As the current chairperson of National Drama (ND) (elected 2014), I have been a diligent, selfless and professional member of the executive for over 12 years. I have overseen the successful transition of ND into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), formalising working procedures and policies; ensured the organisation is more financially stable than ever before, whilst also expanding and solidifying ND’s presence on the national and international stage. I have campaigned to maintain drama in schools as a vital part of a broad, balanced and creative curriculum, and have been invited by Ofsted as an ‘expert’ to contribute to the shaping of a (potential) new inspection framework for drama. I was previously appointed by Westminster as an advanced skills teacher of drama. More recently, my work for drama in education has been recognised by the Royal Society of Arts who awarded me a Fellowship (FRSA).
I am the spokesperson for ND on the Council for Subject Associations, and other bodies; the European co-ordinator for ND in IDEA (International Drama and Theatre Education Association); and have been teaching drama in schools for 20 years. I believe that the role of Chair requires someone who has demonstrated long standing commitment to National Drama and its values, has a strong strategic vision for the organisation, is an effective communicator, has relevant current experience of the drama classroom, and is dedicated to the future of the charity.
I have years of experience teaching Drama in Peterborough and Sheffield, in teaching pastoral and leadership roles around the arts and community, delivering drama in primary schools and creating networks between cultural organisations and schools that enriched student engagement. I studied at Bretton Hall, have a PGCSE from Homerton, AST certification, a Masters from Central and a NCSL qualification. I love teaching and learning and believe drama in schools should be an entitlement for all, as well as a respected, creative and challenging option for KS4 and beyond. I have been a member of National Drama for years. I am currently a Drama teacher in a Barnsley school, teaching Y7 – 13, doing what I can to challenge the Ebacc and champion Drama in schools.
I am an ESOL and English secondary teacher, Greek language teacher, drama facilitator, PhD researcher and secretary at National Drama. Wearing all these hats I have realised how beneficial and handy is the skill of drama for an educator. My doctoral research focuses on L2 vocabulary acquisition through drama and the latter has been proved as one of the most creative, enjoyable and efficient ways of learning a language. I consider drama not only as art but also as a teaching medium capable of satisfying every learner’s expectations.
I have a lot of experience as a Drama teacher having worked as a class teacher in both Primary and Secondary Schools, as Head of Drama, Advisory Drama Teacher and as Leader of a TiE Team. Currently I edit Drama Magazine and Drama Research and am Treasurer but I am also Co-ordinator of London Drama and a Trustee of Southwark Theatres Education Partnership (STEP) and Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell.
I am passionate about the value of drama and deplore the way the creative arts are being marginalised in our schools. I have campaigned strongly against this at every opportunity including lobbying outside parliament.
I am hugely proud of being involved in the creation of National Drama and being its first Membership Officer. It was an auspicious time: National Drama was “born” in November 1989, the same week the Berlin wall was taken down. Sadly, after the euphoria of those early years, the plight of drama has worsened considerably.
In the past 29 years I have served the association with zest and total commitment and at different times have taken on the roles of SEN Officer, Publicity and Marketing, Liaison Officer as well as being Membership Officer twice. We have always worked as a team so I have supported course and conference organisation too.
Professionally, my first job was as a drama teacher in a 9-13 middle school. I then set up a children’s theatre/TiE company which I ran as a co-operative and acted in for 8 years. We toured Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles, visiting schools in the Falls Road and in Central Derry. I then chose to work as a primary school teacher and became increasingly involved in using drama with children who had a wide range of special/additional needs.
Having recently retired I now have even more time to support drama, and all those involved in drama, through ND.