Six schools in Manchester are celebrating after being awarded the prestigious Artsmark Gold, in recognition of their high quality teaching and learning in the creative arts during the last year.
A further 14 schools in the city achieved the entry level Artsmark award, after meeting strict criteria laid down in the awards scheme.
By achieving Artsmark, schools demonstrate their commitment to a high quality arts and cultural offer for their pupils. Awards last for three years after which schools must reapply and be formally assessed again.
The six schools that received Gold Artsmarks were Piper Hill Specialist Support School in Wythenshawe, Chorlton High School, Church Of England School Of The Resurrection in Bradford, Birchfields Primary School in Rusholme, Temple Primary School in Cheetham and Oswald Road Primary School in Chorlton.
Since the Artsmark was first introduced, a total 91 awards have been given in Manchester - 45 Gold Artsmarks, 27 Silver Artsmarks and 19 Artsmarks.
Chorlton High School has received the highest number of awards locally with three Gold Artsmarks and one Silver Artsmark to its credit over the years.
Andy Park, Headteacher of Chorlton High School, said "I am very proud of all the hard work and effort by staff and pupils that has gone into achieving Artsmark Gold. This is the fourth time our school has received this award over the twelve year period.
"Of course it's important that pupils have a good grasp of maths, English and science, but creative subjects such as art, design and the preforming arts are just as important. It's often the creative arts that help young people develop and find out who they are."
Councillor Afzal Khan, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Children's Services, said: "The schools that took part in the award scheme have all put in a lot of effort and I am delighted that six of them were awarded the highest the Gold standard Artsmark."
The Artsmark has recently been re-launched by the Arts Council.
Chief Executive for the Arts Council Alan Davey said: "This re-launched Artsmark programme we will play a significant role in achieving our ambition of every young person in the country experiencing what the arts have to offer."