A-level Drama in London.

Drama masksDrama / Theatre Studies is an important area of study. It enriches the sixth form offer and provides students with opportunities to develop their cultural education, their understanding of the human condition, their confidence and ability to communicate well and work with others. Like the other visual and performing arts subjects, it should  have a place in the sixth form curriculum ‘menu’ we would wish to make available to all young people.

The position in London

A total of 1,841 students were entered for A-level Drama & Theatre Studies in London, 83% of them coming from 219 publicly-funded sixth forms.  This puts the overall entries well above Music, Dance, Philosophy and any single language (French is the highest with 1,642 entries). Average cohort sizes are relatively high at 7.0 in the public sector with lower average cohort sizes in school sixth forms (6.6) and much higher average cohorts in colleges (11.0). Across the 8 sixth form colleges offering the subject, the average cohort size is 17.5.

Although colleges overall are raising the average cohort size by a factor of 2.5, the contribution of colleges to this is very different in different areas. It is clear that local colleges are increasing average cohort size in Barnet, Harrow, Islington, Kensington, Lewisham, Newham and Wandsworth but in other boroughs (Camden, Croydon, Hackney, Havering, Hillingdon and Westminster) the effect is the reverse.

As with so many subjects, provision is patchy across London and the variation in numbers between boroughs is striking. 7 boroughs have less than 25 candidates in publicly funded provision from the whole borough and there is a clear issue with both the availability and viability of the subject in some areas.

A-level Drama and Theatre Studies entries in publicly-funded centres (2015)

London borough Schools Colleges Total
Barking 38/7 0 38/7
Barnet 91/13 26/1 117/14
Bexley 55/7 0 55/7
Brent 24/4 0 24/4
Bromley 125/14 0 125/14
Camden 43/6 1/1 44/7
City of London 0 0 0
Croydon 74/11 10/2 84/13
Ealing 62/9 0 62/9
Enfield 62/10 0 62/10
Greenwich 56/8 0 56/8
Hackney 45/7 3/2 48/9
Hamm. & Fulham 11/3 0 11/3
Haringey 45/5 0 45/5
Harrow 33/6 27/2 60/8
Havering 33/5 1/1 34/6
Hillingdon 51/7 1/1 52/8
Hounslow 25/4 0 25/4
Islington 4/4 35/1 39/5
Ken. & Chelsea 3/1 12/2 15/3
Kingston 64/8 0 64/8
Lambeth 31/6 0 31/6
Lewisham 32/5 42/2 74/7
Merton 15/2 0 15/2
Newham 21/3 14/1 35/4
Redbridge 52/9 0 52/9
Richmond 0 18/1 18/1
Southwark 40/6 0 40/6
Sutton 61/10 0 61/10
Tower Hamlets 36/7 0 36/7
Waltham Forest 23/4 0 23/4
Wandsworth 13/3 24/2 37/5
Westminster 40/5 6/1 46/6
London total: 1,308/199 220/20 1,528/219
Average cohort size: 6.6 11.0 7.0

Conclusion:

As with other subjects examined in this series, the availability and viability of A-level Drama could certainly benefit from a more collaborative approach between London sixth form providers.

See also:

A level minority report: Dance, Music, Philosophy (February 2016)

A level languages in London (February 2016)

Accessing the IB Diploma (February 2016)

More sixth formers doing research projects (February 2016)

Classical Capital (March 2016)

A sixth form profile for the ‘Local London’ area (February 2016)

 

About Eddie Playfair

Principal of Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc) East London. Blogging about education, politics and culture in a personal capacity. I also tweet at @eddieplayfair
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