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Stopgap Dance Workshops

With the support of Sussex Arts Academy, six West Sussex schools have been successful in their bid for £15,000 to run an exciting programme to promote the arts across the curriculum for a group of around 60 children with special educational needs.  The initiative is supported with investment from Artswork, the South East Bridge, acting on behalf of the Arts Council England.

The project is run in partnership with the internationally renowned Stopgap Dance Company who are leading a programme of intensive dance workshops in each of the schools, starting on 7th February and continuing until the end of March.  The company has been at the forefront of inclusive dance both as a professional touring company and a charitable organisation keen to nurture the next generation of disabled dancers.  With exceptional experience of initiating integration between disabled and non-disabled dancers, Stopgap is committed to sharing its knowledge as widely as possible. 

Nicky Norton, Community Dance Development Officer with Stopgap, said, “We are very excited to be embarking on this ambitious project and working with all the young people taking part”.

“The workshops will develop the children’s knowledge, skills, and confidence,” says Lesley Dyer, Headteacher at the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee School in Horsham.  “Teachers will also be able to take on new skills which they can apply not only in the performing arts but also across the whole curriculum. The progress that each school makes will be recognised through the award of Arts Mark accreditation validated by the Arts Council.  Individual children will also be able to gain Arts Council accredited Arts Awards”.

The workshops will be evaluated by the Heather Green, Senior Lecturer in Special Education at the Chichester University Institute of Education, and the results will be made available to schools across the region and the country as a whole.

Further information:

Artswork - The projected is supported with investment from Artswork, the South East Bridge.

The six schools involved are:

  • Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School, Horsham
  • Manor Green College, Crawley
  • Woodlands Meed School, Burgess Hill
  • Oakgrove College, Worthing
  • St Anthony’s School, Chichester
  • Fordwater School, Chichester

Other project partners are:

  • The College of Richard Collyer, a sixth form college in Horsham
  • The Institute of Education, University of Chichester
  • Stopgap Dance Company –

Project co-ordinator: 

Sue Jay, Head of Creative Arts, Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School, Horsham

Schedule of workshops:

Tues, 7th Feb                     AM : OAK GROVE     PM : WOODLANDS MEED

Thurs, 9th Feb                    AM : WOODLANDS MEED      PM : OAK GROVE

Tues, 14th Feb                   AM : OAK GROVE    PM : WOODLANDS MEED

Thurs, 16th Feb                  AM : WOODLANDS MEED     PM : OAK GROVE

Mon, 27th Feb                    AM : QEII     PM : MANOR GREEN COLLEGE

Tues, 28th Feb                   AM : MANOR GREEN COLLEGE      PM : QEII

Thurs, 9th March                AM : ST.ANTHONY’S      PM : FORDWATER

Thurs, 16th March              AM : ST.ANTHONY’S      PM : FORDWATER

Mon, 20th March                AM : QEII       PM : MANOR GREEN COLLEGE

Tues, 21st March               AM : MANOR GREEN COLLEGE      PM : QEII

Thurs, 23rd March             AM : ST.ANTHONY’S      PM : FORDWATER

Thurs, 30th March             AM : ST.ANTHONY’S       PM : FORDWATER

About Sussex Arts Academy

Sussex Arts Academy is a registered charity that aims to connect young people with professional artists working in the community and to support disadvantaged youngsters to overcome barriers to participating in the arts. It also aims to sponsor organisations to provide arts enrichment programmes where this provision is lacking. 

The charity has received funding from West Sussex County Council, the Big Lottery Fund and Arts Council England and actively seeks donations from businesses and individuals who are passionate about arts education.

Further information can be found on the website or by contacting the Operations Manager, David Sword (