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Drama academy aims to restructure

30 May 08 17:39 GMT

The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama has announced details of its restructuring plans.

Four different departments will be merged into two and a number a staff will be offered term-time contracts.

One post is to go in the school of drama and there will be five voluntary redundancies across the academy.

There has been a high-profile campaign protesting at the possibility of cuts, supported by actors such as James McAvoy and David Tennant.

Mr McAvoy was one of a group of actors and musicians who wrote to the first minister earlier this month asking the Scottish Government to intervene to safeguard the academy (RSAMD.)

'Intensive consultation'

Alex Salmond said that would be "inappropriate" but he acknowledged the difficulties caused as a result "of the historical imbalance between the funding it receives for teaching music and drama".

He later announced that Scottish Funding Council would carry out a review of money for drama provision across Scotland.

Under the new plans, four different departments at the RSAMD will be merged into two. Brass and woodwind will now be one department, as will opera and vocal studies.

RSAMD Principal John Wallace called the academy "one of the jewels in the crown of Scottish culture".

Commenting on the plans, he added: "Through a period of intensive consultation with both staff and students we have found inventive ways to make the most of the current resources available to us and enhance the student experience.

"We are now in a strong position to face the future and look forward to the Scottish Funding Council review of drama funding."

The plans met with a cautious response from campaigners.

Student president Barry McAleese said he was glad the academy had listened to their recent campaign but added that most students would reserve judgement until they had "seen the the small print".

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill, whose constituency includes the RSAMD, added: "I've never accepted the government's line that all is rosy at the academy and I still don't believe that all is resolved especially while a compulsory redundancy is still on the table.

"We must now wait to see which staff are prepared to accept term-time only contracts."

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