Stuart Worden Brit School

077: Stuart Worden of the Brit School on performance environments

This week’s guest is Stuart Worden, Principal of the Brit School. The BRIT (British Record Industry Trust) School is a performing arts and technology school in Croydon, South London and free to attend. But this is no ordinary performing arts school. The alumni read like a who’s who of music, dance, film and production;

  • Singers – Adele, The Feeling, Leona Lewis, Katie Melua, Jessie J, 
  • Actors – Cush Jumbo, Tom Holland, Cleve September, 
  • Dancers – Twist and Pulse, 
  • Youtube comedians – Percelle Ascot, Joivan Wade

Many more students come through the school who we wouldn’t know, but are the people that set the lighting for concerts or stage shows, write poetry that maybe we haven’t yet read or adapt screen plays that we have yet seen.

So how does a performing arts school support the talent that comes through its doors? How do the school teachers select people to attend? 

In this discussion with Stuart, he shares the values, philosophies, challenges that he and many of the incredibly talented teachers create. What lies at the centre of the discussion that you’ll hear is about environment and how the very sense of a place and what it lives for how it feels – can be a force for the development of incredible performance and people who want to make a difference in this world.

This all against a backdrop of the arts being profoundly undervalued in educational systems around the world and under great threat during the restrictions on gatherings with the coronavirus pandemic.

Stuart has such passion and conviction, his approach seemed to me to be deeply caring about how we should support young people. I found his outlook and insights enriching, as I could feel my worldview being enhanced with every answer he gave. By the end of the discussion I was genuinely enlightened. 


How well the students have responded to the strange times

Exploring specialisation or exploring the whole creative process

The process of applying to joining the Brit School

Artists fundamentally need to be able to display empathy

The importance of activism

What do the Brit School look for in people?

Working hard and realism

Advocacy and mentoring of students

How non-uniform reduces barriers

Rules and regulations

Alumni such as Tom Holland, Tuwaine Barrett enjoy returning and meeting the current students 

The Alumni of the Brit school and how they still contribute to the school

The destination and results are not as interesting as the journey

Stuart’s ambitions for the Brit School and the future



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