An update from LAMDA

21 July 2020

Over the past few months, everyone within the organisation has worked valiantly to ensure they serve our community of students and learners across the world in the face of the ongoing global challenges. We continue to offer our world-leading drama school training and suite of communication and performance exams and qualifications.  

However, the unexpected loss of summer short courses and LAMDA Exams revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic means that we must now make some difficult decisions in order to reduce our operating costs, increase income and implement our emerging new vision.  

We believe that a restructuring of the organisation is the best means available of protecting and building LAMDA’s future. 

On Friday 24 July we will begin staff consultation on a proposed restructure. We have not taken the step of proposing a restructure lightly, however it is important that we reduce costs and our proposals provide for making savings across LAMDA, including Examinations and support staff functions.  

This process will sadly mean redundancies and the loss of greatly valued employees, but we feel the proposed restructure is the best means available of securing LAMDA’s continued operation and success. It will enable us to maintain and enhance the quality of learners’ experiences as they work towards their LAMDA Exams, and the training of our acting, directing and technical students.  

We plan to streamline what we do, reducing the cost of management and various administrative functions, and the number of teachers we employ.  We propose to develop new types of teaching contracts which will enable us to give students a blend of expert training from LAMDA teachers alongside self-employed specialist practitioners and Associate Artists with current industry practice.  In this way we will preserve and further enhance the quality of LAMDA’s provision in exciting new ways. 

We propose that staff employed at LAMDA in the future will not only continue to be expert in their specialist area, but will also be required to contribute to engaging and supporting students in at least two of the following four areas which we believe are key to how LAMDA supports its students and develop as an institution: 

Access and Inclusion - widening access and inclusion within the school and outside. Engagement through recruitment, audition squad, access summer school and exams. Anti-Racist and Inclusive Teaching practice and pedagogy. Commitment and experience of facilitating modern ensemble co-creation, facilitation of safe spaces, zero-tolerance and conflict resolution - to foster collaboration and creativity. 

Development of Individual Health of Wellbeing and Resilience building - a holistic approach to training the individual to empower and build confidence and practice for the professional world - journaling, mindfulness, mental wellness, personal coaching, life plans, leadership development and mentoring. 

Development of multi skilled Artists and Creative Technicians - for a sustainable creative skills sector with relevant experience and practice in making sustainable theatre, content production and promotion across all platforms, creative access and inclusion, creating and delivering socially engaged work for a wide range of audiences and stakeholders. 

Digital - supporting the digitisation of LAMDA in teaching, learning, research, knowledge exchange, technical theatre, screen and audio and other platforms. 

Staff consultations on the proposed restructure will begin on Friday 24 July with all affected employees including part-time and full-time teaching and support staff. The consultation period will last until Monday 7 September.  It is only right and proper that the consultation is with the staff, whose livelihoods and working conditions the changes will most directly affect.