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Hundreds sign petition to save Highlands Performing Arts course

Hundreds sign petition to save Highlands Performing Arts course

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Hundreds sign petition to save Highlands Performing Arts course

Tuesday 16 May 2023

A petition has been launched to save the Performing Arts course at Highlands College, after it was cancelled for the second time in three years due to insufficient student numbers.

The cancellation has received backlash from islanders concerned about the lack of study opportunities for performing arts subjects in Jersey.

The Level 3 Performing Arts course at Highlands College was cancelled ahead of its September 2023 start date following low student demand.

The two-year course, which is equivalent to an A Level, offered students the chance to learn a range of performance skills including acting for stage and screen, stage combat, singing, dance and stage craft. 

The course only received eight applications for the 2023-24 academic year and, upon further investigation, Highlands College determined that only a maximum of four students would actually be undertaking the course.

As a result, the College took the decision to cancel the course for the next academic year. Prospective students were informed on the 20 April 2023.


Pictured: The course offered students the chance to learn a variety of performance skills.  

Jo Terry-Marchant, Principal of Highlands College, said that the decision was made "reluctantly".

"Performing Arts is reliant on a collaborative learning experience and with four students you cannot meet the learning aims of the qualification: students need solo and group performance and to take on challenging texts; this is not possible with such small numbers," she explained.

"By supporting the course, we would essentially be setting the students up to fail."

All applicants affected by the decision were offered one-to-one guidance to help them find alternative next steps. 

A petition to save the course was launched last week, and has so far garnered more than 300 signatures.

Comments on the petition cite concerns about the lack of opportunities for students to study performing arts on-island. 


Pictured: The Performing Arts course was also cancelled in the 2021-22 academic year due to insufficient numbers.

One islander commented on the petition: "This leaves students with very few options to study performing arts on a small island if they don’t want to leave for the UK." 

Schools on the island - including Hautlieu, Victoria College and JCG - offer other qualifications in the performing arts field, but only alongside other subjects.

This is the second time the Performing Arts course at Highlands College has been cancelled – the course also did not run in the 2021-22 academic year due to insufficient numbers.

The current performing arts cohort has only eight students enrolled, of which just seven will move on to their second year of study.

Earlier this month, Highlands College also announced the cancellation of the BA (Hons) in Business and Management degree, again due to a lack of demand. While the College could not specify the exact number of applicants for this degree, they said it was less than five. 

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Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by Scott Mills on
economies of scale...what don't people understand about that. Own a restaurant and only 4 people turn up each week. Would you stay open?
Posted by Jess Pratt on
I don’t understand why even if there is 4 people on the course that it can’t go on. Sometimes group work is only 4 people, I don’t see how the number on the course is any different. Acting can be any number of people whether it is 4 or 10. I think this is absurd. From my research on the Highlands website it is worth 3 Levels not 1. Let children chase their dream careers and learn what they want to learn, some people would have to go off Island for this. What does that say about this island? There is a lack of this course type, taking this course away would be awful. I suggest this course be put back up and let young adults pursue their dreams. Numbers do not matter. What a Silly excuse. I don’t understand why other areas can get full government funding, when they don’t include Jersey people. Jersey people are getting no opportunities and it is ridiculous. Focus on what the people on this Island want, not statistics.
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