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Previous Action

The setting up of a face book group page to feed back and organise parent information at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=176817876697

Individual lobbying of Glasgow City Councillors and MSPs by parents on the specific issue of the future of Dalrymple Hall which has resulted in motion S3M-5241, by Robert Brown (www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/businessBulletin/bb-09/bb-11-23f.htm).

Four representatives of the parent sub-group met with 2 representatives of GCC Education Services on Friday 12 February. The meeting was a very positive first meeting with the Council. The outcome is that there are two main issues—

• Property: Glasgow University the owners of Dalrymple Hall wish to sell the building and there is no obvious alternative and
• Funding: GCC claim they find themselves in a shortfall situation with regard to the funding they receive for the Dance School of Scotland from the Scottish Government.

Their position is that they are keen to engage in a consultation with all stakeholders on the future provision of accommodation for the pupils who attend the Dance School of Scotland. They are particularly keen to enter into discussion with the Scottish Government to find a long term solution. Mr Bill Butler MSP for Anniesland also had a meeting with Mrs Maureen McKenna, Education Services Director and Cllr Jonathan Findlay on 25 January. The outcome of this meeting was similar to the one with the parents. In addition Mr Butler managed to gain reassurance that the lease would be signed for Dalrymple Hall for the year to July 2011. However, it is important to note that if the economic climate were any more favourable Glasgow University would be pushing to sell Dalrymple Hall much more quickly. The conclusion from both meetings is the need to engage in discussion with the Scottish Government in order to secure long-term provision.

• The setting up of an online petition (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dalrymple/signatures). At the time of
writing this petition currently has 1232 signatures.
• Seeking of support from celebrities and ex-pupils who have left Dance School of Scotland and made successful careers in Musical Theatre and Dance. Officially we now have written letters of support from Craig Revel Horwood (Strictly Come Dancing), Brian Friedman (choreographer – X Factor) and Dame Judi Dench. We have received indications of support and are currently awaiting letters from Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Cameron Mackintosh and John Barrowman.
• The creation of a sub-group (9 parents) which was elected at a whole parent meeting on 21st December 2009. The sub-group have been charged with looking for solutions to the current situation i.e. the possible reduction/withdrawal of residential accommodation. The subgroup have now met twice.

We are at the beginning of this process. As an organised sub-group our only dealings with MSPs to date have been to meet with Mr Bill Butler MSP to voice our concerns. The result of this meeting was the aforementioned meeting between Mr Butler and Mrs Maureen McKenna from GCC. As individual parents many of us have written to or visited our MSPs to voice our concerns over the future uncertainty of residential provision. The result has been several letters of support from MSPs and a letter from Steven Horan of the Schools Directorate advising that:

“I have been advised by Glasgow City Council that any measures eventually put in place to reduce overall Council spending will not lead to them discontinuing the Dance School of Scotland as a national resource. Children from across Scotland will continue to be encouraged to attend to benefit from the excellent teaching and state of the art facilities the school has to offer”.

Our plan as a sub-group is in the next couple of weeks to send a letter to every MSP together with a short DVD that has been produced by the pupils of DSS.