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.  Our degree courses in Musical Theatre and Acting provide outstanding contemporary and inclusive training, producing graduates who are innovative and resilient performers. We prepare our students for both the physical and mental rigours of the performing arts industry through a combination of outstanding vocational training and focused pastoral care. The success of our approach has led to ArtsEd graduates playing a key role in the success of the UK’s creative economy for many years and they include leading choreographers, directors and producers as well as performers

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.