Alternative Routes To Success (A.R.T.S)

A creative project developed to address the barriers to social and economic participation faced by people who are  disadvantaged due to disability, mental health issues, and /or life limiting mental health problems.

Headway Arts brought together a like minded international partnership of educators and artists, leading a successful bid for Erasmus+ funding to enable the exploration and exchange of good practice in innovative approaches to accreditation of learning through the arts in Europe.

Our partnership aims to promote equality and inclusion and further human rights by facilitating the access of learners who have fewer opportunities to participate in creative lifelong learning and the cultural life of their communities.

Through a series of transnational mobilities, online discussion, bespoke training, exploration of a variety of current approaches, A.R.T.S explored contemporary good practices from 5 leading edge organisations working with creative learning across 5 European states, led by Headway Arts.

The project aims to support and develop organisational good practice which in turn builds learners confidence to work towards further qualifications and skills which ultimately improve social, cultural and economic inclusion. Techniques ideas, approaches and tools offered here are draw from the collaborative practical work of all partners, distilled through discussion, evaluation, reflection and application of theory in practical workshops and inform what is now known as:

The A.R.T.S. Framework – 5 Quality Principles

The 5 principles identified are present within the work of all the 5 partner organisations, who have adopted them to measure against. Collectively we suggest where they are present and active, you’d also find good practice.


The working PRINCIPLES which form the A.R.T.S quality framework are:



View the project website for the Toolkit. You can view the project blog for an overview of the project between 2016-2018.


Partner websites:

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of all our funders which currently includes:

  • Arts Council England
  • Blyth Town Council
  • Community Foundation
  • Edward Gostling Foundation – RW Mann Trust – Shears Foundation
  • Erasmus+
  • Great Northumberland
  • Hadrian Trust – High Sheriff of Northumberland – Rothley Trust
  • Heritage Fund
  • National Lottery Community Fund
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Postcode Community Trust
  • Sir James Knott Trust
  • The 1989 Willan Trust – Wellesley Trust
  • the Coalfields Regeneration Trust