement in the Cultural Rucksack, and that individual schools and municipalities have been closely involved in decisions about programme content. This local engagement is the result of intensive efforts by the county authorities.
The strength of the Akershus model is that considerable expertise with regard to productions in all branches of art and culture for the Cultural Rucksack has been developed at regional level. The county has set up an organisation called kultur.akershus (www.kulturakershus.no), which organises productions in all fields of culture. The organisation can draw on a network of producers for each cultural expression, and has developed advanced new presentation methods in the fields of for example the cultural heritage, film and crossover art. Several of the productions by kultur.akershus have been used in other counties and in national arenas.
The county of Nordland has about 33 500 school pupils at 252 schools in 44 municipalities. The county’s share of Norsk Tipping funds for the Cultural Rucksack amounts to around NOK 7.7 million, and the county also allocates NOK 2.6 million from its own cultural budget to the programme. The latter funds are used for administration, including the arrangement of school concerts.
The county re-allocates 50% of the Norsk Tipping funds to municipalities that have an approved plan for a programme of activities under the Cultural Rucksack. These funds are used for projects initiated by the municipality and for the purchase of cultural productions. Bodø Municipality has chosen to receive a direct transfer of Norsk Tipping funds, and therefore receives its share of the county’s funds in addition (see Chapter 2.3 and section 5.4 for details).
Nordland has four priority areas for its strategy for the Cultural Rucksack: competence-building, local development projects, art productions and regional priority areas. The regional priority areas cover productions that the individual municipality lacks the capacity or the expertise to develop.
Nordland started its efforts to develop the programme by concentrating on local development projects, thus ensuring local engagement from the beginning. Currently 41 of Nordland’s 44 municipalities have drawn up their own plans for the Cultural Rucksack in their schools. These plans have been decided at the political level, and all the municipalities consider the Cultural Rucksack to be an important contribution to the community.
There is good contact between the municipalities and the county, and the latter serves as prime mover, adviser and quality assurer of programme content. Contact between the county and the schools takes place primarily through the municipal cultural coordinator.
During the school year 2006–2007 the county arranged for at least two theatre productions and two school concerts in all 44 municipalities. The county programme also included activities in the fields of the visual arts, cultural heritage, film, literature and crossover art.
In this model the county authorities have chosen to give priority to activities that provide practical experience of art forms and cultural expressions and involve direct meetings with artists. This has met with a positive response, and visits to artists’ workshops have become a very popular activity.
The county authorities themselves consider that the greatest challenge is to persuade people to think of the Cultural Rucksack not just as an enjoyable intervention in the school day, but as an important and active part of the children’s education.
Akershus has about 73 000 pupils at 262 schools in 22 municipalities. In 2007 the Norsk Tipping funds allocation to the Cultural Rucksack in the county amounted to NOK 10.8 million, and the county used NOK 7 million from its own budget. The county allocates 58% of the Norsk Tipping funds to the municipalities. Lørenskog Municipality has chosen a direct transfer, and therefore receives 100% of its share of the funds.
When the Cultural Rucksack was introduced as a nation-wide programme in 2003, Akershus had already established a number of cultural presentation programmes of its own. In addition to concerts through Rikskonsertene, the county had set up Pilotgalleriet, a network for presenting the visual arts, and Mediefabrikken, a resource centre for film-making. Since 1993 Pilotgalleriet has been a well-established network for presenting the visual arts to all the schools in 19 municipalities, and Mediefabrikken provides professional guidance in the field of film to all schoolchildren in the county.
When the Cultural Rucksack was established, Akershus decided to use the programme to coordinate all cultural activities for schools in the county. The authorities have made intensive efforts to offer a wide range of cultural productions and activities, and arrange tours so that all pupils are able to encounter professional artists and cultural workers in all fields of culture.
In response to the evaluation by NIFU STEP, the county authorities conducted a user survey on the Cultural Rucksack (Line Prøis Kristiansen, 2007). Pupils and school and municipal cultural coordinators in four municipalities were interviewed about the way the programme was integrated with the school day and how the schools organised it. The pupils were also asked about their response to the individual activities (see Chapter 2.4).
Textbox 5.3 “Spacestation Nordland”
Spacestation Nordland is a touring exhibition that shows life at the International Space Station (ISS). Astronauts from all over the world work and live at the real ISS, and at the exhibition the pupils are able to experience what living there involves in practice. What is it like working in a weightless environment? What do the astronauts eat? How do they go to the lavatory? The pupils design and build their own space station under the guidance of artists in theatre and the visual arts.
