Ofsted: ArtsEd is Outstanding in All Areas


In mid-November 2023 ArtsEd was inspected by Ofsted regarding our Higher Education provision and we are extremely pleased to announce we have been awarded ‘Outstanding’ in all areas once again.

This follows the recent news in autumn 2023 of ArtsEd being awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellent Framework (TEF 2023 Ratings) confirming our Higher Education provision is of the highest quality and recognised as sector leading:

“From their first contact with the school, students feel welcome and valued for who they are. Staff, leaders and trustees are highly committed to training each student to become the performer they want to be. This contributes to students being highly motivated. Their attendance is excellent, as is their application to practical and theoretical classes, rehearsals and performance.”


OFSTED, The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages.

This visit was scheduled due to the funding support offered to our students through the Dance and Drama Award (DaDA). Dance and Drama Award (DaDA) funding is allocated for the completion of our three-year Level 6 Trinity College London Professional Performing Arts Diploma (PPAD) courses in either Acting or Musical Theatre. BA (Hons) and PPAD Diploma students study together, on the same three-year courses.

As part of the inspection Ofsted look at the Quality of education, Behaviour and attitudes, Personal development, Leadership and management, Adult learning programmes, and Overall effectiveness.  As in our previous inspection in 2015, they have awarded ArtsEd outstanding in all areas:

“Students find the work demanding and rewarding in equal measure. They know the very high standards expected of them from their tutors, which they understand reflect the standards they need to achieve for careers in their chosen performance discipline. Students consistently attain the highest level of skill. For example, musical theatre students achieve fluency in executing the complex rhythm of triplet and semiquaver combinations in tap. They rehearse and practise difficult steps, demonstrating resilience to achieve new skills in syncopated and rapid footwork. Students participate fully as members of an ensemble of trainee performers. Teaching staff very successfully create a culture of collaborative working practice and an environment in which students can safely take risks without fear of critique.”


Ofsted continued and commented that in terms of diversity and what ArtsEd does well.

“Trustees, leaders and staff have an exemplary focus on inclusion and diversity. They use the Dance and Drama Award funding highly effectively to widen participation in the training. This contributes to a high proportion of students being from minority ethnic backgrounds and feeling fully at home at the school… Tutors teach students British Sign Language so that they can work in inclusive theatre settings. Tutors teach diverse dance motifs and movement vocabulary from global dance, so that students are ready to work in a variety of genres.”

This Ofsted report was lead by Rieks Drijver, lead inspector, Christina Christou and Chloe Rendall and focused on the provision for students studying level 6 diplomas in either professional acting or professional musical theatre; both of which are validated by Trinity College London.

Commenting on ArtsEd links with industry leaders:

“Leaders and staff work exceptionally well with industry experts to make sure that the training they offer continuously reflects developments in the industry. They understand well the interplay between the school as a training organisation and the theatre and media industries, in both leading on innovation and development while maintaining the employability of their students for current job roles

Senior leaders have a thoroughly thought-through ethos for the school. They focus extraordinarily well on students’ learning through the lens of their own cultural background. They have a deep understanding of the different elements that intersect within each student’s experience while training. This approach to the development of each student as an individual person and performer runs through every aspect of the training and is fully understood by staff. Tutors place this approach at the centre of their curriculum design and teaching.”

Farida Mannan Acting Chair of the Board of Trustees

“This outstanding result is a reflection on ArtsEd dedication to an inclusive performing arts education. The report highlights our long-standing links to industry professionals and the exceptional employability opportunities available at ArtsEd students.

The inspectors report recognises the whole team and the strong partnerships across the organisation.  I would like to thank all students, staff and wider ArtsEd community for their ongoing hard work, innovation and dedication.”

The inspection was carried out using Ofsted’s further education and skills inspection handbook and took into account all relevant provision at ArtsEd. Inspectors collected a wide range of evidence to inform judgements, including visiting learning sessions, scrutinising learners’ work, seeking the views of learners, staff and other stakeholders, and examining the provider’s documentation and records.

Full Report (Ofsted) Dance and Drama Awards – Funding for Students

Applications for September 2024 are open until 1st April, further details can be found below.

Musical Theatre Acting