Arts Educational Schools London have their origin in schools founded in 1919 by Grace Cone and in 1922 by Olive Ripman. The Cone and Ripman schools were pioneers in providing suitably talented children with a general academic education in conjunction with specialised training in dance, drama, music and art, preparing young men and women for professional careers in or connected with the theatre. In 1939 the two schools amalgamated to become the Cone Ripman School.
With the outbreak of World War II the school was evacuated to residential accommodation in various countryside mansions, including Tring in Hertfordshire. In 1941 the school reopened its Stratford Place premises in London and was renamed Arts Educational Schools in 1947. The London school occupied various premises in the post war years, including Golden Lane in the City of London.
So unique, varied and flexible was the training at Arts Educational Schools London, that Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin drew almost exclusively on students from Arts Educational Schools to help them create their revolutionary company – London Festival Ballet –which eventually became English National Ballet.
Continuing links in the great ballet tradition, Dame Beryl Grey became Director of Arts Educational Schools London in the 1960s, and the school uniform colours chosen by her continue to this day – most notably “Green Beryl”. The schools continued to be innovative, introducing both professional acting and professional music theatre courses before most of its current competitors.
In 1986 the old Chiswick Polytechnic was purchased and the school moved to its present, permanent home.
Today Arts Educational Schools London continues to support a world–renowned co–educational Independent Vocational School for pupils aged 11–18 years as well as a professional conservatoire with two main divisions Acting and Musical Theatre, offering BA and MA degrees. There is also a wide ranging programme of part time courses for all ages.
In 2007, Lord Lloyd Webber agreed to take on the role of President, taking on the role vacated by the death of Dame Alicia Markova, marking an auspicious new era for the Arts Educational Schools London.