“Performing arts students ‘scared to report abuse’” (News, 19 July) focused on a survey by Equity, the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the Musicians’ Union regarding the sexual harassment and bullying of students in UK specialist institutions. This survey raised important issues regarding student support within the performing arts; however, it represents less than 2 per cent of eligible participants from UK conservatoires. As with all surveys that deal with complex personal issues, there is often a risk that questions will be misinterpreted by respondents, making it difficult to define how representative the outcomes are, especially when the number of participants is particularly low.
UK conservatoires, individually and across the Conservatoires UK network, are working hard to address the many challenges facing higher education and the wider profession, including those highlighted within this small survey. While constantly striving for improvement, each conservatoire has well-established pastoral and regulatory frameworks in place, developed in close consultation with students, which are open, transparent and readily available. They are also fully committed to ensuring that graduates are equipped with the skills and confidence they need to become agents of change for the future.
Chair of Conservatoires UK and principal of the Royal Northern College of Music, on behalf of Conservatoires UK