Dancersdad Posted June 14, 2012 Share Posted June 14, 2012 It staggers me how many people allow their children to audition for the very expensive vocational schools with no idea on how they are going to pay for it if they are successful. MDS and DaDA help, but these are so limited that they cannot be relied on to solve the problem at any time of the process and they are horribly misunderstood. Here are some guidelines. MDS - this is a means tested award available only to UK resident pupils at The Royal Ballet School, Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, Elmhurst and The Hammond. All pupils at RBS get an MDS and the other 3 schools have around 8 per annum that they can award. There are usually 30 - 40 young dancers auditioning for the award in each school. An MDS is awarded for a full year and the pupil's performance must stay at an advanced level to continue receiving the award. An MDS cannot be removed mid year (this from the Chairman of the MDS Committee). An MDS pays all fees associated with attending one of the schools including boarding fees. An MDS generally will stop after GCSEs where the dancer would probably be awarded a DaDA - though an MDS can be given at the school's discretion for the 6th Form years. DaDA - This is only available to UK residents over the age of 16. It is only available through certain vocational schools and is also very limited (only 254 DaDAs are awarded across the UK across all forms of performance). A DaDA will only pay tuition fees. The student must pay for all boarding fees (you could still be looking for £3 - 4 000 per term!). DaDA recipients must do the Trinity approved 3 year National Diploma in their chosen field. This is an NVQ6 Diploma equivalent to an Honours Degree. The University of Middlesex will turn this into an actual honours degree after doing 1 year's dissertation on work experience gained during that year. A DaDA may not be used to pay for A level or BTEC diplomas (following the actual curriculum doesn't really give any time to do these anyway). Funding alternatives - most of the easy funding alternatives used to be through your local council. If you could prove your County did not offer the equivalent schooling you could force them to pay a substantial contribution towards schooling outside the County. Since the start of the Credit Crunch Government has allowed County Councils to cut back on this commitment and any commitment to the Arts, so this route has effectively been cut off, but you can still enquire about it. You may be lucky. Apart from that there are some limited charities, but finding them and getting them to fund you £30 000 a year is going to be difficult. Most of them allocate their awards at the beginning of the year, before you realise you might need them. Best alternative - the best advice I can offer is go to Amazon and buy a book called Working 5 to 9 by Emma Jones (£10.13 in paperback and £4.00 on Kindle - download an appropriate Kindle Reader for your PC or other devices). This is one of the most complete and easy to read guides on starting your own small business in your spare time. It has several ideas that can be turned into genuine income generating businesses and you may find this not only funds your child's vocational dancing fees, but might lead to you doing it full time and enjoying working for yourself. 3 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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