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Drama schools launch membership body to replace Drama UK

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama's production of Mojo. Photo: Robert Workman Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama's production of Mojo. Photo: Robert Workman
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A new membership body representing drama schools has launched as a partial replacement to the now-defunct Drama UK.

The Federation of Drama Schools is made up of 20 training institutions, bringing together all the major schools that were formerly members of Drama UK. The accreditation body dissolved in 2016 after a period of instability in which several high-profile schools quit the organisation.

The group claims to have been set up to enable students to identify “high quality, intensive vocational training for performers, directors, designers and technicians”. However, unlike Drama UK, the new body will not offer independent accreditation of drama school courses.

Instead, all member schools must demonstrate a commitment to the federation’s vision and core principles. These include having at least one full, three-year acting programme with at least 900 contact hours per year, ensuring that at least 50% of graduates secure an agent of paid employments within a year and being able to prove at least four years of graduating third-year students.

Schools must also adhere to the federation’s core principles, including a commitment to equality and diversity, strong links to the industry and a commitment to preparing students for a rapidly changing professional environment.

Unlike Drama UK, the Federation of Drama Schools will be run entirely by the schools themselves without representation from industry employers.

It will be chaired by East 15‘s Leon Rubin, who said: “This will be a forward-looking and dynamic organisation. Our aim is to facilitate the delivery of vocational training of the highest quality, so that graduates from these schools are well equipped to serve the industry of today, as well as to lead and shape its development in the future.”

The new members of the Federation of Drama Schools include 12 London institutions and eight regional schools.

RADA, LAMDA, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts are all members, as are the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

The federation officially launched on June 13, and will hold regular meetings of its members schools with a view to sharing best practice and research with the industry.

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