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The conspiracy of silence


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The RAD should have enough clout. Other staff members presumably are also teaching the syllabus, and the school offers RAD teaching qualifications. At least that what I read somewhere in the last day or so. Heaven knows where.

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A weird anomaly (RAD loophole?) I think often found in big & small schools alike is how often that lots of the teachers teach the RAD syllabus but often only one has ‘Registered Teacher Status’ with RAD so all exam entries go through them... I think this is partly due to the high cost/time commitment preventing teachers doing the organised RAD teacher training & lack of available funding or support (such as schools prepared to hire unqualified teachers & not prepared to invest in their staff’s continued training) & must in part also suggest there is not enough governance in the industry or perhaps enough weight or value placed in the various industry bodies qualifications? 

I cant imagine many areas of education where this can be the case? A maths teacher without a maths degree or diploma & PGCE (sorry if this is all wrong....am writing as onlooker not with any expertise)  But then few have to totally self fund courses to become qualified in mainstream teaching subjects to my knowledge? I know there are courses (such as dance degrees with RAD & other colleges) which I presume can attract student loan financing but on the whole so much in the dance world requires a high money outlay which - esp. if teaching in a typical more ‘recreational’ school - could take a very long time to recoup. So, whilst organisations, school owners, parents & students do not demand for schools to all only employ/work with qualified teachers, then we will never have the back up of those organisations to truly moderate & guarantee standards or even be able to be at all accountable for them. It devalues their brand & even the RTS as a qualification. It leads to RTS teachers entering candidates in their name from their schools (& often even from other schools) that they have not necessarily ever taught or even met! 

I think there needs to a far broader shake-up of so much in the dance world..... for instance, a qualified teacher will be one who has trained in safeguarding one presumes? And to retain RTS, then proof must be provided of ongoing CPD (& I hope - but do not know - if this then requires ongoing safeguarding training/registration/enhanced DBS checks etc to comply with latest best practices?) To chaperone young dancers a safeguarding online course has to be completed....yet to assist in a dance class this does not seem to be required? This ought not to be the case surely?  

So come on dance world - get evaluating & get proactive! And RAD (& I’m sure others...) clean your house to close these loopholes....make having RTS with these bodies a requirement for all teachers & not merely a rubber stamp for exam entries...

And this I anticipate will require  many more to enroll on courses....well, surely this then could bring fees down? Especially as so much is delivered online anyway (& not just since Covid) delivering costs & mentoring & asessng surely can be recouped by more being able to participate in training if it’s cheaper to do?

i ramble on again but hope people here get the gist....

 

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45 minutes ago, Peanut68 said:

I cant imagine many areas of education where this can be the case? A maths teacher without a maths degree or diploma & PGCE (

Lots of teachers actually won’t have these qualifications, especially not the PGCE, in the independent sector, and maybe not even a degree. And many teachers in both state and private won’t have a degree in the subject they teach.

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On 14/08/2020 at 17:57, glowlight said:

 

On the other hand we should not be drawn into a cycle of gossip and speculation.  This doesn't help anyone.

 

 

I want to be clear that when I wrote about a 'cycle of gossip and speculation'  I wasn't suggesting that the ITV news story was gossip and speculation.

 

I was trying to make the point that if someone like, me who knows nothing about the situation first hand, starts speculating on this forum, then it is gossip.

 

I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression!

 

 

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@Peanut68 it happens with other examining bodies too where not all teachers pay for their membership, even when they are qualified. To maintain my membership I have to complete 18 hours of CPD annually, keep my safeguarding certificate up to date, as well as DBS check. On average I spend £500 a year maintaining my membership not including travel expenses or hotel stays needed to complete CPD. That doesn’t include what I spent self funding my teaching qualification. 

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27 minutes ago, Bluebird22 said:

@Peanut68 it happens with other examining bodies too where not all teachers pay for their membership, even when they are qualified. To maintain my membership I have to complete 18 hours of CPD annually, keep my safeguarding certificate up to date, as well as DBS check. On average I spend £500 a year maintaining my membership not including travel expenses or hotel stays needed to complete CPD. That doesn’t include what I spent self funding my teaching qualification. 

Exactly illustrates my point - thank you for sharing your personal experience Bluebird

These high costs to maintain membership (& keep skills up to date & relevant) are what puts many off doing so....especially where perhaps they themselves are teaching in a low key way (eg. Running 2-3 adult classes once a week with no intention to take exams).

