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Knowledge Bank
£100 million Government funding
August 2007
Making the case that Dance should benefit from the new £100 million Government funding to make fitness an everyday part of school life.

A campaign has been launched to encourage organisations and individuals working in dance with young people to help make the case for dance to benefit from this new funding stream. It is being coordinated Dance UK and supported by a number of umbrella and national organisations across England, including the Foundation for Community Dance, National Dance Teachers Association and Youth Dance England.
The information below is a briefing from Dance UK. Please read it, and then support the campaign - the 'call to action' sets out what you should do.

This is a great opportunity to really make the case for more dance in schools - something we think can benefit everyone. We'd be really grateful if you could also copy us into your submission by email to or by post to Foundation for Community Dance, LCB Depot, 31 Rutland Street, Leicester LE1 1RE.

See examples of letters already sent by dance organisations and companies, on Dance UK's website here.

Current situation:
On 13 July 2007 Gordon Brown announced an extra £100 million funding for the Department for Children, Schools and Families to give every child five hours of sport each week. (Read the press release on this funding announcement at

Whilst dance sits within the PE curriculum in England and Wales the dance sector must grasp this opportunity to stress that dance has a vital role to play in achieving the govenment targets for this new funding which should be used, in part, to improve dance provision in schools. The dance sector has a window of opportunity to lobby government to ensure that dance gets a fair share of this additional £100 million. We have a strong case for success.

Call to action:
Write to your local MP highlighting your work in dance with young people in his/her constituency (you can find out who they are by entering your postcode here
o In your letter state the dance sector's united call for dance to benefit from the new £100 million funding for increased physical activity in schools. Ask him/her to support dance and press this issue with the Department for Children, Schools and Families
o In your letter talk about how dance will help Government to meet its Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets (see below). We must talk in the government's own language and in terms of its political objectives to be seriously listened to
Send a copy of the letter to Dance UK (Finsbury Town Hall, Rosebery Ave, London EC1R 4QT). Dance UK will compile all the letters and present them to the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

What to include in your letter:

1. It is important that all the letters stress a core united call to Government. For example,
Dear ........,

I / [name of dance organisation] would like to urge Government to build dance into your plans for the £100 million funding to make athletics, team games and fitness an everyday part of school life. Dance is the second most popular physical activity for young people after football (source: PE and School Sport Club Links scheme) and the top activity for girls outside school, so it is imperative that adequate dance provision is made in young people's statutory education.

Dance gets more young people active, particularly those unwilling to take part in competitive sports, helping to meet the Government target to halt the rise in obesity in under 11's by 2010. Dance is a physical activity that already is hugely popular with young people, with demand for dance outstripping supply in schools. The evidence for this can be seen in the fact that the number of students taking GCSE Dance rose by 125% between 2001 and 2005.

2. Strengthen your letter by writing something personal about how your work in dance, or your organisation's work, meets the Government's key objectives for young people (example stories can be found in the right-hand column). The Government objectives are:
Every Child Matters Children have the right to be healthy; children should have the chance to enjoy and achieve in life; children have the right to make a positive contribution by being involved in society and their community and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour
School Sports Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets
- PSA Target 1: Enhance the take-up of sporting opportunities by 5 to 16 year olds so that the percentage of school children in England who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality PE and school sport within and beyond the curriculum increases from 25% in 2002 to 75-85% by 2008
- PSA Target 2: Halt the year on year increase in obesity among children under the age of 11 by 2010

- PSA Target 3: By 2008, increase the number of children who participate in active sports at least 12 times a year by 3%, and increase the number who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity level sport, at least three times a week by 3%.

3. Finally - urge your MP to enhance the Government's School Sports Strategy by taking the following action:
    • Ensure the supply of dance teachers meets demand, by increasing the number of PGCE places for teaching dance as a specialism and that PE teachers are fully trained in all six activity areas, including dance. Further, that there is an increase in continuing professional development opportunities for specialist dance teachers and PE teachers who wish to develop their skills
    • Professional Development for teachers: Provide more opportunities for dance artists and companies to be resident in schools to increase levels of physical activity and promote shared knowledge about dance across schools to inspire more committed engagement and enhance teachers' understanding of how to deliver dance
    • Strengthen the position of dance within the physical education national curriculum to ensure its unique contribution to both young peoples' creative and physical education
    • Ensure the national dance organisations, Youth Dance England and the National Dance Teachers' Association, are included in the consortium of organisations running the professional development programme for the Physical Education and School Sport Club Links scheme, PESSCL (current members are Youth Sport Trust; the British Association of Advisors and Lecturers in Physical Education and the Physical Education Association of the UK and SportsCoach UK
    • Broaden young people's access to sport and dance leadership courses to meet the Government's Step Into Sport agenda. This aims to increase the percentage of young people aged 14 to 19 from school sport partnerships actively involved in sports leadership and volunteering, from 9% in 2004 to 18% in 2008. This will enable young people to develop their leadership skills, through and in dance, whilst also building the capacity to deliver dance in schools through empowering young people
  • Invest in Dance Links, (part of the Physical Education and School Sport Club Links scheme, PESSCL) lead by Youth Dance England, working with the National Dance Teachers Association and the Youth Sport Trust to provide young people with increased opportunities to enjoy dance as part of their extended school activity, whilst building links between schools and youth dance groups increasing participation in dance activity
  • Ensure young people have the opportunity to see dance performed by incorporating it into the Education Outside the Classroom Manifesto.

Additional supporting evidence that will be of interest to politicians:
The new report produced by Laban and Hampshire Dance provides evidence proving dance makes children fitter. The report, produced by Laban with Hampshire Dance, studies the effects of an eight week creative dance programme on the physiological and psychological status of 11-14 year old school children. In brief, the research demonstrates that physical fitness increased in all three areas assessed (lung capacity, flexibility, aerobic capacity). This increase was statistically significant among the females
The NHS NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidance on obesity for children says “encourage games that involve running around, such as skipping, dancing or ball games
Choosing Activity: A Physical Activity Action Plan (DCMS / DoH 2005) cites community dance initiatives as one of the wide range of formal and informal activities both in and out of school that can help ‘establish healthy behaviours from an early age and encourage enjoyable, health enhancing activity that will be sustained through life.