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    National Youth Theatre calls for the revival of drama in schools

    National Youth Theatre leader Paul Roseby has spoken out about the current lack of investment in the arts and the impact that this is having on school drama.

    In an article in the TES Magazine ('Dramatic Pause...' 22/29 December 2017) Roseby suggests that there has been a 'downturn in fortunes' in drama and has called for the status of the subject to be raised and the benefits of teaching drama to be more widely acknowledged. He lists a multitude of benefits to pupils including promoting bravery and self-awareness, instilling confidence, developing communication and listening skills and giving pupils a sense of their own identity. Roseby goes further to say that drama can help pupils become better people by giving them opportunities to analyse texts and characters' behaviours, explore social injustices, solve problems and tackle challenging issues. 

    Roseby suggests that the arts, including drama, needs the level of investment and attention that sport has had in recent years and he refers to 'the cavernous gap between sports and the arts'. He states that, although the culture secretary understands the value of creative arts, the Department of Education 'isn't listening'. He is convinced that school leaders do value drama, but that the emphasis on English and maths means that teachers have little time to focus on the subject in a meaningful, cross-curricular way and they lack training and confidence in the subject.

    In an effort to address these issues, the NYT are trialling a one-day event at Kirkby College near Mansfield this summer which will involve the play 'Relish' by James Graham being threaded through the day and used across all subjects by all staff. The aim of the trial is to encourage teachers of other subjects to understand and appreciate how drama can be used across the curriculum, and for every pupil to engage with drama throughout the day.

    Read our blog article '....', here.

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