However, this ought not negate professionalism (& indeed I guess the whole safeguarding issue is more critical when teaching minors  - though again I question myself here as adults too can be vulnerable.)  And I know myself adults want to & should have opportunities to take exams & perform. 

Msybe more involvement by the ‘bodies’ is needed & more sliding scales of membership fees based on number of classes run/number of exam entrants annually/or a levy within fees charged to pupils that could be linked perhaps to insurance thereby providing parents/pupils a level of reassurance (though can see how this would be difficult to enforce & keep a check on) Ir a while new model whereby students pay an element of fee registration....lower costs to teachers as this would be subsidised by pupil payments so in effect larger schools would ‘pay’ more than smaller....

I’m sort of thinking how annually fir my sons rugby (& I think football t FIFA too?) we have to pay 2 ekemebtsof subscriptijn - one to the RFU which includes an element of insurance & also means we parents & the player sign up to rules & regulations - not a bad idea for dance too? 

More of my personal musings (not from any truly qualified point I must add!) 

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Thank you all so much, there have been so messages showing support for this campaign (which I think it has become now, so thank you all again), apologies if I've missed you, I think I have replied to everyone now. Some of you have told me some truly upsetting stories and you have my unswerving support - and I hope things work out for you and your DC.

 

Please carry on without me for a while, I have been glued to my laptop for 48 hours and I need some downtime!

 

** And sorry to the moderators for making your weekend more complicated than you thought it would be.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Pas de Quatre said:

I read somewhere today that RAD have suspended Jonathan Barton's membership. They wouldn't really have any jurisdiction over the school. 


not sure  where the RAD would fit in other than  suspending / expelling  / rescinding  teacher status of individuals involved ...  
CDMT may have some relevance  but in terms of the institution  the  killer will be gewtting accreditation for the academic awards


 

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6 hours ago, Bluebird22 said:

@Peanut68 it happens with other examining bodies too where not all teachers pay for their membership, even when they are qualified. To maintain my membership I have to complete 18 hours of CPD annually, keep my safeguarding certificate up to date, as well as DBS check. On average I spend £500 a year maintaining my membership not including travel expenses or hotel stays needed to complete CPD. That doesn’t include what I spent self funding my teaching qualification. 


i was joking with  one my teachers about this   saying  'well you can  write  Ballet Retreats off against  tax as CPD' 

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35 minutes ago, NJH said:


i was joking with  one my teachers about this   saying  'well you can  write  Ballet Retreats off against  tax as CPD' 

I used to work for an accountancy firm which dealt mainly with the finances of television personalities and people in the film industry. You'd be surprised what you can write off against tax when you're in the performing arts.

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20 hours ago, Peanut68 said:

Exactly illustrates my point - thank you for sharing your personal experience Bluebird

These high costs to maintain membership (& keep skills up to date & relevant) are what puts many off doing so....especially where perhaps they themselves are teaching in a low key way (eg. Running 2-3 adult classes once a week with no intention to take exams).

However, this ought not negate professionalism (& indeed I guess the whole safeguarding issue is more critical when teaching minors  - though again I question myself here as adults too can be vulnerable.)  And I know myself adults want to & should have opportunities to take exams & perform. 

Msybe more involvement by the ‘bodies’ is needed & more sliding scales of membership fees based on number of classes run/number of exam entrants annually/or a levy within fees charged to pupils that could be linked perhaps to insurance thereby providing parents/pupils a level of reassurance (though can see how this would be difficult to enforce & keep a check on) Ir a while new model whereby students pay an element of fee registration....lower costs to teachers as this would be subsidised by pupil payments so in effect larger schools would ‘pay’ more than smaller....

I’m sort of thinking how annually fir my sons rugby (& I think football t FIFA too?) we have to pay 2 ekemebtsof subscriptijn - one to the RFU which includes an element of insurance & also means we parents & the player sign up to rules & regulations - not a bad idea for dance too? 

More of my personal musings (not from any truly qualified point I must add!) 

