Arts Education Exchange is a youth organisation based in Margate, East Kent. Our focus is to harness the potential of young people – to inspire social engagement through creative processes and to provide pathways to continued education, employment or work based training. We work in partnership with schools, universities, local youth services, arts organisations and creative practitioners to deliver personalised learning programmes that increase opportunities and tackle issues of social exclusion and low skills in an area of deprivation. Our programmes are aimed at young people aged between 11 and 30, who are marginalised and socially disengaged. We deliver a range of creative activities and year-long, multi-disciplinary courses in music, film, photography, poetry, performance and design. Through our programmes young people develop their capabilities and confidence so that they progress to become mature and independent members of society. We provide participants with the chance to develop a creative portfolio, gain Arts Award qualifications and make positive connections in our community through collaborative, creative exchanges and public events.

The AEE Model

We are developing a responsive model of engagement and progression for young people from challenging circumstance called ‘Creative Learning Interventions’. We work with schools, social services and other institutions, to identify young people experiencing challenges at the earliest possible stage and engage in a personalised learning programme (PLP), specifically designed to support young people to take their next steps, while nurturing the positive experiences needed to build self and group identity.

Within this framework there are three stages, Participation, Agency and Action.


The first stage of a creative learning intervention is about providing access to creative opportunities for young people. Often the creative learning intervention is implemented for young people, who have found it difficult to engage in mainstream education. It is therefore essential that this stage, as the first point of contact, we provide a safe environment in which young people feel able to play with and express opinions and identities. The objective of doing so is to foster a democratic learning space, in which all views are respected, in order to facilitate the coproduction of values and knowledge within a space, that will empower those involved to become socially active and personally fulfilled.


We believe that authentic participation creates the potential for youth agency. Through the process of participation, there are multiple moments where we may encounter agency and find the means to act independently of social structures. At this stage we support young people with the space and resources as well as professional guidance to develop ideas and voice through creative processes.


In the last stage of the progression framework, we explore the creativity of ‘action’, which supports young people to connect with the wider community by developing and organising public facing events where their ideas and values are shared. Events, performances, exhibitions and online dissemination provide a platform for youth voice and by doing so a dialogue is created between otherwise separated groups. The aim of such events is to build new communities that include multiple voices and to develop new ‘bonds of solidarity’.

Our Team

Ollie Briggs / Founder and Managing Director

Ollie qualified as a secondary school Art and Design teacher in 2012 and taught Art and Photography in schools for six years before he founded Arts Education Exchange in 2017. Ollie has recently completed an MA in Arts and Learning at Goldsmiths University, where he developed the theory and practice underpinning the vision of AEE, including the development of a framework for engagement and progression and our unique Personalised Learning Plan (PLP). Ollie is now an experienced fundraiser, project manager and trainer as well as continuing to work with young people. Ollie has also developed extensive partnerships enabling AEE’s organisational growth.

Sarah Mcleod / Operations Manager

Sarah has 20+ years experience working in the finance sector. She spent 19 years leading Operations teams and managing projects at UBS AG before moving to Margate. Sarah Joined AEE is September 2018 and has since been involved is all aspects of operations and governance. She has written and developed policies and procedures, she is our designated safeguarding lead and manages our office.

Kim Sutherland / Programme Coordinator

As a music educator Kimberly has over 10 years experience working with young people in secondary schools and with organisations such as the Roundhouse, The Albany, Battersea Arts Centre, Apples & Snakes, The Tate, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Pie Factory Music, Early Help and Young Offenders.

Kimberly is a platinum selling artist and gold selling writer signed to Universal Music Publishing 'known as LANTA'. Having been signed to Polydor Records and since co-founded independent record label and publishing company ‘Palm Bay Music’, her multifaceted career provides Kimberly with a vast knowledge of all aspects of current music industry.