The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (Central) values, embraces and is totally committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. Central’s mission to shape the future of theatre and performance in the UK and beyond is contingent on a diverse and inclusive student and staff body. Excellence requires diversity as this brings richness, knowledge, innovation, new understandings and skills. 

We believe that the biggest risk to the theatre and performance arts, industry and specialist conservatoire training is the notion that they constitute an exclusive, rather than inclusive study and career choice. In all aspects of its governance, management, academic and operational work, Central will  strive to promote, celebrate and recognise diversity and inclusion.

Central is a learning organisation. We will be open and transparent in our deliberations, embed diversity and inclusion in our work, culture and values and  will challenge and remove any barriers to the achievement of this goal. We believe that good pedagogy, like good theatre, is fundamentally connected to global citizenship in our diverse world and we seek practically and discursively to embed equality and diversity throughout all of our teaching in order to ensure a fair basis for all students and to develop world-leading artists and thinkers.

We recognise that definitions of diversity and equality are constantly changing and include, but are not limited to, race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, class, ability, age, and nationality; considering all of these across our courses we will provide an open and inclusive environment best suited to produce 21st century leaders.

Central celebrates and values the diversity of its workforce and student population, and believes that the School benefits from recruiting people of different ages, abilities, identities, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, genders, religions and beliefs.

We treat all employees and students with respect, and seek to provide a positive working and learning environment free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

Eliminating Unlawful Discrimination

Central is committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination. We aim to monitor and reflect upon all aspects of equality and diversity.

The information that is collected is used for enhancement of the curriculum, student and staff experience and for staff development purposes.

We routinely monitor complaints and appeals from an equality and diversity perspective and are proud that there have been no formal complaints based upon discrimination submitted by students in the last five years.

Internal Monitoring

Central's Equality and Diversity Committee (EDC) takes a lead in promoting a culture of diversity and equality of opportunity throughout the School. It receives Equality Impact Assessments (EIA), a tool that helps to carry out systematic analysis of the potential or actual effects of Central's policies, strategies or processes.

The Executive Management Group group routinely discusses Equality and Diversity matters and receives minutes of EDC meetings. The Group monitors Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) including those defined by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Course Committees may also discuss enhancements based upon the protected characteristics provided they are relevant to the operation of the course.

The Governing Body receives an annual Equality and Diversity report, and has appointed an Independent Governor to act as Equality and Diversity Champion to attend EDC meetings from time to time and to review information for Governor reporting and for external publication.

External Reviews

Central reports via the Access Agreement and the Widening Participation Strategic Assessment for the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). We are also audited by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) every five years, most recently in June 2013.

Student Involvement

Our students are members of many School committees and are formally represented by the Student’s Union and elected Student Representatives.

There is student representation on the Periodic Course Review Panel and both past and present students are asked to feedback their thoughts about all aspects of the Course. Elected officers of the Students’ Union are involved in monitoring, reflection and consultation related to equality and diversity. They also work to provide students with a safe and supportive community that actively engages in the cultural diversity of the student body.

Policies and Strategies

Central's strategy for equality and diversity is outlined in the following documents:

Equality of opportunity has also been embedded into the following strategies, schemes and documents:

Outreach Programme

Central’s outreach programme aims to raise aspiration and attainment, and encourage progression to higher education for those learners currently under represented. You can find our latest Access and Participation Plan (2019-20) here