Let me teach at your school for a day, says actor Jessica Hynes

11th May 2015 at 15:25
picture of jessica hynes

As one-off lessons by visiting educators go, this one ranks somewhere above the talk by the recovering drug addict and the sex-ed session from the local nurse.

Award-winning comedian, actor and TV writer Jessica Hynes has offered to visit 20 state schools to encourage young people to enter the acting and screenwriting professions.

The offer – already being enthusiastically taken up by secondaries and primaries on Twitter – comes in response to the Conservative victory in last week’s election, and the party's anticipated cuts to funding in the arts.

Hynes was one of the creators, writers and stars of British hit sitcom Spaced. And last night she collected the Bafta award for female performance in a comedy programme, for her role in BBC comedy W1A.

She used her awards speech to speak out against the government’s austerity measures. She told the audience: “I’m from a single-parent family. I’m really worried about the cuts that are coming in state education, and to people from low-income families. I don’t feel low income means low talent, low imagination or low intelligence.”

She later told reporters in the winners’ room that she has supported schemes to help children from low-income families to pursue performing, such as mentoring programme Arts Emergency.

“Without organisations like that…I wouldn’t be here,” she said.

Studying for a degree in the arts now costs up to £30,000, and Hynes has said that she is particularly worried about cuts to funding for the arts in higher education. “The arts is the first thing to go, when the cuts and austerity hit,” she said.

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