In Nordland the project was extremely successful in terms of both content and presentation. It was both a cultural experience and a lesson in physics, astronomy and philosophy. The project was funded by Nordland County in cooperation with the Norwegian Aviation Museum. The latter provided personnel and the exhibition hall, while the county paid the artists and financed the pupils’ travel costs.
5.4 The municipalities
In cooperation with the counties, the municipalities are responsible for developing a coordinated programme under the Cultural Rucksack for all the schools in their area. As school owner, the municipality is also responsible for ensuring that the programme is integrated with the school’s other activities and viewed in relation to the goals of the strategic plan for art and culture in education.
The counties allocate between one- and two-thirds of the Norsk Tipping funds for the Cultural Rucksack to the municipalities in their region. The allocation key is decided by the counties and municipalities in cooperation, but the municipalities have to be allocated at least one third. The allocation key for the individual municipalities is the same as that used for the allocations for quality development in primary and lower secondary schools. The funds are to be used for quality development only and may not be used to pay the cost of a permanent or visiting teacher. Reports for the school year 2006–2007 show that the counties allocated a total of NOK 53 million of the Norsk Tipping funds to the municipalities, which is above the required one-third (see Chapter 7.1).
The municipalities of Bergen, Bodø, Lørenskog and Karmøy have received their share of the funds at the county’s disposal directly, at their own request. This means that they do not participate in the county programmes but organise all their own activities under the Cultural Rucksack. Until now the Ministry has made it a condition that only municipalities with 30 000 or more inhabitants may participate in this arrangement (see also Chapter 2.3).
There are great differences between municipalities in the amount of effort they put into the Cultural Rucksack. Many of them have done a great deal, drawing on local resources, taking advantage of the best programmes offered by the county and creating their own innovative projects. Others have not made much progress with their programmes.
The municipalities report to the county, not to a national body. Thus the Ministry does not at present have reliable figures on which to base a complete overview of the content and scope of the municipal programmes. The reporting system is being further developed with a view to providing the Ministry with better information about the activities in the different municipalities (see Chapter 6.5).
Reports for the school year 2006–2007 show that 203 municipalities have formalised their cooperation with the county in the form of a written agreement between the individual municipality and the county, setting out the parties’ duties and responsibilities.
The reports also show that all the municipalities in the country, apart from the four that receive direct transfers, cooperate with the county authorities. This means that each municipality submits a plan to the county with a summary of how it intends to implement the programme in its area, on the basis of which the county disburses the municipality’s share of Norsk Tipping funds. In many municipalities the Cultural Rucksack programme is incorporated in the municipal plans for the school and cultural sectors and in the individual schools’ annual plans.
The counties play an important role in providing support for the efforts of the municipalities. For example, a number of counties and municipalities have a well-functioning system of cultural coordinators that ensures cross-sectoral cooperation. In many cases the county has a coordinator in each municipality, and many municipalities report good experience of cooperation with cultural coordinators at the schools. The figures for the school year 2006–2007 show that 243 municipalities have a system of cultural coordinators. Sixteen counties have supported competence-building measures in the school sector and 14 counties have supported competence-building measures in the cultural sector.
Textbox 5.4 The art of arriving and the art of preparing for an event
Sogn og Fjordane County has published a brochure with advice and guidelines for cultural coordinators at schools, and a similar one for artists on tour under the auspices of the Cultural Rucksack. This enables both parties to make thorough preparations for the event. (See for example http://sff.ksys.copyleft.no/home/, site in Norwegian.)
Quality assurance is a challenge for all the municipalities, and in many cases too little attention has been paid to quality in terms of the pupils’ responses. It is also important to encourage the municipalities to be more courageous and innovative when selecting and developing productions. The municipalities should consider cooperating with other municipalities as a way of ensuring that a larger number of pupils are able to participate in activities of a high quality.
A distribution formula by which a larger share of the funds is distributed to the municipalities would ensure greater engagement among school owners and the schools themselves, but this would make it more difficult to conduct quality assurance, organise tours, and maintain networks and other forms of cooperation at regional level. It would also mean that the municipalities would have to finance the administration of the programme over their own budgets.
The evaluation report and several of the consultation comments stated that schools and teachers should participate more often in the forums where decisions concerning the Cultural Rucksack are made, which would promote cross-cultural cooperation. Thus the municipalities should ensure that schools are given the opportunity to give input to the content and organisation of the programme.
