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The State Of Drama Teacher Education

Without properly-qualified specialist teachers, Drama is under significant threat.

The Ofsted back-lash (Legal case; Inadequate) and industrial action provides context for the current recruitment and teacher supply crisis  (Census) - yet the government remains set on wasting £35.7 million on a damaging and superfluous re-accreditation of Initial Teacher Education.

Around 25% of providers, including 1 in 7 universities (5k places) have failed the time-consuming, two-stage re-accreditation process, including some rated Ofsted Outstanding (e.g. Durham) (BERA). Experienced staff and the key relationship between universities and schools that they sustained will be lost (Ideological), to be replaced by institutions that do not yet exist, are entirely untested and have no network of schools to build upon.

Lack of provision in the South West and North East - both areas of social and economic deprivation - will be particularly damaging for Drama and arts education. This follows a round of cuts to those subjects that the government does not consider strategically important at HE level (Cuts; Wolverhampton).

Without properly-qualified specialist teachers in schools and opportunities to study at university, Drama is under significant threat.

Drama teaching is an art that must be underpinned by profound philosophical understanding and honed through careful, reflective practice. There is a theoretical framework around which rich and empowering learning experiences should be built for young people.

The most meaningful teaching starts from the child and builds on what they know, understand and need. Drama offers a unique space in which young people can work socially to understand themselves, the world and their relationship to it. There should be more Drama in schools and Drama should always be taught by qualified, subject specialists.


Dr Theodora Bryer


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