Stage set for new specialist academy in Birmingham

Birmingham Ormiston Academy inviting applications for production campus.

Students in Birmingham are being invited to apply for a new academy specialising in technical theatre, film and broadcast production, which will open in the city next year.

The latest addition to the BOA Group, BOA Stage & Screen will be a state-funded academy for 16-19 year olds, based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Opening in September 2021, it will take an industry-led approach to developing the skills of young people in both existing and emerging production techniques and broadcast technologies.

Through partnerships with leading organisations including Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the BBC and PRG, BOA Stage & Screen will provide students with access to high-quality teaching and hands-on experience in real-world settings, equipping young people with transferable skills and providing a stepping stone into work, apprenticeships or higher education.

Students will gain a deep and practical understanding of the stage and screen industry, and the processes involved in both creative and technical production and delivery, whilst working collaboratively on real productions and undertaking work placements.

BOA Stage & Screen is a sister school to Birmingham Ormiston Academy, the 14-19 academy specialising in Creative, Digital and Performing Arts, which opened in 2011. The BOA Group also owns and manages the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham, and is set to open a new academy specialising in digital media in September 2022.

Gaynor Cheshire, CEO of the BOA Group, said: “BOA Stage & Screen will be the first 16-19 academy of its kind in the West Midlands, working in close partnership with the theatre, film and broadcast production industries to develop the workforce of the future.

“We have seen from the success of Birmingham Ormiston Academy over the past decade that developing a curriculum hand in hand with industry leaders has a transformational effect on our students’ education, their future learning and employment. BOA Stage & Screen’s vocational approach will provide a new opportunity for a diverse range of young people from across the region who are eager to learn and develop within a practical, focused and fulfilling environment.”

Jonnie Turpie MBE, Chair of BOA Stage & Screen added: “There has never been a more important time to ensure that we are equipping young people with the skills and capabilities that they need to enter the world of work. Whether practical, digital or both these skills and requirements are changing more rapidly than ever before.

“Our creative industries contributed £111.7 billion a year to the UK economy prior to the pandemic, and were growing at five times the rate of the UK economy as a whole. We firmly believe that the creative sector will have a critical role to play in our country’s economic recovery. Working closely with industry to ensure that young people have the necessary skills to support both existing and rapidly emerging roles, such as those in VR development and streaming technologies, will be vital to ensure that the West Midlands and the UK can continue to develop a world-leading creative sector.”

BOA Stage & Screen will offer 200 places to Year 12 students starting in September 2021, increasing to 400 places across Years 12 and 13 by September 2022.

Applications for BOA Stage & Screen are now open, and can be made via