What the resource is:
The Audit of Dance Provision in English schools is the first ever report of this kind. The main focus of the study is to identify the characteristics of the delivery of dance provision in English schools. This focus relates to the inclusion of time devoted to the teaching of dance education in the curriculum and as an out of school activity. This baseline data identified the dance styles and genres offered in schools, the qualifications of those employed to teach this subject in an educational setting, and the facilities available.
The aims of the resource:
The resource is an audit of dance provision in English schools. The aim of the audit is to provide supporting evidence to the Dance Review undertaken by Tony Hall (Hall, 2008).
The data highlighted issues examined before by colleagues (e.g. Hillier, 2007) and serves to reinforce the position of Dance in school and the implications for the Training Development Agency (TDA) with respect to Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and Continued Professional development (CPD) (Connell, 2008; Wignall, 1992; Sanderson, 1996). It was highlighted that the majority of Dance teaching was placed within the Physical Education department (85%) and specialist Dance teachers accounted for 7% of the curriculum teaching. There is the issue of appropriately qualified teachers, skilled in the pedagogy and content of Dance, especially when the number of specialist Dance teaching courses is limited (Capel and Katene, 2000; Chappell, 2006; Sanderson, 2008, 2004; Wilson et al, 2008).
Generally there are increasing numbers of young people wishing to study Dance at examination level and there is a focus on out of school hours (OOSH) dance activity. The teachers responsible for OOSH dance varied, with over 50% involving external staff.
To build on the findings of this data, it is recognised that these specific issues have to be addressed, in order to provide opportunities in dance provision, with policy drivers to include:
- Opportunities for boys' dance at all levels
- A focus on OOSH activity and cross phase liaison
- External partnerships
- Development of appropriate dance spaces
- An awareness of the variety of qualification opportunities for young people
The quality, authority and credibility of the resource from your subject perspective in relation to ITE:
The Youth Sport Trust (YST) was commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to conduct this audit of dance provision in English schools. The audit involved communication with all schools across the country via an online survey, with the assistance of numerous organisations. The online survey was used as the most cost effective way of gathering data within the time limit and budget constraints. Nevertheless, when the whole school network of England is considered, as identified in the research, the response to the online survey was relatively small, with 639 schools replying. With respect to the methodological underpinnings of this research and the importance this has on the state of Dance education in England, it is unfortunate that data, as important as this, did not receive the attention it rightly deserved. It is inappropriate to attribute blame but if the research had been conducted in a different way, the response rate might have been far greater. However, the survey presents some very important findings for the teaching of Dance in schools and could possibly be recognised as a preliminary study which warrants more time and funding to fully appreciate the magnitude of the data collected.
The implications for ITE tutors/mentors:
It was highlighted by the YST that a number of issues surrounding the low number of responses should be taken into consideration when reviewing the data. It would be inappropriate to consider this data as a true reflection of the state of Dance education in the English schools, with such a small sample. Nevertheless, it is a catalyst for discussion and does highlight some very important questions. These include the appropriate training of teachers in the content and pedagogy of dance. This requirement for specialist teachers of Dance should be complemented with the resources in schools to teach this subject in an expert, differentiated and developmental way, in which the individual is recognised as possessing innate abilities to succeed.
The relevance to ITE students:
The audit of Dance provision should be of interest to students, as it supports an argument for the inclusion of this subject in the curriculum and identifies the necessity for practitioners skilled in the pedagogy and content of Dance. It is acknowledged that the majority of teachers with responsibility for Dance in schools are Physical Education teachers with a need for appropriate CPD. The importance for students on ITE courses is to recognise and increase awareness of this subject to raise young people's attainment and achievement in a fun and physical way, where the body is the instrument of expression. The audit provides ITE students with an opportunity to seek support in the teaching of this subject and an understanding of the general requirements for its provision in schools.
Dr John Connell
The following might be useful to read in conjunction with this resource:
Hargreaves, D. (2004) Working laterally: how innovation networks make an education epidemic. London: DfES Innovation Unit
Capel, S. and Katene, W. (2000) "Secondary PGCE PE students' perceptions of their subject knowledge", European Physical Education Review, Volume 6 (1), pp. 46-70.
Connell, J. (2008) "First steps", Physical Education Matters, Autumn 2008. Vol 3 No 3, pp 27-29.
Hall, T (2008) Dance Review: HMSO: Nottingham UK.
Hillier, M. (2007) Dance Teachers (Qualifications and Regulation). Bill to make provision for the regulation of the teaching of dance; and for connected purposes.
Sanderson, P. (1996) "Dance within the National Curriculum for Physical Education of England and Wales", European Physical Education Review, 2, 1, 54-63.
Sanderson, P. (2004) "The social class factor in young people's attitudes to dance", In: Frois, J., Andrade, P., Marques, F. (Ed) Art and Science, 300-303.
Sanderson, P. (2008) "The arts, social inclusion and social class: the case of Dance", British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 34, No. 4, August 2008, pp. 467-490.
Wignall, D. (1992) "Dance and In-Service training", Dance Matters, 4, 12.
Wilson, Graeme B., MacDonald, Raymond A. R., Byrne, Charles, Ewing, Sandra and Sheridan, Marion (2008) "Dread and Passion: Primary and Secondary Teachers' Views on Teaching the Arts", Curriculum Journal, v19 n1 p37-53 Mar 2008.