If a teacher isn't  running graded classes  themselves on their own account(including  Discovering Repetoire for RAD teachers - because that is basically adult grades ) / setting out to offer coaching for grades / DR / VGEs  what do  they gain from paying  out to be  a registered teacher  ?    they can describe themselves truthfully  ( by stating what  course they  completed to  qualify for the status  they no longer maintain ) and accurately  in a way (not claiming to the registered teacher / centre)  which  doesn't show this to be an issue ( unless you  are in the know) and  can pay seperately  as a licensee if they wish to  teach Silver Swans branded  material to that  demographic , and teach for other teachers / schools on courses aiming for  grades etc - just not act as Applicant



 

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On 16/08/2020 at 08:00, Bluebird22 said:

Loss of degree status and funding punishes the students more than the school surely? Sends out completely the wrong message to anyone else who has suffered or is suffering at other schools, haven’t victims been through enough? And not just victims but students who have no experience or knowledge of these allegations who are left uncertain about their future and second guessing every part of their training.

This move plays directly into the hands of abusers, if you say anything your qualification and funding will be in jeopardy. 

THIS!!!

 

thank you for saying this!!  
 

we need to stop uni partners withdrawing like this as it punished the students and not the abusers! 
 

This is precisely why people don’t come forward sooner because this will not be forgotten now in future. 

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Couple of things in case anyone interested

 

The school has been taken over by the board of trustees since the principal’s resignation 

 

they are still intending to run the HNC, HND and pre-prof course (doesn’t need uni partner). 

 

the RAD teachers qualification is taught by RAD not the school 

 

Bath Spa Uni are dealing with degree students but unfortunately none of the alternatives are ballet focused so many students are very upset and feel they are being punished for things that are “alleged” at this stage and are losing their degrees prematurely and without justification. 

 

the school board of trustees emailed today to say they were still not aware of any police complaints and were not in receipt of any complaints to them directly

 

they reiterated they were seeking a new uni partner 

 

 

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Thank you Ian.

 

One of the things mentioned on the news was that the trustees were not in receipt of any complaints.

 

This is an abstract observation, and obviously not connected in any way to anything, but if ever I'm expecting a communication and it doesn't arrive, I make sure that my emails are working properly and that I have given people the correct email address. Just saying.

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55 minutes ago, Ian Macmillan said:

According to ITV News, matters have moved on somewhat:

Police investigation launched after ITV News uncovers allegations of grooming at prestigious UK ballet school | ITV News
https://www.itv.com/news/2020-08-17/police-investigation-launched-after-itv-news-uncovers-allegations-of-grooming-at-prestigious-uk-ballet-school

 

 

That might be in tomorrow’s email then !! 

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8 hours ago, annaliesey said:

THIS!!!

 

thank you for saying this!!  
 

we need to stop uni partners withdrawing like this as it punished the students and not the abusers! 
 

This is precisely why people don’t come forward sooner because this will not be forgotten now in future. 

I think that there needs to be a good look at the various schools complaints policies and practices. Speaking from experience it’s very daunting to initiate a complaint and to follow through to a conclusion is very draining for parents and students. The fact that parents and students struggle to be heard and know that the experience will be combative. There needs to be an independent body outside of school governors and staff that parents can appeal to outside of getting lawyers and challenging the school. Independence is the key. 1 supposed independent person on a school initiated panel ( as required under schools inspectorate guidelines) is not enough to ensure justice for parents who have genuine complaints. 

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Perhaps concerns should be sent to Ofsted. Isn't that what happened with Tring? Complaints were ignored at school level for years but eventually there was an special inspection without warning to the school. Measures that needed to be taken were set out in a letter to the school and the then Director of Dance was put on "gardening leave" for many months before leaving. All is documented publicly and there were discusions on this board. A search should find them.

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The only people who inspect the institution in question are the QAA; however, looking at their reports it seems they only inspect the academic provision, CPD etc.  We’ve had this discussion previously about private “schools” for 16+ dance training that are not obliged to be inspected by anyone from a pastoral care or safeguarding point of view.   This is a flaw in the system of 16+ dance training. 

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Just now, windover60 said:

So are dance lower schools inspected by ofsted then Anna or another body iss are private schools ? Does this only cover academics ? 

 

OFSTED are only responsible for England in any case, as is the ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) who - I believe - inspect places like White Lodge.  I’m not sure whether Education Scotland inspects dance schools.

