Dance in Secondary Education


Since the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) - a league table measure for secondary education – was introduced in 2011, there has been a dramatic decline in students sitting GCSEs in creative subjects. Between 2012 and 2017, entries for performing arts subjects at GCSE fell by 26%.

Dance is one of those subjects being edged out. This impacts on our young people and on the future health of the dance sector.

Below are some suggestions of how you can help.

There are some small glimmers of good news – and you can help spread this news and take action.


Spread The Word To Schools

For the first time in 10 years, 2019 has seen a rise in the number of GCSE Dance entries with 200 NEW schools teaching dance. Are you a parent, school governor or know a school governor? Please share this good news with your local secondary school – maybe they could join this trend and ensure they deliver a broad and balanced curriculum that includes dance.

From physical benefits to psychological, social and emotional benefits, children and young people need creative subjects such as dance to form part of the curriculum. 


Write to Your MP

You could also write to your MP and express your concern about this situation. You will not be alone.

In May 2019, the DCMS Select Committee called for better provision of sport and culture. The new Ofsted education inspection framework, published in May this year, also encourages positive change away from the straight jacket of the EBacc. And, the Russell Group of Universities have dropped their list of ‘facilitating subjects', which some saw as downgrading arts subjects.

We have produced a downloadable template to write to your MP. To find out the contact details for your MP, put your postcode into this search tool. The template is based on the one produced by the Bacc For The Future campaign and you can find out more about their work and sign up for regular updates on their website.


Spread The Word On Social Media

You could also share this news on social media. Download this graphic and help to spread the message.





The Consortia is a partnership of dance development organisations, venues, companies, independent artists and HE institutions that have co-authored its purpose, ambition and values and secured Arts Council England investment. Established 2 years ago, it operates through a range of working groups intent on championing dance and inspiring audiences, artists and professionals of today and tomorrow. Cheshire Dance is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and is acting as the accountable body for funding relationships for DCNW and employer of this post. For further information, please contact Adam Holloway, Director of Cheshire Dance, on 01606 861770.

Dance Consortia North West Partners
October 2018

Executive Group
Cheshire Dance
Co. Chameleon
Dance Manchester
HEI Reps
Ludus Dance
Merseyside Dance Initiative
The Lowry
Wired Aerial
Independent Chair, Sue Harrison
Arts Council England observer(s)

Connected Groups
Dance HE NW Consortium
Edge Hill University
Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool Hope University
Manchester Metropolitan University
Salford University
University of Bolton
University of Central Lancashire
University of Chester
University of Cumbria

Artist Led For Artists (ALFA)
ALFA is a 100+ strong, open membership group of NW dance artists.  It has come together to advocate for dance artists, their connections to the wider dance sector, champion diversity and visibility of artists as well as share resources and knowledge to further the development of the art of dance.

Venues Group
Albert Halls, Bolton
Blackpool Grand
Bluecoat, Liverpool
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
Contact, Manchester
Dance House, Manchester
Lyceum, Crewe
Storyhouse, Chester
Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
The Lowry, Salford
New Adelphi, Salford University
Unity Theatre, Liverpool