LONDON, August 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
From Julie Andrews to Amy Winehouse, the UK's specialist arts schools are breeding grounds for cult performers. Infrastructure, emphasis on academic studies and fees vary wildly, but the output is unilaterally impressive.
These are the findings of a report released to time with the start of the new academic year and commissioned by BE OPEN, the social and cultural foundation supported by the Russian philanthropist, businesswoman and entrepreneur Elena Baturina, whose Inside the Academy education strand is being developed to help foster creativity from secondary education through to university, to help generate tomorrow's creative thinkers and doers. The report compiled by WIRED Consulting, the bespoke events arm of WIRED UK magazine, the rating uses existing reporting and statistics to rank twenty institutions in each country, with the five leaders highlighted. The rating covers courses ranging from art to craft, design to film and writing to the performing arts in schools across the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.
Miriam Juviler at the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts puts their results down to providing strong, all-round education: "Our main advantage is that, along with a complete spectrum of vocational courses, we also offer a full academic education. We believe you need intelligence to be a better performer, so our pupils are ultimately more successful." Tring was founded in 1939 and has Thandie Newton, Sarah Brightman and Julie Andrews on its list of illustrious alumni.
Alexa Cruickshank at The BRIT School, arguably the best known performing arts institute in the country, says: "We expect our children to be young professionals. The real distinction here is that we teach students the business of performing arts. Kids come to us at 16, and by the age of 18 they are trained up on industry-standard resources." The BRIT School's pioneering approach has helped it produce some of the most recognizable names in modern entertainment: Amy Winehouse, Katie Melua, Kate Nash, Adele, Leona Lewis, the Kooks and The Noisettes, amongst others. Representatives from record labels, media companies and the performing arts come to speak to students every week, and teachers aim to instil a "just do it" creative attitude and an understanding of self-promotion in every student.
Attendance at The BRIT School is free - it's a state school; whereas Tring offers 80 means-tested scholarships with the remaining pupils paying up to £30,000 in fees.
Impressively, provision is spread around the country, with Leicester College catering for 26,000 students annually (famous alumni include TV personality Gok Wan and Michelin starred chef Aaron Patterson) and Chetham's School of Music in Manchester offering the country's largest specialist music provision: 290 students aged 8-18.
With backing from the Ministry of Culture through Arts Council England and a number of private schools offer significant scholarships for talented children, there are good opportunities to grow the UK's pool of performers. "If a child has talent, cost is not going to be a prohibitive factor in accessing good creative education in the UK", says Professor Anne Bamford, Arts Education expert.
The BE OPEN ranking system was launched at a conference at Chelsea College of Art & Design this June, where all elements of the foundation's Inside the Academy programme were discussed. Further rankings to rate schools and colleges across the globe will be researched and released in due course as part of BE OPEN's ongoing commitment to creative education.
For updates on BE OPEN see:
SOURCE BE OPEN