Performing Arts BTEC could be scrapped in DfE reform Agovernment consultation on the future of post-16 technical qualifications is taking place this month, and drama teachers and students are spreading the word on social media about a proposed scrapping of BTEC Performing Arts and other technical qualifications.
instead of A levels, but only if they help young people access specialist HE courses, such as our providers of world leading arts education. We expect these will be limited in number.’
Elsewhere, it says: ‘We are not proposing to fund qualifications which do not provide any value for HE progressions over and above an overlapping A level.’
In the second stage of the Department for Education’s ‘Review of post16 qualifications at level 3 in England’, it has been proposed that 16- to 19-year-olds wanting to study a technical subject can choose from 24 ‘T Levels’ and ‘additional specialist qualifications’ that can be studied alongside T Levels.
The DfE is also proposing to fund a small range of academic qualifications that should be taken alongside A levels, including ‘small qualifications in performing or creative arts’, which will need to be ‘valued’ by specialist Higher Education institutions.
This would mean that BTEC Performing Arts and other vocational qualifications such as Cambridge Technicals in Performing Arts, RSL Vocational Awards, UAL performing arts qualifications and other vocational creative and performing qualifications would no longer be funded. There is no replacement T Level in Drama or PA.
The government consultation document states that ‘this will mean that all technical qualifications should offer the firm prospect of a sustainable job and career.’
It continues: ‘We plan to remove qualifications that overlap with A levels. We are proposing there should be qualifications that can be taken
Outlined in the proposal are a limited number of ‘well-recognised, small qualifications’ that can be taken alongside a student’s main study programme to support HE progression but ‘do not form the core aim’. These include performing arts graded qualifications.
Actor, teacher and director @ShazDrama has spoken out about the proposed changes on Twitter, saying, ‘They do not value the subject as a vocation’ and that, ‘we need to get the industry behind this. The worst step for diversity and inclusion in 40 years. Just when the industry is pushing for inclusivity.’
Read the full consultation at http://bit.ly/2M4K6pE.
Digital at-home learning resources and teacher conference announced by National Theatre The National Theatre (NT) has launched a collection of at-home learning resources for students and teachers, including full length productions, a playwriting course, online activities, and its annual drama teacher conference, now online.
Topics covered in the conference include staging performances online and devising at home, anti-racism in the drama curriculum and using small budgets effectively. Each session is £5, with bursaries available for state schools.
The theatre is also providing state schools and FE colleges with free access to a digital library of 30 NT productions, the National Theatre Collection.
The collection of new and archive performances can be accessed by UK state schools and FE colleges free of charge through Bloomsbury Publishing’s Drama Online platform. Teachers can share log-in details with students so that they can watch productions from home.
New cross-curricular learning resources are also available, including introductory packs for KS3, 4 and 5, learning guides exploring design and production, lesson plans and workshop ideas, and behind-the-scenes insights including interviews and rehearsal diaries.
During February half-term (15-20 February), the NT will be hosting its annual Drama Teacher Conference, this year in digital format. Open to drama teachers across the UK, the conference includes webinars, panel discussions and live interactive sessions with leading creatives.
Alice King-Farlow, director of learning at the National Theatre, said, ‘The National Theatre is determined to continue supporting teachers and students with resources and opportunities to learn about theatre-making, particularly while the majority of young people are learning from home.
‘We are inspired by the way drama teachers have adapted to deliver the subject in new ways and hope the National Theatre Collection will give young people a chance to explore landmark productions while theatres remain closed.
‘We look forward to connecting with drama teachers across the UK through our virtual Drama Teacher Conference to explore new approaches to drama with some of the most exciting practitioners across the industry and continue growing a community of remarkable teachers to share skills and learnings together.’
Further resources and more information are available at www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/ learning/at-home
NT Drama Teacher Conference
6 Drama & Theatre Spring Term 2 2020/21