The Scottish Government and Student Awards Agency for Scotland
United Kingdom

Each year around 20-30 dance and musical theatre students graduate from the Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow aged 16 - 18. Many of them wish to continue their professional training in ballet, modern dance and jazz and musical theatre at colleges in England and are successful in gaining places at these competitive colleges through audition.

Some of the courses are BA Honours degree courses over three years and some are Professional diplomas in dance or musical theatre also over three years. At present, only students on the BA Honours degree courses are able to apply for a student loan through SAAS.

The diploma courses are of a high standard (level 6 English qualifications framework, level 8 Scottish SQA framework), with external validation from Trinity college London, accreditation by the Council for Dance Education and Training, at institutions with excellent reputations in the industry and excellent employment records. Students on many of the diploma courses are able to opt to 'top up' their diploma to a BA Honours degree over one year by distance learning after graduation.

Some students on the diploma courses are able to access DaDa (Dance and Drama awards), though these scholarships are now strictly means tested and many students are not eligible for any help with fees or maintenance. Most institutions offer some scholarships for some students, but these are only for a minority of students and do not cover all fees and maintenance costs.

We, the undersigned, request that an urgent review is undertaken of the current funding arrangements for performing arts students from Scotland accessing post-school education in England.

Current Scottish funding arrangements:

- Prevent some exceptionally talented young people, who have been offered highly selective places at high quality institutions, from continuing their dance and musical theatre education.

- Mean that, where students are unable to receive Dance and Drama (DaDa) award scholarships because of their family income, they are also not eligible to apply for any student loan to assist with fees or maintenance costs.

We believe this situation is inequitable and needs to be rectified as soon as possible.

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The Improved access for performing arts professional training for Scottish students petition to The Scottish Government and Student Awards Agency for Scotland was written by Dance Education funding group and is in the category Education at GoPetition.