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Arts Educational Schools London

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1939
    • Size:
    • Small (<5000 students)
    • Type:
    • Private non-profit
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
      Art institutes
    • Specialization:
    • Theatre/Drama School 1
    • Climate:
    • Temperate
    • Location:
    • 14 Bath Rd, Chiswick, London, England, United Kingdom
    • Phone:
    • +442089876666
    • Email Address:
    • N/A
    • Setting:
    • Urban

The History of Arts Educational Schools London

ArtsEd originated from two schools: one founded in 1919 by Grace Cone, the other in 1922 by Olive Ripman. Both offered curricula combining general academic education with training in dance, drama, music and art, in preparation for professional careers in or connected with the theatre. In 1939 the two schools amalgamated to form the Cone Ripman School, later named the Arts Educational Schools.

The school was first based at Stratford Place in London, but following the outbreak of World War II, relocated to Tring, Hertfordshire, sharing premises with Rothschild Bank at Tring Park.

In 1941, the school reopened at Stratford Place, while the second school continued to operate in Tring. In 1947, both schools were renamed the Arts Educational Schools. The London school was later based at Golden Lane House in the Barbican until 1986 when the school purchased the former buildings of Acton and Chiswick Polytechnic. This building is now known as Cone Ripman House.

In the 2000s the two schools became independent of each other, and the Tring school has been renamed Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. Today, Arts Educational Schools London is a co-educational Independent Day School and Sixth Form for pupils aged 11–18, and a professional conservatoire specializing in acting and musical theatre, as well as a range of part-time courses.

For many years, the president of the school was prima ballerina assoluta Dame Alicia Markova and Dame Beryl Grey became Director in the 1960s. Dame Alicia was succeeded in 2007 by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Iain Reid was dean of the schools from 1999 until his retirement in December 2006. He was succeeded by John Baraldi, former chief executive of Riverside Studios, and former director of the East 15 Acting School; Baraldi left the school in early 2009, and was succeeded by Jane Harrison. The current dean is Chris Hocking.

Academic Highlights

ArtsEd provides specialist vocational training at secondary, further and higher education level in musical theatre and acting for film and television. The school also offers part-time and holiday courses in the performing arts. The school had been accredited by Drama UK (organization dissolved in 2016), and it offers Qualifications and Curriculum Authority recognized qualifications validated by the City University London or Trinity College, London.

Life in Arts Educational Schools London

ArtsEd is one of twenty-one specialist performing arts schools approved to offer government-funded Dance and Drama Awards, a scheme established to subsidize the cost of professional dance and drama training for the most talented students at leading institutions.

In 2013 ArtsEd was awarded a grant by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to fund a refurbishment project. The money was spent on the main theatre, costume storage, the School of Film and Television and the school's access facilities.

In 2015 the school was rated "Outstanding" by Ofsted.

School Ranking


We will provide full audition details, including preparation tips, once a prospective pupil is registered. Candidates will need to prepare either a dance or a drama audition piece. All candidates will need to prepare a short song.

All prepared pieces must fit the guidelines below.


1× two-minute dance piece

Accompaniment can be provided on a mobile phone.


1× two-minute speech from a play

The character must be an appropriate playing age. Candidates must bring an additional copy of the text for the assessor.


1× short song

The pieces below can be purchased through or found online at Candidates are requested to bring the piano score with them to the audition. All songs should be in the original key for female candidates, but male candidates may change the key to accommodate changing voices if necessary.

Notable Alumni

Julie Andrews[6] (The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins) Kai Alexander (The Stranger, Catastrophe) Samantha Barks (Les Misérables on stage and screen)

Acceptance Rate

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