A college in Glasgow’s west end has introduced a new course designed to support P.E. teachers delivering dance lessons as part of the school curriculum.

Titled ‘Dance Skills for P.E. Teachers’, the first of its kind course will cover contemporary, jazz, dance history and choreographic skills for students looking to complete dance qualifications in secondary schools.

Dance qualifications are available for Scottish schools, but entry levels are low. Just 765 students attempted the National 5 in 2023, with the numbers attempting Higher even lower at 475. In contrast, more than 2,500 students attempted Higher Drama in the same year, while P.E. is one of the most popular subjects in schools, attracting more than 20,000 National 5 students and almost 11,500 Higher students.

The SQA also offers National Certificate and National Progression Awards courses in dance but uptake of these options is even lower.

Staff at Glasgow Clyde College believe that introducing a new course for current P.E. teachers will help to “close the skills gap in specialised dance tuition” and allow more young people to complete qualifications. They are say as things stand, few teachers are “able to confidently teach a variety of dance disciplines to students at school level.”

The course will be available at SCQF levels 7 and 8, with participants completing five units each year. However, it is only available to current P.E. teachers who are also registered with Scotland’s teaching regulator, the GTCS.

Classes will take place at the college’s Anniesland campus, which houses the purpose-built facilities of Dance Studio Scotland. The cost for those enrolling on the course will be £880 per year.

On completion of the course, teachers will have developed the skills necessary to deliver instruct students in two dance genres while also providing key theoretical knowledge.

Maxine Railton, Curriculum Manager at Dance Studio Scotland said: “We’re really pleased to be able to offer this course to Scottish P.E teachers. Having the right level of skill to teach the arts is so important, particularly at an age where pupils are making important decisions about their futures. 

“We want to make sure dance education is provided at the highest quality, and having existed for more than 25 years, Dance Studio Scotland is uniquely placed to provide exactly the kind of support and training that’s required to stimulate and encourage young people who are interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts.”

For more information, visit the Glasgow Clyde College website.