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The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama is a higher education provider registered with the Office for Students. It has six Member Schools that deliver undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of higher education: 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 & Contemporary Dance. Each School is committed to the delivery of world leading education and specialist vocational training in the performing arts, training the performing artists and production professionals of the future: actors, circus artists, dancers, stage managers, technical theatre practitioners, choreographers and directors.

Located at the heart of three vibrant cultural centres in London, Bristol and Leeds, the Schools are:

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Students value the immersive experience of conservatoire training and its unparalleled access to the performing arts industries, and student satisfaction and teaching are rated consistently highly in the National Student Survey. Each school has an established record of training its students to a professional standard, with excellent employment rates in the fields of dance, drama or circus. The Schools provide a pipeline of expertly-trained performing arts professionals working in the UK’s lucrative creative industries and helping to build the UK’s international reputation. Internationally renowned centres of training, the Schools are also creative laboratories: bringing in national and international artists to work with students and supporting emerging writers, directors and choreographers in creating and showcasing new work.

Organisational transition

Since January 2021, the Conservatoire and its Schools have been working closely with one another and with the Office for Students to move towards new arrangements, with each of the Schools pursuing an independent pathway outside of the Conservatoire. We are pleased to confirm that as of June 2022, each of the schools has achieved its desired outcome and the transition to new arrangements will be effective from 1 August 2022.

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is entering a new partnership arrangement with the University of the West of England.

Following successful quality and standards reviews (QSR) outcomes from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), Central School of Ballet, London Contemporary Dance School, National Centre for Circus Arts, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, and Rambert School have received confirmation of registration with the Office for Students, and will become independent higher education providers.

All students who are currently registered with the Conservatoire will transition to registration either with the University of the West of England, for BOVTS students, or to their School’s new registration with the Office for Students, from 1 August 2022. At that time, the Conservatoire will deregister as a higher education provider and will begin the process of a solvent winddown of its Charity and Company.

For the past two decades, the Conservatoire has provided a collegiate structure for its schools which has facilitated collaboration, sharing of learning and best practice, and the continued development and enhancement of higher education provision in dance, drama and circus arts. During this time, the higher education landscape has altered significantly, and the Conservatoire Schools are now able to take advantage of new opportunities available to small specialist providers. The Conservatoire will continue to support the Schools up to the date of transition in preparing for the next phase of their journeys as providers of world-leading higher education and training in the performing arts.

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