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Ballet Schools

Volume 401: debated on Thursday 20 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many ballet schools there are in England and Wales; and what Government support is available to pupils. [103044]

My Department does not keep lists of the many small ballet schools in England. The Council for Dance Education and Training holds a comprehensive list of providers.There are four independent specialist ballet schools in England offering places to exceptionally talented children aged 11 to 19. They all participate in the Government's Music and Dance Scheme (MDS), which provides means-tested support with fees, and they all provide vocational training alongside a good academic education.Means-tested support for fees and maintenance is also provided for students aged 16+ by three of the MDS schools and a further four private further education institutions through the Department's Dance and Drama Awards.Schools issues in Wales are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.