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CDMT and its Validated awarding organisations offering Graded Examinations in Dance would like to highlight that the Department for Education in England has clarified that “exams for regulated qualifications, such as graded dance, music or performing arts exams, can go ahead during the national restrictions, as long as they are conducted in line with the public health guidance on autumn exams and the guidance specified by the relevant awarding organisation.” It is recommended that teachers make decisions about whether to enter candidates for assessment in liaison with their candidates and, where relevant, their parents/guardians to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the decision.

However, tutoring or lessons provided to prepare a candidate for these qualifications can only take place outside schools (during the national restrictions from 5 November) where the provision is necessary to enable parents to work, search for work, attend education or training, or where the provision is used for the purposes of respite care, including for vulnerable children, or in relation to home education. 

The current situation dictates that the majority of face-to-face classes outside schools cannot continue, and any examination preparation needs to be made via remote learning.

CDMT and the awarding organisations will be making further representations to the authorities with the aim of encouraging them to allow examination preparation or coaching, essential for candidates to be adequately ready, in the immediate period before the assessment. As many are aware, artistic performance utilises a range of technical and creative skills that demand regular practice and rehearsal for successful application in an examination environment, and it is vital that candidates are given every opportunity to prepare for success. Further, if candidates decide to delay their assessments, due to inadequate examination preparation beforehand, it may impact on their opportunities for progression to other studies (n.b. Grades 6 to 8 are included in the UCAS tariff).

We will also be asking the authorities, when reviewing any future decisions, to consider the vital importance to the wellbeing of young people of extracurricular dance, drama and music lessons that take place outside schools  – many of which are capable of operating according to public health requirements. This is a key consideration during the current pandemic.

See also joint statement by CDMT and One Dance UK here.