It’s time to act, GCSE and A Level dance consultations now open

It’s time to act, GCSE and A Level dance consultations now open

Dear NDTA members,

The Secretary of State has announced a consultation period for the new subject content for a number of examinations, including dance.  The new subject content will be taught from 2016.

There are TWO consultations:

Department for Education (DfE) consultation on subject content closes 19 September 2014

OFQUAL consultation on design, assessment arrangements and assessment objectives of new qualifications closes 22 September 2014

We urge you to respond to both consultations.

While the National Dance Teachers Association and Youth Dance England are largely supportive of the new proposals there is one major issue concerning the assessment of GCSE Dance that we do not agree.

OFQUAL have proposed that the new GCSE examination, which was previously 80% practical exam 20% final written exam is to change to 60% practical and 40% final written paper. 

We consider that this proposed change in weighting shifts the balance of the qualification too far away from the practical skills, undermining the essential nature of dance as a practical art form does not reflect the equal importance of our three stranded model of dance education: creating, performing and appreciating is likely to force teachers to spend a disproportionate amount of time in preparation for the written exam at the expense of developing the core practical skills on which the subject is based.

The NDTA and YDE suggests an appropriate compromise is 70% / 30% practical to written assessment is manageable and fair to students. 

The attached briefing has been prepared by a number of organisations who are part of the Programme Board: Children and Young People’s Dance and represents the views of many in the wider dance education sector as well as the NDTA.
Click to download: Ofqual Consultation Response Briefing 

It is intended to help you respond to the OFQUAL consultations. It provides a suggested format to save time, but of course please feel free to respond however you wish.

We also attach the Programme Board /NDTA response to the DfE consultation. You are welcome you use that text in your own individual responses as well.

Click to download: DfE Response Form

Submit your response now and ensure your voice is heard!

National Dance Teachers Association

Please forward this on to staff, students, artists and governors or anyone else that you feel may be willing to respond. Don’t forget, the deadline is Monday 22 September.

Dance in Devon and The Plough Arts Centre present: Creative Conversation

Join us in conversation about the future of youth dance in Devon

Stay to see Karla Shacklock – Award winning choreography & performance ‘The Buttercup & The Crutch’

Get a special ticket price just  £ 7

Wednesday 21 May 2014 from 5.30 pm

The Plough Arts Centre, Torrington
EX38 8HQ
Call: 01805 624624

Refreshments from 5.30, Conversation to follow
Performance 8.00


Teachers, dancers, artists, students come and have your say about dance for young people




University of Exeter Action Research Bursary

Calling all dance teachers/educators working with young people in Devon or Torbay
Have you ever thought about looking closely at your dance teaching practice, and asking yourself questions about how you teach and how your children and young people progress in their dance learning?

Would the opportunity to research your own dance teaching practice, with the support and guidance of one of University of Exeter’s dance education research lecturers seem too good to be true?
Do you have a burning question about your dance teaching practice that you would like to answer?

Applications now open for:

*2 University of Exeter DNA Dance Educator Action Research

For full details, please click here: DNA Action Research Bursaries March 2014

Host your own DNA professional development session!

DNA is pleased to announce that DNA bursaries are available to support dance teaching in your local area.

The bursaries are available to enable you and your local peers (including dance teachers in schools, dance artists and youth workers) to come together to learn and share your practice.

For example:

  •  This could be a two or three hour session in your venue, or another local venue, at a time that suits you.
  •  It might involve participants each bringing an item to share (perhaps a great lesson plan, disseminating a recent dance CPD event, talking through the process of developing an Artsmark application, sharing particular successes or challenges in working with dance in your setting or sharing knowledge and experience of a particular dance form).
  • You might want to engage a dance artist or a teacher to deliver a session for you.

This is a great chance for dance teachers and practitioners in your local area to come together and create an event that responds to your needs.

The DNA bursary is to help you make this happen. It could be used to cover travel for participants, to cover the fee for a guest practitioner, or perhaps to contribute to school cover costs so that teachers can attend during school hours. You would be responsible for finding a local venue for your hub meeting and co-ordinating your session. DNA can help by putting you in touch with people who have offered a venue, assisting with connecting you with practitioners and specialists that meet your requirements, assisting you with planning the content of your session and helping you to get in touch with those in your locality who could attend.

Interested? Please contact or ring 01392 385214
Dance Network Active (DNA) is a project in Devon and Torbay supporting all who work with children, young people and dance. DNA is supported by the Pavilion Dance South West Co-investment Programme, an initiative by the South West’s regional dance agency to support and develop the quality of our children and young people’s dance offer.

The DNA partnership is: Daisi, Dance in Devon, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Exeter University, Exmouth Community College and you!



Richard Alston Dance Company is performing at the Northcott Theatre on the 4th and 5th March and we are offering a workshop and performance package to schools in the area. Essential Alston workshops challenge your dance class by engaging them with the work of Richard Alston through bespoke sessions. Led by our animateurs, your students will be taught repertoire that they will see performed on stage by the company, with the opportunity to also develop their creative skills with highly experienced facilitators.

The £370 package includes:

  • a 3-hour Essential Alston workshop for up to 20 students in January, February or March
  • an accompanying Resource Pack with repertoire information and suggested development tasks
  • up to 20 tickets (plus 2 teachers’ tickets) to see the company on the 4th and 5th March
  • a spring 2014 tour poster
  • a spring 2014 company programme
  • a DVD Lecture Demonstration filmed at Sadler’s Wells with footage of Overdrive and Movements from Petrushka with accompanying Resource Pack

For further information or to book, email

The programme at the Northcott Theatre presents varying styles, composers and themes providing talking points for the intervals and a mix of accessible and challenging works.
Shimmer is danced to the sun-drenched music of Ravel played live. Julien Macdonald’s fabulous, jewel-encrusted cobweb costumes illuminate dazzling choreography in a ravishingly beautiful piece of theatre. ‘Alston’s barefoot dancers look as if they have been sprinkled with fairy dust. The effect is magical.’ The Times

Martin Lawrance’s Brink combines rapidly quirky tangles and moments of clarity which breathe with the vibrations of Japanese composer Ayuo’s Eurasion Tango. Three duets place couples entwined in conversation on the edge, riding the rise and fall of the billowing accordion.

Illuminations is based on the life of French poet and traveller Arthur Rimbaud. With euphoric accompaniment provided by Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece of the same name, the dancers storm across the stage as characters from the fevered imagination of the protagonist.

21 dance teachers selected to take part in Dance UK’s 2014 Dance Teaching Mentoring Programme

Following a popular application process, 21 dance teachers nominated by their peers as future leaders have been selected to take part in Dance UK’s Dance Teaching Mentoring Programme. Organised by Dance UK in partnership with Dancers’ Career Development, Youth Dance England and the National Dance Teachers Association, the programme recognises the huge potential for dance teachers to become leaders. It is designed to build capacity within the dance workforce and to ensure skills and knowledge retention in the sector, addressing problems of succession to key artistic and non-artistic roles.

One of the chosen teachers, Suzie West, Head of Dance at Kingsbridge Community College and Director of SpinDrift Dance Company (Devon),  stated: “I’m excited about being mentored and it’s come at a key time for me as I decide about the next step in my career as a dance educator. Being backed by the Dance UK and the mentoring programme gives me confidence as I move forward.”

Over eight months each dance teacher will be matched with a paid mentor who is a high profile leader in dance or another sector. Through discussion, the dance teachers have the chance to identify transferable skills, build confidence and consider their career ambitions.