A theatre company made up of performers with learning difficulties has scooped a national award described as an ‘Oscar of the education world’
Theatre Inc. - the highly talented company created and based at Chichester College - has won the Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award for Inclusive Learning.
The award was announced by comedian Jon Culshaw at the recent AoC annual conference in Birmingham.
Siobhan McCormack, Theatre Inc.’s artistic director, said: “We are absolutely delighted by the announcement and immensely proud of the talented and hardworking young people of Theatre Inc. who continue to achieve beyond expectation.
“It really is testament to their dedication and commitment.”
Launched in 2015, Theatre Inc. provides vocational performing arts training that is tailored for students with learning disabilities, as well as developing their numeracy, literacy, communication and general life-skills.
The 20-strong company is composed of performers with Down’s syndrome, autism and Asperger syndrome.
As part of Theatre Inc, they have the opportunity to develop skills as dancers, singers and actors.
The group undertake high profile performances across the region and company members lead workshops for people of all ages, as well as delivering professional development training to help local employers better understand issues surrounding learning disabilities.
Shelagh Legrave OBE, principal of Chichester College, said: “The Beacon Awards are like the Oscars of the education world, so to win one is truly an outstanding achievement and something Theatre Inc. should be rightly proud of.
“Anyone who has been lucky enough to see them perform will know how talented the performers are. They really do deserve this recognition.”
The AoC Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK further education colleges.
Dame Pat Bacon, chairman of the AoC Beacon Awards, said: “Chichester College is an outstanding representative of the excellent work happening in colleges across the country.
“It’s a privilege to be part of an awards programme that recognises the energy colleges put into supporting their students, staff, employers and local communities.”
To find out more about Theatre Inc. visit www.theatreinc.org.uk