The Ministry considers that it should be up to the individual county and municipality to decide in cases where a municipality, or a group of municipalities in cooperation, wishes not to avail itself of the county programme but to receive its total share of the Norsk Tipping funds as a direct transfer. The requirement that a municipality has to have over 30 000 inhabitants in order to qualify for a direct transfer will be abandoned. However, the municipality or group of municipalities must be able to ensure that its programme is based on the principles of the Cultural Rucksack, and that the parties agree on how the programme should be implemented.
Municipalities that wish to participate in this arrangement must submit plans setting out how they intend to ensure that their programme includes all forms of cultural expression. The plans must show evidence of political involvement, use of municipal resources, participation in networks and established cooperation between the school and cultural sectors. The same requirements of innovation and quality assurance as those that apply to county programmes apply to such municipal programmes.
5.5 Schools and municipal schools of music and the arts
The school leadership and teachers are the bridge-builders between the pupils and the Cultural Rucksack. The teacher is an important role model for the children with regard to art and culture, and must make use of the Cultural Rucksack in the pupils’ education. This should be facilitated by preparatory and follow-up work with the class in the case of each activity or event. The activities should be used in the efforts to achieve the learning goals and should be organised to fit in with the school’s activities in general.
It is important that schools link the content of the programme and the pupils’ appreciation of the various cultural expressions with the ordinary schoolwork. It is also important that the artists and cultural workers present their productions in a way that takes account of what the pupils are currently learning at school.
The Cultural Rucksack must be a well-planned, attractive part of the school day. The county or municipality must plan the programme well in advance so that the schools can be notified in time to include the activities in the semi-annual plan. This will enable teachers to ensure that the pupils’ participation and response extends beyond the actual visit.
Several of the consultation bodies pointed out the importance of involving the school leadership in the Cultural Rucksack. An enthusiastic school principal is in most cases a condition for the success of the programme. The system of school cultural coordinators ensures that the school is bought into the process and simplifies communication between the parties involved. These coordinators also serve as a link with the municipal and/or county administration.
As school owner, the municipality should be responsible for establishing such arrangements. Some municipalities set aside resources for remuneration and cultural and educational input for school cultural coordinators, and a number of counties do the same for municipal cultural coordinators.
Many schools have good experience of involving pupils in the planning and preparation of the artists’ visits (see Box 4.1).
Textbox 5.5 The Cultural Rucksack in Vestre Slidre Municipality
Two of the schools (Røn and Slidre) in Vestre Slidre, Oppland County, have adopted the same objectives and cooperate closely with each other and the local school for music and the arts. The two schools have a total of around 230 pupils. They make great efforts to integrate culture in general and the Cultural Rucksack in particular with school activities, and since 1996 have established links with professional artists and cultural workers for the development and presentation of projects. The schools have also made good use of the various tours arranged by the county.
In 2006–2007 the schools organised a project entitled “Culture for everyone. Music and the arts take over the school”. The aim was to allow more pupils to follow lessons in the music and arts school during ordinary school hours, and twice a week the school day is extended to incorporate a half-hour lesson for all the pupils.
What is interesting about this effort is that the schools are aware of the fruitfulness of using professional artists, local cultural life and cultural history in the pupils’ education. The schools’ goals for the programme are enjoyment, inspiration, participation, creativity and inclusion. Their motto is: culture has a use for everyone!
The municipal schools of music and the arts have replaced the former music schools. The Ministry of Culture’s strategic plan for art and culture in education points out that these schools can serve as resource centres that cooperate with schools, voluntary workers in the education and culture field, and local cultural life. Given educational guidelines, the arts and music schools can also involve schools and teachers more actively in the programme. The municipalities are responsible for facilitating such processes.
In recent years the council for the municipal schools of music and the arts has initiated a number of large projects that aim to develop competence in this field among teachers and pupils in the ordinary school. One of these projects, KOM (which stands for “a creative childhood”), provides school principals and teachers with networks and meeting places and guides them in developing and presenting educational cultural productions. KOM gives schools an opportunity to work in depth on larger projects with smaller groups than is possible with the Cultural Rucksack alone, which is aimed at all pupils.
Professional artists and cultural workers who also work for the music and arts schools are involved in the same way as other local artists and cultural professionals in developing and presenting local productions as part of the Cultural Rucksack. However, it is important to separate the role of music or arts teacher from that of professional presenter of a cultural production.