News: Downgrade Dance A-level says minister

Thursday 18 August 2011

As thousands of young people found out their A level results today, David Willetts MP the Conservative Minister of State for Universities and Science told the *“Daily Telegraph “:*that sixth-formers studying subjects, like maths, sciences and foreign languages, should be rewarded with more points under admissions rules for entry to thousands of degree courses. He said that ‘newer’ subjects, such as dance and photography are “not core academic subjects”.

His disparaging remarks about the value of studying dance at A Level echo those of Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Educationin an article in the Evening Standard (Aug 2009) – ‘Academic rigour is the answer – not an A level in dance’. The dance world’s vociferous responses then were gathered by Dance UK, read more. The Director of Dance UK, Caroline Miller said today “Both politicians reveal a narrowness of thinking which is potentially damaging for ensuring a rich curriculum is available to all young people in Britain. We need a diversity of subjects in education to meet the diversity of our young people and to create a balanced society.”
__*Tracey Tickle*, the Chief Examiner for A-level Dance (AQA) said: “Most people are unaware of the rigour and demands of the Dance A-level course. A written examination paper in Dance engages a student in the same way as a paper in, for example, English Literature or History. In addition, dance students are then also required to apply this theoretical knowledge and understanding to a practical, physical assessment. Academic theoretical learning is underpinned with experiential and often illuminating individual and group practical investigation. Dance A-level allows students to develop academic, physical, artistic and transferable skills.”

Dance UK, who have been leading a high profile campaign to raise awareness of the value of dance amongst politicians are urging supporters to contact their MPs about David Willett’s comments – particularly those who pledged to support dance in last year’s DanceVote campaign.
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