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Trainees are worked hard from the off, and quickly come to relish the challenge of rising to professional level standards and deadlines. ‘Before I came to ELAM I knew nothing about making games,’ mused a year 12 student as he showed us an impressive virtual environment he’d created set in a submarine, ‘but it’s hands on here, you’re thrown in at the deep end, it’s about constant improvement.' Wherever we went, trainees were getting together to rehearse songs, practise riffs, do a spot of sequencing, or just strum a guitar and unwind. ‘Everyone’s basically learning from each other in this school...'

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Since the school opened in 2014, Charlie Kennard BA MA QTS (30s). Educated at Latymer Upper, read economics at Edinburgh, then went straight onto the Teach First programme. Taught for two years at Stuart Bathurst Catholic Secondary School in Wednesbury near Birmingham, working with some of the most economically disadvantaged children in the country; then joined the Teach First management team and subsequently became director of its sister organisation Teach for Malaysia. In 2012, happened to have a conversation with his brother Will, the platinum-selling musician of Chase & Status fame, decrying the lack of opportunities in the music business for young people from low-income families. ELAM opened two years later. No grass growing beneath Charlie’s feet.

Youthful, fresh-faced, a child of the modern age and totally at ease with it,...

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