|Type||City Technology College|
England, United Kingdom
|Local authority||London Borough of Croydon|
|DfE URN||101849 Tables|
The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology is a British performing arts and technology school located in the London Borough of Croydon, England, with a mandate to provide education and vocational training for the performing arts, media, art and design and the technologies that make performance possible. Selective in its intake, the school is notable for its numerous famous alumni, including Jessie J, Adele, Tom Holland and Amy Winehouse.
Established in 1992 under the CTC programme, the school is funded by the British Government with support from the British Record Industry Trust and maintains an independent school status from the local education authority. The school is remarkable as being one of only three performing arts and technology schools in the country that are free to attend, the others being both in the West Midlands: Walsall Studio School and Birmingham Ormiston Academy.
Mark Featherstone-Witty had been inspired by Alan Parker's 1980s film Fame to create a secondary school specialising in the performing arts. By the time he started trying to raise money through the School for Performing Arts Trust (SPA), he had refined a novel integrated curriculum. He approached Sir Richard Branson to be the project champion who agreed, on the condition that other record companies chipped in. As it happened, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) were concerned with home taping and realised they had no political influence to bring the necessary pressure to bear. The then Conservative government needed to give impetus to their flagging City Technology College scheme.
Over 20 years, the BRIT School has been the beneficiary of more than £7 million from the British record industry, with a substantial annual contribution from the proceeds of the Brit Awards, administered via the record industry’s charity, the BRIT Trust.
The school's former principal Sir Nick Williams was knighted in the New Years Honours List 2013 from services to education.
The school was founded in 1991 under the auspices of the City Technology Colleges (CTC) initiative with sponsorship from the British Record Industry Trust (BRIT). Each year the BRIT Awards Music Ceremony raises money, some of which is used to help the continuing sponsorship of the school along with other music charities.
The school recognises that most of its students intend to make a career in the arts, entertainment and communications industries, but the school expects all to follow full-time courses to completion. It has two professional theatres, the Obie Theatre, which can seat audiences of up to 324 and standing audiences up to 500; and the BRIT Theatre, which opened in January 2012 and seats audiences of up to 280. There are also various dance studios, musical theatre studios, and TV and radio studios.
Entry to any of the school's courses is initially by application. If applicants meet the initial entry criteria, they may then be invited to interview or audition in their chosen focus (either Broadcast and Digital Communication (BDC), Community Arts Practice (CAP), Dance, Interactive Media, Music, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre, Theatre and Visual Arts & Design, for sixth-form entry students), plus a meeting with relevant tutors. Entry to the Music course also includes some aural and music theory tests, with entry to the Dance, Theatre and Musical Theatre courses including audition rounds.
The school expanded in 2012, acquiring part of the former Selhurst High School building next door. Three new courses, Technical Theater Arts, Interactive Digital Design and Community Arts Practise were introduced to coincide with this.
- GMTV did a one-week focus on the BRIT School, which was shown in the mornings for a week.
- Alan Carr's talk show, Alan Carr: Chatty Man. spoke about the BRIT School on the episode that aired 13 December 2010.
- An episode of Celebrity Masterchef was filmed at the BRIT School in spring 2011, which included the final four candidates serving lunch.
- A documentary was filmed and shown on the CBBC channel.
Although the Brit school has produced many successful alumni, the school has attracted criticism: a 2011 BBC News article discussed the issue of whether students who attended the school have an unfair advantage over those who did not.
- For full list, see Category:People educated at the BRIT School
- Stefan Abingdon (The Midnight Beast)*
- Ace and Vis (TV/radio presenters)
- Adele (singer/songwriter)
- Katy B (singer)
- Marsha Ambrosius (Floetry)
- Karis Anderson (singer, member of girlband, Stooshe)
- Will Bayley (paralympians)
- Bashy (rapper/actor)
- David Antunes (singer/songwriter)
- Tommy Bastow (actor/singer)
- Billie Black (singer)
- Dane Bowers (singer former member of Another Level)
- Breakage (musician)
- Gemma Cairney (radio presenter)
- Benjamin Coyle-Larner (rapper, under the stage name Loyle Carner)
- Cush Jumbo (actor)
- Laura Dockrill (poet, author and illustrator)
- Shawn Emanuel (singer)
- Robert Emms (actor)
- Ella Eyre (singer/songwriter)
- The Feeling (band)
- Tania Foster (singer)
- Blake Harrison (actor)
- Lynden David Hall (singer)
- Emily Head (actor)
- Imogen Heap (singer)
- Tom Holland (actor)
- Daniel Huttlestone (actor/singer)
- Jessie J (singer)
- Eman Kellam (presenter/youtuber)
- The Kooks (band)
- King Krule (singer)
- Leona Lewis (singer)
- Ashley Madekwe (actor)
- Mike Malyan (multi-instrumentalist, former drummer of Monuments (metal band))
- Tara McDonald (singer)
- Katie Melua (singer)
- Jessica Morgan (singer)
- Kate Nash (singer)
- Noisettes (band)
- Joel Pott (frontman of Athlete)
- Stuart Matthew Price (singer)
- Rizzle Kicks (band)
- Raye (singer)
- Polly Scattergood (singer)
- Kellie Shirley (actor)
- Charlene Soraia (singer)
- Natalie Stewart (Floetry)
- Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (actor)
- Nancy Sullivan (actress)
- Twist and Pulse (performers)
- Jeremy Warmsley (singer)
- Rex Orange County (singer)
- Rickie Haywood Williams (presenter, Kiss FM)
- Amy Winehouse (singer/songwriter)
- Jamie Woon (singer)
- Adam Warne (singer and multi-instrumentalist)
- The BRIT School Celebrates Twenty Years of Success, 22 September 2011 BPI. Retrieved 5 February 2012
- http://www.brit.croydon.sch.uk/school/documents/2007-08prospectus/General%20Info.pdf General information Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Do Brit School graduates have an unfair advantage?".
- The BRIT School Official Website
- The BRIT School News Blog
- The BRIT Trust
- The BRIT Awards
- The BRIT School LIVE at The Bloomsbury Theatre 2007
- BOA Official Website