News: Bill to regulate dance teaching

Wednesday 28 February 2007

A Ten Minute Rule Bill has been presented in parliament today addressing dance teachers qualifications and regulation. The proposer of the bill is Meg Hillier, Labour MP for Hackney and South Shoreditch, who is a member of the new All Party Parliamentary Dance Group.

It is the first time that a Bill focused specifically on dance has been presented to the House of Commons.

More people than ever are taking part in dance classes. Every week hundreds of thousands of people enjoy dance classes in private dance schools, leisure centres, church halls, clubs and bars. Numbers of pupils taking dance at GCSE has also increased by 125%.

Meg Hillier’s bill proposes that a set of teaching standards and models of good practice are established, appropriate to the wide variety of dance forms available in the UK and that Government should work with the dance sector to ensure all teachers are appropriately trained and regulated, especially when teaching young people.

Over the last decade, the dance industry in both the private and public sector has organised itself to take significant steps forward to self-regulate the quality and safety of its teaching practice. Current industry measures include:

Recognised School (RS) Status – The Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET) has launched a mark of recognition for all dance and musical theatre schools working with students under the age of sixteen.

Laban, Training and Accreditation Project – A major initiative to identify an appropriate accreditation structure that would provide a national benchmark for dance teachers working with young people.

Making a Move: a strategy for the development of a professional framework for community dance – The Foundation for Community Dance has launched the Framework to develop codes of professional conduct to underpin standards and quality for community dance artists.

Meg Hillier’s bill relates to one of the four the key ambitions of the Dance Manifesto which calls on Government to make ‘dance an integral part of every young person’s education’.

The Dance Manifesto was launched in July 2006 and was presented to David Lammy MP, Minister for Culture by dance stars Darcey Bussell, Arlene Phillips and Jonzi D.

For more on the Dance Manifesto visit

www.danceuk.org

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