Drama suffers tragic shortage of funding

8th April 2005 at 01:00
Head of drama and former actress Lynne Cohen wants drama, music and art to get the same attention as academic subjects.

Ms Cohen, 49, who teaches at Hollins technology college, Accrington said:

"I would like to see children having the same entitlement to art, music and drama lower down the school as they do to the core subjects. Not everyone fits into the academic box, but it does not mean they do not have ability.

"The timetabling of GCSEs needs to be worked out so that children who want to take drama, art and music can - because it is not always possible now."

Ms Cohen would like the Government to consider how useful Sats exams are:

"Sats do give us an idea of where our children are nationally. Obviously they are a yardstick for measuring progress. But perhaps we should look at how useful they are in terms of time and energy spent on them, bearing in mind that teachers already track and assess pupils."

Ms Cohen, who acted with the National Youth Theatre and Manchester Youth Theatre before becoming a teacher, said that funding her department was also a problem.

She said: "I used to work in the theatre and so I use trade companies rather than educational ones when I need lighting, for instance. I say, 'Come on guys give me a break', and it seems to work. I do the same thing to local companies. They probably dread my phone calls. All of it is extra work I have to do at the end of the day or at weekends.

"The people who are giving out the money need to have a sense of how much it costs to do the work they are asking us to do.

"They are expecting schools to spread their resources thinner and thinner and get better results. It is not fair."

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