Notes from the Plenary Session of NATD’s 2011 Conference
From September 30th – October 2nd 2011 at Oriel College, Oxford, NATD gathered for its annual conference and considered the implications of the most recent Education White Paper and its impact on Drama-in-Education today. The National Executive asserted that we were not settling for less than a full entitlement for young people. Through a Key Note performance by Bridges Arts Group, Key Note addresses from Matthew Milburn, Chris Cooper and Luke Abbott and workshops run by Chris Ball, Liselle Terret, Maggie Hulson, Guy Williams and Karen Tomlin we were challenged to answer the question: who decides what young people need to know and understand?
On the Sunday afternoon as Conference was drawing to a close and delegates might have been expected to be wilting, the most extraordinary vibrancy and energy emerged. The plenary drew all of the issues and concerns of Conference together around three broad questions:
- Give an example of how this conference has enhanced/confirmed your view of drama as a vital mode of knowing the world.
- What is the picture for drama in your school now and in the coming year?
- When our grandchildren ask us what we did in the fight for education, what do you hope the answer will be i) from NATD, ii) from yourself?
The results, published HERE verbatim, are a hugely positive affirmation of the state of Drama Education in our schools today. Even the most jaded practitioner can’t help but be inspired by reading these words.