ACTION: Respond by Thursday: Funding cuts to performing arts

3 May 2021

Please take some time to put in a response to the Office for Students (OFS) consultation on ‘recurrent funding for 2021-22’. It is important the sector’s voice is heard (as many of you as possible) on this issue. As you know UK Theatre and SOLT oppose any actions taken by government that narrow the talent pipeline, as seen by our 2016 response to Ebacc. We do not support any policies that could discourage a new and diverse generation of off-stage theatre professionals.

The government proposes that certain courses including performing and creative arts (includes dance, drama) are not among their strategic priorities and propose they are to be subject to a reduction of 50 per cent in funding.

The OFS states:

  • ‘The government proposes that the courses in price group C1 that are not among its strategic priorities – covering subjects in music, dance, drama and performing arts; art and design; media studies; and archaeology – are to be subject to a reduction of 50 per cent… We believe that courses in the performing arts, creative arts, media studies and archaeology are very important, bringing huge benefit to society and our culture, as well as to the individuals’ (p17).
  • ‘Students studying design, and creative and performing arts have the highest proportion of any broad subject group to have a reported disability, with particularly high proportions in relation to cognitive or learning difficulties and mental health conditions. They also have a higher than average proportion coming from POLAR quintiles 1 and 2. However, they are less likely than average to be mature (aged 21 or over) or to come from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background’ (p18).