Drama in crisis

10th February 2006 at 00:00
While the future may be bleak for would-be history teachers it looks even worse for drama ones ("Cuts sink history course into dark ages", TES, January 27) .

You stated that the 29 per cent cut in PGCE history places over the next two years is the highest of any subject. Yet, on one of the nine specialist drama PGCE courses, the number of trainees is to fall from 256 currently to just 143 in September 2007 - a staggering decrease of 44 per cent.

Such a reduction is hard to detect mainly because drama is only included in the Teacher Development Agency's "other" category. Indeed, your chart failed to mention the existence of drama as a discrete PGCE.

As with history, the agency does not consider drama to be a shortage subject and claims the cuts reflect vacancies. However, between January and May 2005 more than 430 advertisements appeared in The TES for main pay scale drama specialists in state secondaries; yet just 248 trainees were on PGCE drama courses last year.

Andy Kempe University of Reading Whiteknights PO Box 217, Reading

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