Quality Principles – The power of goals

22nd May 2017 - Ben Stones

CapeUK is supporting Arts and Cultural organisations and schools to start to embed the Quality Principles across all their work with children and young people. This blog reflects the journey of our Quality Principles Peer Support sessions. To find out more email cape@capeuk.org

The Power of Goals

With the start of the year being a goal setting time, I read an article a few weeks ago containing some interesting facts about goal setting.

Apparently 80% of people don’t think about goals.  Of the remaining 20% that do think about them; 16% don’t write them down, 3% do write them down and the remaining 1% do something that is seemingly unusual…. they: 

1. think about goals

2. write them down and then 

3. regularly review them.  

The article I was reading then goes on to tell me that this 1% ‘are among the highest achievers’.

Whilst I’m not advocating that all of us need to strive to be the ‘highest achievers’, I’m interested in the power that goal setting seems to have. 

At this time of year, we often take space for ourselves to consider the year ahead, leaving behind what we can from the old year and breathing life into the 12 months in front of us. My question is, how many of us do this professionally as well as personally?

January marked the beginning of a new venture for CapeUK: we are trialling offering Alumni sessions for all previous participants on the Quality Principles journey.  I know I’m biased, but to me this feels like a truly exciting development reflecting the growing momentum we have created around the Quality Principles.  In the first session, it was clear that the reflective practice built in the sessions has created a practice of review and reflection amongst the Alumni crew.  We heard tales of the huge and lasting impact that setting goals and taking stock has had on the work of companies, departments and individuals, and on the young people that they work with.  

The last round of Quality Principles reflection sessions came to an end in December, and the next group has just begun their 3-month journey. 

There are still spaces in the group beginning in April… so, when are you planning to join us on our journey?


Sophie Hunter, Session Facilitator, February 2017


You can find Sophie’s previous blogs here:

Reflections on the sessions by previous participants:

“In terms of CPD it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done, and I don’t mind you quoting that!  Thank you.”

“I’ve valued the way these sessions make me feel about what I’m doing – they’ve  made me feel positive, more empowered, happier, more enthusiastic and more creative.”

“These sessions have given us a chance to stop in a world that doesn’t stop – bit like moving meditation!”


The Arts Council for England (ACE) have been developing the Quality Principles since 2012. Working with the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) they undertook a review of existing quality frameworks and ran a number of consultation events and pilots with arts and cultural organisations, schools and young people to try and answer the question, ‘what does quality look like in work with, by and for children and young people?’ 

The result is 7 common quality principles offered as a framework to encourage us to reflect on how we measure and articulate what ‘great’ and ‘excellent’ look like in our work with, by and for children and young people. The quality principles

The full NFER report is here.

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