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The Oxford School of Drama has received a successful inspection report from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) and the Adult Learning inspectorate (ALI).

The report, which is available on the Ofsted website, showed that the teaching offered by the experienced and well-qualified staff at the school was outstanding. It also found that there was an emphasis placed on providing imaginative and creative lessons with a strong emphasis on reflective practice.

The school's core subjects are acting, voice and movement studies, as well as additional supporting studies such as music and singing, radio, film, television and professional development. Students have had the opportunity to take classes that prepare them for entering the profession, which also includes a series of master classes from leading professionals who are on hand to offer guidance and support.

The standard of acting was reported to be exceptional and has enabled graduates to gain acting work in film, television and theatre soon after graduation.

Leading from the Top

The principal's clear vision for developments has also contributed to the excellent leadership and management at the school. Measures exemplifying this have included implementing the inventive approach to teaching alluded to above. Operational management was also said to be highly effective where all resources were managed efficiently, and the report found that excellent quality assurances are in place.

The school's positive approach to the promotion of diversity has seen the development of detailed policies and procedures to ensure equality of opportunity and a comprehensive disability policy. The process for auditions by the form of application and recruitment data are analysed effectively by ethnicity.

In addition to this, the school was rated highly for the resources on offer for students with disabilities, where third year students took part in a group project alongside disabled students. All staff at the school have received intensive diversity training to support students with special needs such as dyslexia.

Supporting the Stars of Tomorrow

The report found that the school has many strengths including the development of outstanding acting skills among students. Student support was also outstanding, enabling students to tackle personal support issues through individual tutorials as well as a further one to one tutorial with the principle.

The Oxford School of Drama is an independent drama school and received an estimated 441 applications for 32 places for entry in 2004. At the time of the inspection, they boast 61 students- 48 of whom are enrolled on a three year acting course are also in receipt of the Department for Education and Skills (DFES) Dance and Drama Award (DADA).

Kavita Trivedi

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