The inaugural meeting of a new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Performing Arts Education and Training was held on Wednesday 13 January 2021.
Simon Baynes MP said:
‘I am delighted to be elected as Chair of this new APPG and would like to thank the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT) for its tireless commitment and talents in making this initiative come to life.’
‘The purpose of the Group is to support parliamentarians in discussions relating to:
- Training, education, assessment and professional practices across the performing arts, particularly in drama, dance and musical theatre
- The Continuing Professional Development of practitioners within the creative and cultural industries
- The wider benefits of engagement with the performing arts for students, practitioners and audiences.’
The Group will meet on a quarterly basis with the next gathering scheduled for March 2021 at which, fully constituted, it will begin this important work in earnest.
Glyndwr Jones, Director of CDMT[viii] said:
‘CDMT will act as the secretariat and public enquiry point for the Group and will facilitate submissions from vocational training schools, conservatoires and awarding organisations on current issues of vital importance to the sector, such as:
- The implications of Covid-19 and EU withdrawal
- Government support for the UK’s provision of world-class professional training in dance, drama and musical theatre
- The needs of private teachers working across all levels of study in the performing arts, and the opportunities for greater connectivity between statutory and private provision.’
More broadly, young people, and their parents/guardians, require assurances that the creative industries will continue to offer valuable career options when rebuilding the UK economy after Covid-19.
[i] Simon Baynes has been the Conservative MP for Clwyd South since 2019. He was a Choral Exhibitioner at Magdalene College, Cambridge and is a keen amateur musician, playing the organ for church services. He was the Chairman of the North Powys County Youth and Orchestra Band 2005 to 2012 and more recently he served as a trustee of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and Mid-Wales Opera, and as the first Chairman of the Holroyd Community Theatre near Chirk. In parliament, Simon is an active member of other arts and music APPGs including being a Vice-Chair of the Theatre APPG.
[ii] Lord Vaizey of Didcot was the longest serving Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries between 2010 and 2016. His parliamentary career started as the Conservative MP for Wantage (2005 to 2019), before receiving a peerage in 2020. He is a trustee of both the National Youth Theatre and London Music Masters, and takes great interest in all things creative and digital.
[iii] Sharon Hodgson MP is the Labour representative for Washington and Sunderland West and is presently the shadow Minister for Defence, and has previously held the post of Minister for Children and Families. She has been an active member of the House of Commons since 2005, and her parliamentary work on APPGs includes, among others, Art, Design and Craft in Education.
[iv] Lord Aberdare has been a Crossbench peer in the House of Lords since 2009. He is a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts and Vice-Chair of the APPG for Music Education.
[v] Lord Clement-Jones is a Liberal Democrat life peer who has sat in the House of Lords since 1998. He is the Liberal Democrat spokesman for the digital economy, a former spokesman on the creative industries and chair of the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence.
[vi] Lord Taylor of Warwick is a non-affiliated life peer who has sat in the House of Lords since 1996. He takes great interest in education, and was the first black Chancellor of a UK University.
[vii] Jack Lopresti MP has been the Conservative representative for Filton and Bradley Stoke since 2010 serving on the Northern Ireland Affairs and Defence Committees. He participates in a number of APPGs, including those for education and music.
[viii] CDMT is the industry body offering quality assurance and membership services to institutions delivering training, education and assessment in dance, drama and musical theatre. It also works across the sector to further research on performing arts’ teaching and learning. As background:
CDMT’s Accredited professional training schools and conservatoires have an approximate combined:
- Annual turnover of more than £90M
- Student cohort on full-time vocational courses in the performing arts of 6,500
- Intake of new students onto vocational courses of 2,700 annually, from 20,500 auditions
- Average graduate progression to the industry of over 90%.
CDMT’s 17 Validated Awarding organisations operate in 100+ countries globally and, pre-Covid-19, have an approximate combined:
- Annual turnover of more than £175M
- Annual graded examination entries* of 1.1 million in the UK and 0.75M overseas
- Engagement with 80,000 teachers in the UK and 100,000 overseas.
* These figures include regulated and other provision. Ofqual-regulated graded examination certifications in 2019 stood at 0.5M in England.
Update: As of July 2021, the following items may be of interest:
- E-booklet – Restarting the Sector 2021: Practical Lessons in the Performing Arts
- E-booklet – Time of Challenge 2021: Vocational Training in Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre
- News article – Question at the House of Lords in support of awarding organisations offering graded examinations in the performing arts
- Paper – The Dance and Drama Awards funding scheme: Successes and Challenges
- Paper – Integrating primary and secondary arts education with the work of awarding organisations offering graded examinations in the performing arts
- Bulletin one of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Performing Arts Education and Training