Are ministers afraid of drama?

6th August 2004 at 01:00
Good that instrumental music lessons are being encouraged in primary schools (TES, July 9) and scholarships offered to "exceptionally talented" students.

Even if there are doubts about where the funding is coming from, at least the value of music is publicised and headteachers will be prompted to elevate music in their school priorities.

The importance of music is regularly championed by the powerful, but why is drama never endorsed in the same way? The highly effective pedagogy that has developed around educational drama is well documented, yet it remains publicly unloved and neglected by our masters.

Perhaps encouraging students to develop their own "authentic voice", as drama teaching does, worries governments. A musical symphony with interpretation left to individual imagination is less likely to foster dangerous ideas!

Ministers Clarke and Miliband choose to focus on the harmony of the school orchestra rather than the cacophony of young voices striving to make sense of the world they have inherited.

David Cross

32 Canterbury Terrace


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