Schools, Colleges & Universities

Schools, Colleges & Universities

Let’s talk about how we can work together. We want to inspire, entertain and engage your children and young adults.

Learning Programme

Let’s Start a Conversation about Creative Learning

At The Customs House we love hearing from educational organisations who would like to explore working with us.

We’re shaking things up. We’ve got rid of the menu of workshops and projects for schools. We’ve listened to what teachers have told us and moved towards a more bespoke way of working with you. We want to make sure you get what you need from us for a fair contribution covering our costs.There may be times when there are free things to take part in like Terry Kelly Poetry Prize and Takeover Open Exhibition, so please get in touch.

To discuss your idea please email 
Include as much information as possible we suggest:

  • Your contact information including a telephone number and best times to contact you;
  • Which school, college or university you work at;
  • The number and type of learners you want to work with (e.g. 32 Y8s, drama undergraduates etc);
  • When you would like to work with us e.g. Summer term;
  • How you would like to work with us e.g. help with a drama project, support with Arts Award;
  • If this is part of a larger project e.g. Your organisations Artsmark journey (We’re Artsmark Partners)

Please note if we do come out to deliver work as outreach we would expect a staff member to be present throughout the session. Paying any agreed costs in advance of the session(s) confirms your booking.

Arts Award

We have trained Arts Award Adviser across all five levels. The L&P team also provide strategic support to Culture Bridge North East supporting their Arts Award programme.

If you are interested in becoming an Arts Award Adviser check here to find the next public Arts Award training:

Please note whilst training does take place at The Customs House Trinity College manage the booking process.


Other Ways to Get Involved

Of course partnership with the Learning and Participation team are not the only ways to work with The Customs House and get involved.

  • Bringing a school group to see a show including our pantomime email our Box Officer Manager
  • Work experience particularly suited to those interested in leisure and tourism roles contact
  • Step Up And Dance or The Takeover email
  • We can host school proms and graduations in our Daltons Suite. To find out more contact
  • Some schools hire our theatre for events. Please note we have extremely limited availability due to our busy programme of shows. Contact our Programme and Marketing manager

We can also suggest freelance creative practitioners who work across a range of artforms including drama, visual arts, hip hop, poetry and dance. Please make sure you carry out your own research ensuring they are a right fit for your project. We also politely remind you that as freelancers these creatives will need payment and won’t be able to work for free.



  • You used to offer a set programme of workshops what’s happened to them? As our team has changed we’ve rethought our schools offer to make sure it reflects our skills, knowledge and expertise.
  • You Did Work with Another Group Free of Charge why? Sometimes schools’ projects are funded. In the past we have ran schools projects funded by Historic England and are currently running a project The History of Theatres funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) you can find out more here. In these cases we would normally approach suitable partner school(s) and ask if they would like to be part of our bid. We are more likely to work with schools we have strong partnerships with on larger fully funded projects as whilst they do not require financial input they require more of your time and commitment.
  • Would you be interested in a joint bid? Absolutely get in touch but remember bids aren’t always guaranteed to be successful.


Signposting Opportunities Across The Region

If we can’t help we can signpost organisations to speak including: Culture Bridge North East the North East bridge organisation who we work with to support the development of Arts Award across the region; The Forge who alongside CBNE lead on Artsmark Award; and The Word home to South Tyneside libraries team and an exciting exhibitions programme; and The Cultural Spring our partners who work to increase our communities engagement with the arts.

It been a privilege to work with schools across South Tyneside and further afield on our learning programme. Fiona Martin and Izzy Finch in the Learning and Particpation team are certain to take the formal learning programme in an exciting direction.
Both have a rich understanding of what makes a quality learning experience and would be really inspiring to work with. Thank you to all the wonderful teachers and pupils I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past five years. I’m sure you will continue to work with the fantastic Customs House for years to come and hope our paths meet again.
Elizabeth Kane former Learning and Participation Officer


L&P were described as ‘Outstanding’ for their work with children and young people by Arts Council England.

Let’s start a conversation about what would make a difference to your children and young people. Email