Amy Hughes’ hopes of course at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts scuppered by tuition cuts

Amy Hughes

Amy Hughes

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A TEENAGER from Hampshire could see her dreams of becoming a dancer ruined after funding for her course was dropped.

Amy Hughes has dreams of a career on the stage and was set to enrol on a performing arts course at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.

But with one month before she was due to take her first class the 16-year-old has been told that the course has been cancelled because tuition funding has been axed.

Amy, from Fawley, who works as a parttime carer at Ashlett Dale Rest Home, said she would not be able to afford the £1,200 per term fees and the accommodation costs in Guildford without the funding.

The Noadswood School student said she had chosen the course in the hope of being propelled straight into the dance industry.

She said: “My ambition is to be a dancer on the stage, as a backing singer. I’d like to appear on stage.

My mum got the phone call [saying that the funding had been stopped]. She told me and burst into tears. She started crying because she knows how hard I tried.

“They are no longer funding our course.

They have only given us a month to find the cash, which we don’t have.”

Samantha Newton, principal of the Italia Conti centre in Guildford, said they are the provider of the performing arts course with funding provided by Guildford College.

She said: “We got no notice from them either until the end of July. We have been working with them for six years. I’m hoping that that will have a change of heart.

“They do want us to carry on but they want us to cut the course to one year, which just isn’t practical.”

A spokesman for Guildford College said: “This year the college is not in a financial position to commission the scale of partnership activity as it historically has, and as a result has been unable to allocate Italia Conti the amount of funding it has previously received.

"Unfortunately, Italia Conti continued to enrol students onto funded courses without securing sufficient funding from a funder or there being an agreed contract in place.”

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