Agenda item

Office for Students (OfS) Annual Accountability Return 2019 - Financial commentary

The Principal of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.


The Committee considered a report of the Principal of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama which provided the financial commentary required, under statute to the OfS, for submission as part of the Annual Accountability Return.  Governors noted that this document would require some adaptation following the recent publication of the guidance, as referred to under agenda item (9) above.


During the discussion on this item, the following points were noted:


·         The school had lost about 50 students as a result of uncertainties surrounding Brexit. Governors noted that there would be implications in respect of expenditure on travel and oversees accommodation if the school had to raise its level of international recruitment.


·         Whilst the report assumed that the school would successfully retain its £4m per annum from the OfS, any reduction would have to be phased in.  Officers explained that any reduction in this income would create further reliance on international students. 


·         The on-going media challenge to high salaries in the Further Education Sector, which was not the case for the GSMD, and a further perception about drama schools discriminating against poorer students.  Governors noted that, as part of a drama pilot, the School were planning to reduce their audition fees; currently £62 for 3 auditions, in line with action taken by Landor and other competitors.  The Principal advised that the GSMD also offered travel bursaries and scholarships.  An officer read out a draft media statement on the plans for a new application fee structure.  Governors also noted that there was a strong message on the GSMD’s website about the School’s commitment to equality.


·         The revised guidance recommended scenario testing and information on risk management activity. 


·         The financial forecast included an assumption of acquiring another building and Governors noted that this would enable more non-student related activities. 




1.              The contents of the report be endorsed and recommended to the Board of Governors of the GSMD, for submission to the Office for Students, as part of the Annual Accountability Return for 2019;


2.              Authority be delegated to the Town Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors of the GSMD, to approve any amendments to this report resulting from changes to OfS requirements for the 2019 commentary.