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51 minutes ago, Anna C said:

We’ve had this discussion previously about private “schools” for 16+ dance training that are not obliged to be inspected by anyone from a pastoral care or safeguarding point of view.   This is a flaw in the system of 16+ dance training. 

 

and 

 

Quote

There needs to be an independent body outside of school governors and staff that parents can appeal to outside of getting lawyers and challenging the school. Independence is the key.

 

By their very nature independent fee-paying schools rely on fees being paid. For this, families feel they purchase something not available to everyone, for whatever reason families feel that they need to do so (and you can see from the current A Level debacle how purchasing an academic education very much adds to pupils' social & educational advantages).

 

It seems to me that families need to understand both the advantages & disadvantages of purchasing an education. Independent schools are just that - independent. This has huge advantages to pupils (viz. current A levels) but perhaps families need to be more aware of the disadvantages. In this case one disadvantage is the less public inspection - or indeed no public inspection - of standards. Those of us involved in education funded publicly are held up to scrutiny about how we spend this money (this includes universities who are subject to several layers of quite intense scrutiny). And rightly so.

 

But independent schools may well be independent because they don't want to participate in this public scrutiny. Perhaps we all need to be more aware of this. 

 

And ultimately, families have power by withdrawing their money. 

Edited by Kate_N
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28 minutes ago, Kate_N said:

But independent schools may well be independent because they don't want to participate in this public scrutiny. Perhaps we all need to be more aware of this. 

 

And ultimately, families have power by withdrawing their money. 

 

Absolutely.  Unfortunately, while private institutions can simply choose to be accountable to nobody, they can also set their own terms and conditions - including penalty fees for withdrawing from the course, regardless of the reason for withdrawing.

 

This could mean - ironically - that people may not be able to afford to withdraw their money.

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1 hour ago, Anna C said:

The only people who inspect the institution in question are the QAA; however, looking at their reports it seems they only inspect the academic provision, CPD etc.  We’ve had this discussion previously about private “schools” for 16+ dance training that are not obliged to be inspected by anyone from a pastoral care or safeguarding point of view.   This is a flaw in the system of 16+ dance training. 

I’m feeling rather shocked & ill

informed....clearly I’ve not thought to read enough or ask enough questions....yes, I knew ‘private’ schools do not adhere to same rules/scrutiny as ‘normal’ state funded (how do state funded academies fit in this? And MDS/DaDa supported dance courses ARE state funded in effect) hence can employ people in roles without perhaps the ‘traditional expected qualifications’ (& yes, I appreciate that sone fantastic teachers come more from a place of educating from high depth personal experience in professional careers etc) BUT surely the safeguarding & pastoral care for anyone under 18 should still be subject to exactly the same ‘rules’ ‘regulations’ ‘inspections’ ‘monitoring’ & ‘complaints & grievances’ procedures as absolutely anywhere where young people study/play/work....

Realuse we parents can be very naive & trusting & possibly a little ‘star struck’ when looking at institutions/teachers etc....be it local/national/international full or part time courses or classes.....

I truly hope this makes us & they industry’ wise up quick!

We must also acknowledge that very many ‘private’ schools (including I’m sure some vocational ones our youngsters attend) do comply to relevant safeguarding & pastoral guidelines  

& accountability.....

But it is our responsibility as adults to ensure our young people are aware of what is acceptable behaviour & what is not & to not be starry eyed or just accept where they see ‘favouritism’ as ok/normal but to question & ‘look out’ for wrong doing & look out for their peers too.... difficult I know in what has become a very competitive arena (remember they’ve all just competed for places for funding & now will do again for parts in shows, to be chosen for competitions etc & then for jobs) Plus it’s all very much part of how they look physically.....and at a time when they are only just becoming fully aware of their own bodies/sexuality/desires etc..... (this goes for males & females who can both be vulnerable & manipulated & abused.)

I’m aware that it’s hard for ‘bodies’ like the RAD to get involved beyond ‘chucking members off their lists of RTS or withdrawing paid membership.... and therein lies the chief issue....elite sports & arts training such as dance NEED a truly independent regulating body to protect & support our youngsters (& the sports & arts themselves) I see a need for perhaps a new Government (not just industry)  funded  & publicly accountable body to oversea across these areas with specialist divisions (for dance/music/drama/gymnastics/
football/rugby/tennis/swimming etc etc etc)  
My musings...

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