From education to employment

LSC Sponsored Tour of Theatrical Group to Bring Young People to Right Choices in Learning

It could be argued that there has been a little bit of an obsession with celebrity in society as a whole. From the seemingly endless round of “Big Brother” shows to the massed flash of paparazzi camera bulbs at another West End premier, both celebrities and us, the public, seem unwilling or unable to disrupt the pattern.

Some people who have gained celebrated status in the public eye have used their position to positive effect. The late Christopher Reeves campaigned tirelessly for the cause of those with spinal injuries after his own tragic accident. Dame Kelly Holmes has become involved in a public effort to encourage better fitness and build sports skills leading up to the 2012 Olympics. And, positively most famously, Jamie Oliver’s “School Dinners” show proved the catalyst for change in the provision of meals in schools across the country.

Is It Who You Think It Is?

The highly-acclaimed IMPACT theatre group have decided to use their abilities in impersonating celebrities to heighten enthusiasm for education and training. Amongst the celebrity “guests” are Little Britain’s “Vicky Pollard”, singing sensation “Charlotte Church”, “Jamie Oliver” himself and “Big Brother” presenter “Davina McCall”.

The production talks about young people determining their own best practice and establishing their best “learning style”. It aims to help the young people decide for themselves whether they want to opt for an academic route to learning or something more vocational such as an Apprenticeship. The production is being sponsored by Somerset Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

Celebrity Faces Coming to a Venue Near You?

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The production that sees talented actors imitate some of today’s most recognised “faces” has already been on tour for a week, appearing at schools in Crewkerne, Castle Cary, Shepton Mallet, Taunton and Frome. Further stops are scheduled for the week ahead, including Bishop Fox’s Community School, Taunton, East Bridgwater Community School, Bridgwater, Kings of Wessex School, Cheddar, Kingsmead Community School, Wiveliscombe, before a last stop at Huish Episcopi Community School, Huish Episcopi.

Marinos Paphitis, the Executive Director of Somerset LSC, said of the project: “It really is capturing the pupils” imaginations and making them think. It’s not every day you get Vicky Pollard telling you to stick with learning! It is a brilliantly funny production with a serious message and young people are receiving it well. At the end of the day we are just asking them to think, consider the options that face them and make informed choices.”

Recent polls have highlighted the growing cult of celebrity amongst the younger generations, with one in ten stating that they would leave education for the chance to achieve reality television celebrity. Perhaps this marks a little element of karmic realignment, with celebrity being used to redress the balance and keep learners from discarding education.

Jethro Marsh

What else can love of celebrity do for FE? Tell us in the FE Blog

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