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Why you should join...

Performing Arts

Teachers of drama, music and dance are often isolated. Drama may be a poor relation of the English department, and dance a sideline for PE teachers.

Music is expensive, with instrumental tuition often only available to those who can pay. Joining forces to create a strong performance section away from the national curriculum is a good move.

There are a few associations to join, and which may depend on how you see your subject. For those teaching some drama while specialising in English, there is NATE (National Association for the Teaching of English), a large, influential organisation with a drama committee and a twice-yearly magazine called English, Drama, Media. If you are inclined towards theatre, try the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama (STSD). Here you can get good liability insurance and advice on careers outside school. For the working drama teacher in a school, try National Drama (ND) or its affiliate, London Drama (LD). Run by drama teachers for drama teachers, you will get great networking opportunities, contacts with theatres and access to workshops and training.

Dancers should head for the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA), because it is committed to getting a distinct artistic dance ethos for pupils, away from PE. There are programmes to develop GCSE dance as well as provision for gifted and talented dancers.

If you're a musician, the Schools Music Association (SMA) is the established organisation and an effective voice. They have invaluable resources and networks for everything from beginners on recorders to their endangered species initiative, which has increased the numbers of Britain's bassoonists.

NATE:www.nate.org.uk; NQT membership pound;27.50.

STSD: www.stsd.org.uk; apply online for an application form.

ND: www.nationaldrama.co.uk; NQT membership pound;30.

LD: www.londondrama.org; NQT membership pound;16.

NDTA: www.ndta.org.uk; membership pound;25.

SMA: www.schoolsmusic.org.uk; NQT membership pound;12.50.

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