National Centre for Circus Arts

Image: Bertil Nilsson

How we work

The Conservatoire works through a formal collaborative arrangement among its six member schools, as set out in a Members’ Agreement (agreed 11 October 2017).

Working through a shared consultative and decision-making structure, the Schools agree the Conservatoire’s overall strategy and policy. The relationship between the Conservatoire and each School is set out in a financial memorandum and an operating agreement and agreed with the School’s governing body. While each of the Schools remains a legally autonomous organisation, the Conservatoire is ultimately accountable for the proper use and stewardship of the public funds it receives. The Conservatoire’s main tasks are to:

  • plan, deliberate and take decisions about the Conservatoire’s strategy and development
  • facilitate collaborative working and joint activities between the eight Schools, their staff and students
  • liaise with external funding and regulatory bodies such as the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) over funding, reporting and other relevant matters
  • promote the collective interests of the Conservatoire and its Schools

The activities in support of the Conservatoire’s functions consist mainly of:

  • deliberative meetings of a governing board, sub-committees, an academic board and working groups
  • preparation of policy and other relevant papers
  • maintaining records
  • data collection, analysis presentation and reporting
  • financial planning and management
  • overseeing joint projects, conferences and performances
  • administration of the above

The Conservatoire also includes two affiliate schools whose participation in the Conservatoire’s collaborative arrangements is for a fixed and limited amount of time.

Conservatoire Executive Committee

The Conservatoire’s Board of Governors has delegated executive responsibility for the organisation to a Chief Executive who determines the direction and management of the Conservatoire and leads its central staff.  The Chief Executive is the Conservatoire’s Accountable Officer and takes responsibility for the day-to-day conduct of the Conservatoire’s business.

The Chief Executive is supported by the Conservatoire Executive Committee (“CEC”).  Together, the Chief Executive and CEC provide collective leadership for the Conservatoire.  CEC is chaired by the Chief Executive and includes the Principal of each Conservatoire member school.  The CEC is supported by the Finance Directors of the member schools and the Conservatoire’s shared services team.

The CEC considers matters relating to policy and receives reports on the work of the Senate and the Conservatoire’s various committees and working groups, and considers recommendations from these bodies. Full meetings of the CEC are held three or four times a term.