Like many institutions, Leeds Conservatoire has long had a programme for schools and colleges to partner with us as a way of supporting their students. Particularly in Music and Performing Arts, external support is often appreciated, as not often do young people consider a career in these industries and frequently these subjects are seen as ‘nice to haves’ or enrichment rather than viable options. When our Partners in Education scheme was first launched, its priority was to support schools who had high numbers of students who were likely to want to pursue these subjects in Higher Education.
We proudly call ourselves a progressive conservatoire. We were the first – and still only – UK conservatoire to scrap audition fees, so when I took up post as Access and Participation Manager in April 2021, I wanted to make sure our educational engagement offer echoed this too.
So, in September 2021, we relaunched our partners scheme with a fresh identity and a priority of supporting and nurturing schools who need support with their Music and/or Performing Arts provision.
Leeds Conservatoire Futures is our three-year scheme available to primary, secondary and Further Education providers, both in the UK and internationally, which sets out to raise aspirations and attainment in Music and Performing Arts. We really want to support students to access Higher Education regardless of background, and are keen to work with practitioners to achieve this through collaboration and extension of our facilities, resources and specialist staff expertise.
We’ve built this scheme with our Access and Participation aims at its heart. We particularly prioritise schools and colleges with high numbers of ethnically diverse students or with high numbers of students from low participation and low-income backgrounds.
This is by no means a scheme that sets out to drive recruitment. We firmly believe in the value that Music and Performing Arts has on people’s lives, so we’re setting out to ignite passions, foster a real love of the subjects and hopefully support anyone curious about the idea of studying in these areas to consider their future options – whether that is with us or somewhere else!
For more information on Leeds Conservatoire Futures, check out our website.
James Rew, Access and Participation Manager, Leeds Conservatoire