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The Big Drama & Theatre Education Online Debate: "Getting our act together".

Thank you

The Drama and Theatre Education Alliance would like to thank everyone who participated in our conference on 15th July, and all those who helped make it happen.


Hosted by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Gusto Group, and supported by Arts Connect, GETTING OUR ACT TOGETHER was attended by teachers, lecturers, theatre educators, universities, and a host of other education and industry professionals with a shared commitment to drama and theatre for, with and by children and young people.

Our speakers included:

  • Robin Pascoe, President of IDEA (the International Drama and Theatre Education Association) and Senior Lecturer in Arts and Drama Education at Murdoch University, Australia

  • Tim Boyes, Chief Executive Officer, Birmingham Education Partnership

  • Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Theatre Director, Author and Co-Founder of Black Lives Black Words

  • Jenny Sealey, Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre the UK’s flagship disabled-led theatre company


Further participants and contributors included:

  • Matthew Milburn, Executive Headteacher at Saddleworth School

  • Roy Williams, playwrite

  • Sam Adams, drama therapist and lecturer

  • Tracy Brabin MP, Shadow Minister for Cultural Industries

This online conference was a landmark event for all of us engaged with drama, theatre and young people in that it launches this Alliance - the first time that all major membership associations have come together to lobby and advocate for drama and theatre with children and young people. It provided an opportunity to virtually meet and learn from each other, to seek inspiration from our keynote speakers and to Get Our Act Together!


The breakout groups provided an opportunity to learn what issues are impacting the sector most, and gave us some directon on our future course of action as we work to collectively address them. There is a long list of actions we are considering, but some of the key points include:


This is a time for DTEA to lobby for drama, and arts education generally, and to be more RESPONSIVE to the world in which we live. There needs to be clear communication to young people, to school and education system (including government and other bodies) about the benefits of drama and the arts as we seek to affect change and improved opportunities.

We also need a curriculum that is more open-ended, less assessment-driven and less prescriptive, and call for a pedagogy which is responsive to the experience of children and starts from the premise of the child’s needs and interests.


School Developments

Discover ways we can support schools and teachers to engage with drama and the arts generally, providing resources such as CPD, and opportunities to engage with local professionals.

Teacher Training

We should seek to influence and improve drama in teacher training programmes, particularly for primary, and illustrate how drama can be such a vital ingredient as inclusive teaching techniques, as an holistic and wellbeing tool, in addition to being a subject in its own right.

Theatre Companies

Seek to facilitate and promite collaborations between schools and theatre companies and practitioners


Pool and share resources to further promote the teaching of drama and practice of theatre

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