An urgent message from Dance UK regarding GCSE/ALEVEL Dance

Posted: September 16, 2014

An urgent message from Dance UK:

I am writing to you to ask for your urgent help. We need as many dance professionals as possible to respond by 22 SEPTEMBER to Ofqual’s consultations reviewing GCSE and A/AS Level dance.

We know you are all extremely busy, so to make this easier for you we have attached a briefing, that has been prepared by a number of organisations who are part of the Programme Board: Children and Young People’s Dance and represent the views of many in the wider dance education sector as well as the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA). It is intended to help you respond to the Ofqual consultation and it provides a suggested format to save time, but please feel free to respond however you wish.

To help you, we have highlighted below the main issue that needs to be addressed.


The Department for Education and Ofqual are in the final stages of their consultations about new GCSEs and A/AS Levels for teaching from September 2016. Dance is one of the subjects currently being reviewed and, as with all other subjects, changes to both the content and the assessments/examinations are being proposed.

Dance UK now shares an office with the NDTA and Youth Dance England (YDE) who both specialise in this area of work. They are largely supportive of the new proposals BUT there is one major issue concerning the assessment of GCSE Dance that causes great concern:

Ofqual has proposed that the new GCSE examination, which was previously 80% practical exam 20% final written exam is to change to 60% practical and 40% final written paper.

This proposed change in weighting shifts the balance of the qualification too far away from the practical skills, undermining the essential nature of dance as a practical art form and does not reflect the equal importance of our three stranded model of dance education: creating, performing and appreciating. It is likely to force teachers to spend a disproportionate amount of time in preparation for the written exam at the expense of developing the core practical skills on which the subject is based.

The NDTA/ YDE suggests an appropriate compromise should be 70%: 30% practical to written assessment. This is the most appropriate for this practice-based subject.


It is crucial to obtain as many responses as possible. Please send your response to the Ofqual consultation by clicking: Ofqual Response Form
For further background on the briefing click to download: Ofqual Consultation Response Briefing
Deadline to respond is 22 September 2014

Please forward this on to teachers, students, artists and governors or anyone else that you feel may be willing to respond. We thank you for your help.