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I studied Drama and Theatre Studies while at school and know that these two subjects had more impact on my future choice of career than any other area of study.  The life skills which drama helped develop stood me in good stead for my role as Chief Executive of Mayflower Theatre. I learnt the value of team work, I gained confidence in how to present myself, I developed an appreciation for literature and I engaged in an emotional exploration of themes and subjects which developed my sense of self-worth and value. Furthermore, without the ability to explore Shakespeare plays, via the medium for which they were written, I doubt I would have passed my English exams.

One of the major success stories, and one of our most successful exports, is our culture. People from around the world come to the United Kingdom to experience the wonders of the West End and to visit the birthplace of the world’s greatest playwright. We produce great actors, writers, directors, dancers and arts managers – a vast majority of these people will have had the initial spark of creativity lit via their studies in school.

We have just experienced the joy of hosting the Olympics – the collective swell of pride and achievement was palpable as the country celebrated each gold medal as if a personal achievement. To remove the mechanism to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to allow our future sports stars to develop and grow is foolish. For every sportsperson there is a team of trainers, physiotherapists and sports scientists who begin their learning via their school studies, this government’s legacy, with the removal of PE from the curriculum, could be the possible destruction of any potential future sports achievement.

The Olympic opening ceremony clearly showed why we must continue  to provide future generations of young people the opportunity to study PE and The Arts at school – what would we have presented to the world without the creativity that inspired such a visual spectacle.

Michael Ockwell

Chief Executive, Mayflower Theatre

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