Liz truss mp visits the royal ballet school

Elizabeth truss mp with students of the upper schoolLast week we were pleased to welcome Elizabeth Truss MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education.

Elizabeth had a tour of the School, watched students in class and then spoke to students about the government’s commitment to developing arts education. In her speech she particularly spoke of the positive impact of dance and arts education on children’s creativity and said her Department had taken steps to strengthen the coverage of dance in the new curriculum.

She announced Arts Council England’s new online cultural resources for schools that will give teachers access to a store of information, encouraging pupils to engage in the arts. She also confirmed results in dance and drama GCSEs will count separately in school performance tables.

Elizabeth has also pledged a commitment to supporting the arts by confirming funding for the Music and Dance Scheme, which allows young dancers and musicians from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend world-class institutions like the Royal Ballet School.

Admission to The Royal Ballet School is based purely on talent and potential. Currently 89% of students rely on financial support to attend the School. 83% are funded or part funded by the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme and 47 students are supported by generous individuals and trusts through our Student Sponsorship and Bursary Programme.

Of those students supported by the Music and Dance Scheme, one in five come from families whose gross annual income is less than £10,000 and over 42% are from families with income of less than £30,000 per annum.

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss said:

‘I am enormously impressed by the students at the Royal Ballet School and I wish them every success in their future ballet careers.

‘In an increasingly competitive labour market, young people need both core knowledge and the opportunity to be creative and artistic.  That’s why I am pleased that we are supporting talented young people, whatever their background, to attend prestigious dance and music schools.’