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Sylvia Young is a sympathetic soul, whose persistence and drive has developed the school from a walk-on role to full stardom. ‘It’s the Oxbridge of theatre schools', said one parent. Unsurprisingly, the academic curriculum is more compact than you’d find in a mainstream school - so no PE (no need with all that dancing), geography or DT - and the emphasis is definitely on the arts. Many of the performing arts staff are themselves working professionals and don’t spare their students…

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What the school says...

Students who board do so with accredited host families. There are no on-site boarding facilities.

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2015 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Boys taking Media / Film / TV Studies at an English Independent School (GCSE)

2016 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Boys taking Media / Film / TV Studies at an English Independent School (GCSE Full Course)
  • Best performance by Girls taking Media / Film / TV Studies at an English Independent School (GCSE Full Course)

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 1981, Sylvia Young OBE (70s). The founding principal, she is something of a legend in London’s theatreland and has been supplying junior talent to the West End stage for over 30 years. With some early training, she decided ‘performance was not for me’, but soon realised she had a knack for spotting and inspiring talent in others. She started on a small scale, working with local children at a youth club in east London, then launched a full-time school at the suggestion of one of the parents. The school is her passion and she now lives on the site with her husband. Two grown-up daughters have both entered the profession, one (Frances Ruffelle) as a Tony-winning actress and singer, the other (Alison) as a theatrical agent. Her granddaughter is the pop singer Eliza...

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