Equity to campaign for end to drama school tuition fees

Hattie Fisk
Thursday, May 23, 2024

The proposed motion to campaign received no opposition, with chair of Equity’s young members committee, Benjamin Finch, reiterating: ‘we must keep telling young people they have a family in the union who will always fight for their security and safety.’

Adobe Stock / Veronika Kraeva

Equity has announced it will actively campaign and lobby for the abolition of drama school tuition fees, following a vote by the Student Deputies Committee at this year’s conference. 

The motion vowed to challenge the existing training costs and the impact that it has on the most disadvantaged of students. This decision was passed unanimously, meaning Equity will now commit to researching how tuition fees and lack of governmental support poses further barriers to those looking to enter the industry. 

A number of Equity’s representatives spoke at the Birmingham-based conference, including Joshua Bendall and Lucy Turner. 

One representative from Equity’s Birmingham and West Midlands branch, Sophie Charlton, gave a speech at the proposal describing her experience with financial disparity at drama school, having graduated last year. 

‘You’re doing 40-hour weeks at drama school and then going to work at Sainsbury’s for another 25 hours. Then you have kids at drama school who are being bought houses to live in because their parents can afford to buy them somewhere without a mortgage.'

She added: ‘This [motion] is really, really important and it stops gatekeeping education.'