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A New Vision and Strategic Action Plan for English Museums


Six distinguished independent minded professionals united by a commitment to the development of people-focused museum services

Group leads the way for future of museums 

Six distinguished independent minded professionals, united by a commitment to the development of people-focused museum services, have met for the first time to review MLA’s action plan, Leading Museums and discuss future options arising from it.

Leading Museums, A Vision and Strategic Action Plan for English Museums, builds on the findings of the independent review of Renaissance, and charts a future based on the museum sector working together, nationally and regionally, to three objectives – supporting excellence; promoting partnerships and building capacity. At the core of the plan is the conviction that collections are kept for the nation so that they can be shared with the nation’s people. The MLA has created the Leading Museums Group to oversee and support the delivery of the ten actions identified in the plan.

Chaired by Professor Tom Schuller, who directed the recent inquiry into the Future for Lifelong Learning, the Leading Museums Group encompasses a range of relevant experience and expertise, including digital, local government, campaigns and museum specialism.

Tom Schuller said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to play a part in this important task set for us by the MLA, building on the MLA’s action plan, but not being restricted by it. The group’ s ambition is to work towards a set of challenging ideas and models for museums as institutions which play a central part in open and democratic societies. We hope to animate broader debate through exchange and collaboration with all those interested in the future of museums and what they can contribute.”

MLA Chief Executive Roy Clare said: “I am very grateful that Professor Tom Schuller and his colleagues on the new Leading Museums Group have agreed to give us their time and commitment. We have created the group to help focus on the bigger picture and look beyond the museum world so we better reach people who don’t ordinarily visit the fantastic collections that can be found. We will also welcome the external challenge the group can help bring to the work we have in hand to ensure the regional Renaissance programme consolidates its achievements, builds on the findings of the Renaissance Review, and drives for excellence and accessibility for all in a tough future financial climate.”

Reporting to MLA Chair Sir Andrew Motion and his Board, the group will work with Roy Clare and MLA’s Director of Programme Delivery Hedley Swain, and is serviced by MLA staff. Its initial role will be to establish the remit of the MLA and other bodies in delivering results; feeding into MLA’s business planning for Renaissance 2011-14. In addition, a wider reference group from the museum sector and its organisations will support the Group and the delivery of Leading Museums’ ten actions.

The members:
Professor Tom Schuller
(Chair) is the author of Learning Through Life and former Head of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation at OECD
Dea Birkett is Director of Kids in Museums, a visitor-led organisation driving and supporting change in Britain’s museums towards welcoming all families
Jonathan Drori CBE is an expert in public bodies’ use of technology and new media
Sheila Healy is a former chief Exec of Cornwall and Shropshire councils; widely experienced in local government
John Orna-Ornstein is Head of the British Museum’s London and national partnership programmes
Vanessa Trevelyan is the vice-president of the Museum’s Association and head of Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

See also:
Museums: Studies on Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Expansion in Urdaibai Presented
Museums: Metropolitan Museum Exhibitions Create $593 Million Economic Impact for New York
Museums: Eureka! appoints director for London project

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