London drama schools RADA and LAMDA will leave the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama next week after more than 15 years as part of the institution.
The two schools say they have left the CDD to pursue opportunities that were not available to them when they joined the group, and to maintain independence.
The CDD currently represents eight performing arts providers – RADA, LAMDA, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Central School of Ballet, London Contemporary Dance School, National Centre for Circus Arts, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.
It was set up in 2001, with RADA as a founding school. LAMDA joined three years later in 2004.
At present, the eight schools are considered as one higher education institution, but from August 1, RADA and LAMDA will become independent higher education institutions, with the six remaining members of the CDD continuing as part of the collegiate partnership.
Under the new structure, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School will be the only remaining drama provider in the CDD – the five others are focused on dance or circus.
The CDD said: “With many choices available to institutions in a fast-changing higher education landscape, each school has now considered what represents the best long-term interests for its own development.”
RADA and LAMDA will now be registered independently with the Office for Students – formerly HEFCE – as higher education providers.
A statement from RADA said: “As a founding affiliate, RADA was instrumental in the creation of the CDD as a response to the challenges of access to public funding for students from all backgrounds seeking to train as actors, technical and production professionals.”
“Higher education policy has changed significantly in the subsequent 18 years, and presents opportunities not available to RADA or other conservatoire schools in the early 2000s,” it added.
LAMDA said it had registered independent with the OfS as a way of building on its history and reputation, and “in order to secure and maintain its independence”.