ArtsEd originated from two schools, one founded in 1919 by Grace Cone and one founded in 1922 by Olive Ripman. These two educational pioneers believed passionately in the value of combining a general academic education with specialised training in dance, drama, music and art. They were committed to preparing young people for professional careers in or related to the theatre.

In 1939, Grace and Olive joined forces to create the Cone Ripman School, subsequently named the Arts Educational Schools. Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin drew almost exclusively on ArtsEd students to help them create their revolutionary company London Festival Ballet, which eventually became the English National Ballet. Ballerina Dame Beryl Grey became Director of the Schools in the 1960s. ArtsEd continued to innovate, introducing both professional acting and musical theatre courses before many of their competitors. In I986 the school moved to its present home, the old Chiswick Polytechnic.


In 2007, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber became President, following in the footsteps of Dame Alicia Markova and heralding an auspicious new era for ArtsEd.

Exam success at ArtsEd Day School is the highest of all the performing arts schools in the UK. Whilst ArtsEd Sixth Form is an internationally recognised centre of excellence. The School of Musical Theatre and School of Acting offer full-time BA and MA courses. Our Musical Theatre course is recognised as the best in the UK, while the Acting course is praised for its innovative 50:50 split between stage and screen acting.

In June 2019, ArtsEd was awarded TEF Gold, the highest rating from the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework, a national evaluation programme of all higher education providers. This excellent rating is echoed by our students who, for the third year running, ranked ArtsEd in the top-five drama schools for overall student satisfaction in the 2019 National Student Survey, with over 90% of students stating that they were satisfied with their course.

Our outstanding record of graduate success sees nearly every one of our Musical Theatre graduates and over three-quarters of our Acting graduates make their professional debuts within six months of graduating. While our Sixth Form leavers go on to further training at prestigious conservatoires and universities across the country and internationally.


To ensure that we remain at the forefront of performing arts training for the next 100 years, we are undertaking a transformational capital campaign to create the world-class training facilities that our teaching requires and that our students deserve.

Phase One was completed in November 2013 with the opening of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre. This beautiful, 200-seat, state-of-the-art proscenium arch space delights performers and audiences alike. Construction of Phase Two started in July 2019 and will see substantial extension and refurbishment across the site. Additional classrooms, studios and rehearsal spaces will be created. A major capital campaign is underway to fund the third and final phase of the development. This will culminate with the opening of a brand-new theatre.