Students launch petition after academy decides to stop teaching drama

PUBLISHED: 17:00 28 January 2016

The Kings Of Wessex drama students.

The Kings Of Wessex drama students.

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Students are protesting against their school axing drama from its A-level and GCSE curriculums.

The Kings Of Wessex Academy in Cheddar is cutting the subject from timetables to help balance its books, and says the subject is decreasing in popularity among pupils.

However, A-level drama students are campaigning to have the decision reversed, and an online petition has received thousands of signatures.

Daisy Graham-Brown, one of the students behind the campaign, said: “We are campaigning to reverse this unjust decision as we believe everyone should have the opportunity to study drama and the school should not be taking this away.

“This has been entirely a student-run campaign, clearly showing the passion that students at the Kings Of Wessex Academy have for drama.

“Arts education has been under threat for a long time and we realise the decision to axe the drama department is a result of increasing cuts to the arts. However, we will not give up.”

A spokesman confirmed the school would not offer GCSE or A-level drama from September.

They said: “Students who are already enrolled on these courses will continue to study them and be fully supported until the end of the course. The academy will continue to offer its popular performing arts course, which includes drama, at both key stage four and in the sixth form.

“The academy remains committed to providing a broad range of arts-based subjects; including its current performing arts, music, art, textiles and photography courses.

“In line with many schools, the decision has been taken following careful consideration in the context of a decline in the number of students opting to study drama and the need for the academy to rationalise its curriculum in response to a year-on-year real terms reduction in Government funding.

“The Kings Theatre will continue to be used for the teaching of performing arts and community activities.”

Cheddar-born comedian Richard Herring, who went to the school, is among those who signed the petition.

He said: “The arts are a vital part of a balanced education. Please keep up this valuable opportunity for self-expression and learning lessons that will help these pupils throughout their whole life.”

To see the petition, visit www.change.org/p/the-kings-of-wessex-academy-save-our-drama-department


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