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Monday, 3 November 2014

Looking at the debate about GCSE drama - newspapers as sources.

I picked up the Stage at London Charing Cross today - they never seem to have it at London St Pancreas - but I saw this article on the front page...

'NYT chief’s call to end ‘irrelevant’ drama GCSEs sparks fury' by Georgia Snow

it got my attention because some of the conversations I have been having with people - and about following debates about related topics

AND from the Guardian by Lyn Gardner

so something like
Gardner, Lyn (2014) 'Curtains for the drama GCSE? That would be a tragedy', weblog, The Guardian. Available from [Accessed 3/10/14]

some extracts - I can't seem to indent but quotes below:

Even those who have no ambitions to enter the profession often discover through the drama GCSE that there is a real difference between performing and seeing a performance and simply studying a play as a text in the classroom. The skills learned are transferable. Drama GCSE is not seen as irrelevant by thousands of employers who have discovered that a school leaver who has taken the qualification is likely to know how to communicate and also work as part of a team and can think creatively. 
To give him his due, I'm not sure that Roseby, who seems to have a gift for putting his foot in his mouth, and who was previously reported as saying that drama school is a waste of money, really meant quite what he was reported as saying. I suspect that what he is really trying to argue is that drama can be used throughout the entire curriculum in useful and creative ways. Neither should it just be seen as a qualification. I'm with him on that. There is a huge value in doing something for the sake of it, not just because it gives you a piece of paper at the end of it....
I've even been told by teachers who work at academies with arts status of the constant battle to keep theatre and dance as central activities that are valued for what they bring to the whole school community and not just to those who pursue them. Without a protected place in the curriculum, drama in state schools increasingly faces being pushed into an extra-curricular activity, something that children must do in their own time – and often pay for – leading to the kind of cultural apartheid that means only those from well-heeled backgrounds get a chance to experience the arts and take part in them.

[ link to AND]

Anything in the Independent newspaper - anything from professional organisations? Where would be a good place to look? 


  1. I read the Guardian article yesterday by Lyn Gardner.
    Few interest points raised with a friend who is currently a Drama teacher. One of her ex students who is now 19, did drama at school for GCSE and A-Level. She never wanted to pursue a career or teaching in the subject but wanted to improve her ability to interact with other people and gain confidence. The ex student stated drama has helped her engage work colleagues in meetings as well as giving her a tool to confront problems and deal with tough situations in her current working life.
    It seems a lot of focus is one drama as a subject looking at a career in that field but not the bigger picture.

  2. Thanks Sarah - yes - completely agree that GCSE (or BTEC) in the UK might be the only opportunity for taking an arts subject!

  3. I was just about to blog about this as before reading your blog I came across this in the independent by Sarah Cassidy:

    This is at the centre of my inquiry and so literature I will be definitely using. Also interesting to read the same story written from a different angle.