Under consideration PE1982: Review funding arrangements for higher education to help ensure more funded places are available for Scottish ballet dancers at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review the funding provided to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and help enable more places to be made available to Scottish students pursuing ballet at this level.

Previous action taken

I have contacted the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Ann Somerville MSP, and the office of the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP. In both cases, they refused to consider the situation.

Background information

There is currently a cap on funded places at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, with a maximum of 5 places available to Scottish domiciled student ballet dancers. The majority of student ballet dancers are forced to study elsewhere, and fund themselves.

Pupils of The Dance School of Scotland have been funded by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council for up to 6 years. During this time they have received the best tuition in ballet the country has to offer. However, at the end of this, when they then need to finish their training, there are limited opportunities for them to enter Conservatoire level training in Scotland.

In 2022 only 3 Scots were accepted onto funded places in the whole country.
Many others were accepted onto Conservatoire courses in London. However, without access to funding, they face a potential debt of £80,000 for three years training, substantially more than they would pay in Scotland.

The only conservatoire here offers 75% of its dance places to fee-paying, non-Scottish domiciled students.

In my view, Scottish domiciled student ballet dancers are being discriminated against in Scotland in favour of overseas or English students who will pay higher fees to attend our only conservatoire.

  • Created by Gary McKay
  • Considered from 21 November 2022

This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Find out about the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee’s discussion of this petition

321 signatures