Pupils protest as school reveals it will axe creative arts A-levels next year

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:21 24 November 2017

Students at the Coopers Company & Coborn school protesting about the decision to cut the school's arts subjects

Students at the Coopers Company & Coborn school protesting about the decision to cut the school's arts subjects


Parents and pupils are rallying together in protest against a sixth form scrapping music, drama and design technology from its curriculum next year.

More than 4,000 people have signed the online petition that was launched in a bid to save the creative subjects being taught at A-level at Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, St Mary’s Lane, Upminster.

The decision to rid the sixth form of these subjects in September 2018 was made by the school’s governors.

Ex-pupil Nicola Hawkins, who set up the petition, left the school in 2006 after taking music, drama and PE at A-level.

Her first job following from university was performing in Mamma Mia in the West End and she now lives in South Korea where she designs and performs children’s theatre.

She says her time learning these subjects at A-level shaped her future career.

“So many students that study these subjects at A-level go onto drama schools, art colleges and music conservatories. None of this would happen without these A-level subjects.

“This isn’t just about people becoming musicians, actors and artists, it’s about devaluing these subjects in our society.”

Headteacher Dr David Parry says the subjects will be scrapped due to “financial constraints” but it was not an easy decision.

He said: “At Coopers’ we are proud of our liberal, broad and academic curriculum.

“However, with ever increasing financial constraints, we have had to take some difficult decisions regarding the breadth of subjects that we offer.

“These subjects have been reducing in popularity in recent years and have relatively small numbers of students studying them.

“The decision has not been taken lightly and allows our resources to be targeted much more effectively to the benefit of students.”

Mum of a Year 10 student, Daniela McDonach, says her son, who was planning to study music, says he is “devastated”.

She said: “This will mean that he’ll have to study for his A-levels elsewhere if he wants to continue with music.

“Not all students are great at subjects like maths and science but are talented when it comes to the more creative subjects so it’s going to affect them.

“I am stunned.”

To sign the petition visit here

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