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Figures reveal poor presence of BAME staff in drama schools

DRAMA: Academic staff from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are under-represented in UK acting schools

New figures reveal that the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic academic staff within UK drama schools is at a standstill.

According to research for the academic year of 2016/17 released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), more than 90% of academic staff identify as white.

The issue of poor diversity in British drama institutions has prompted some of the leading schools to sign up to a three-year campaign with the Diversity School Initiative. The partnership will see schools work with the non-profit organisation to address the under-representation and diversity within UK drama schools.

Steven Kavuma, a representative from Diversity School Initiative, told The Voice: “The creative arts industry as we know it today does not currently reflect the diversity of the UK.

“We want to help hold drama schools accountable for their decisions concerning diversity and to support students who report feeling underrepresented at drama schools.”

The data from HESA was compiled using information from some of the country’s top drama schools such as the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, which comprises of eight specialise schools including RADA, LAMDA, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland was found to employ the highest number of staff from BAME backgrounds at 9.6%, while the University of South Wales, which includes the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, was found to have just 2.1% of academic staff who identified black or minority ethnic.

Research carried out by The Stage last year revealed that only 6% of teaching staff at 13 of the UK’s leading drama schools were of non-white origin in the academic year 2015/16.

Not one of the 13 drama institutions employed more than 10% of BAME staff, according to The Stage’s findings.

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