ND Response to State Secretary Gavin Williamson’s Proposal to Slash Higher Education Funding to Performing Arts and C1.2 Subjects

National Drama is appalled by and extremely critical of the government’s latest proposal to halve funding to drama, music and creative academic subjects at higher education level.
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National Drama is appalled by and extremely critical of the government’s latest proposal to halve funding to drama, music and creative academic subjects at higher education level.

We urge all stakeholders and concerned individuals to respond to the consultation here urgently. Consultation on recurrent funding for 2021-22 – Office for Students by May 6th.

We share the view of the Musicians’ Union that this is a staggeringly retrograde and catastrophic plan for equality of opportunity, for the cultural industries, for the arts, for our world leading performing arts reputation, for our bright, ambitious and resilient youngsters and for the exceptional staff working tirelessly in arts education at every level.

After Covid, despite all the Conservative party’s talk of wellbeing and the importance of education, despite the huge contribution that the arts and the cultural industries make to the public purse and our profile as world leaders in the arts,  despite the evidence provided by the Cultural Learning Alliance and numerous other associations, and artists using their global platform to encourage better arts in state schools we seem to be staring into an abyss of devalued, undermined and elitist access to the arts.

This image conveys an extract from Williamson’s letters.

Please respond to the consultation.

After the devastation of the EBacc on Arts subjects generally and Drama specifically in KS4 and 5, the slashing of Drama and Performing Arts ITT and graduate courses, the planned amputation of BTEC Music, Dance and Drama at Level 3 with no replacements as a ‘T Level’, the undervaluing of the arts since Drama’s exclusion as a specialist discrete subject from the National Curriculum, the lack of a bursary in Drama for ITT students, and comments from the Head of Ofsted Amanda Spielman implying that the arts lead to poor prospects, National Drama urges that we all need to act together to champion the positive, transformative, academic and practical power of the arts for children and young people. Please complete the consultation. Please write to us, to your MP, use social media. Please challenge the government’s proposals to harm opportunities for learners in the arts. At best, this is lacklustre incompetence and at worst, strategic hostility towards Drama and the arts in schools for all learners. 

Zeena Rasheed

National Drama

2021

3 thoughts on “ND Response to State Secretary Gavin Williamson’s Proposal to Slash Higher Education Funding to Performing Arts and C1.2 Subjects”

  1. This suggestion is appalling in every sense and would have a massive detrimental effect on society, mental health and the future economy I strongly object to it

  2. ALISON DURES

    The Arts kept the world sane during two lockdowns despite the cuts to live theatre and performance as people found a way to transcend and re-invent engagement and participation through home learning inside and outdoors and through creativity via on-line mechanisms. The Arts are the channel through which society needs to express thought, emotion, ideas and build communities. To cut the Arts is like cutting the intrinsic arteries which keep us all going and keep us united as human beings. To cut the Arts offer in HE and inevitably schools will have a devastating effect on generations to come. It cannot be allowed to happen.

  3. Drama and other creative arts are crucial to any stage of education but particularly to HE. It is vital for every student to learn how to convey feelings and emotions within a calming stressless atmosphere and drama can do this. It has been the means by which some students have been able to maintain their sanity during the last year but the arts subjects have always been essential students suffering from anxiety. The Government needs to at least maintain the funding for all arts subjects and must not reduce the budget further. Creativity is essential to a healthy society.

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National Drama

National Drama, the UK’s leading professional association for drama teachers and theatre educators, is dedicated to ensuring that all children and young people have the opportunity to learn about and through drama.

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