Teenagers in Sussex are being offered a unique opportunity to join Circus School and study for a recognised qualification. East Sussex School of Circus Arts is to become the first in the country to offer a fully accredited diploma in Circus and Performing Arts.

The course will be offered from September 2020, when the school will have moved home to the old camp site at Knockhatch Adventure Park, just off the A22 at Hailsham. The full-time diploma will be available for those aged 16-23 and will offer another route into university – both in the UK and overseas. Students will have to go through auditions to gain a place at this specialist school, where they’ll learn dance, contemporary dance, acting, trapeze, acrobatics, ground circus skills, showcase preparation, theatre, team building and aerials.

Renato Pires, who runs the school, said, “This is very exciting for us. To our knowledge, we are the first school in the country to introduce the Circus Skills and Performing Arts Diploma, which is just fantastic. I know from my own school years, that not all children are academic, so being able to learn unique skills like the ones we offer, we believe will help to fill a vital gap in the market to enable more young people to reach university. Or they could go straight into the performing arts industry and start a career at the end of the diploma.”

“East Sussex School of Circus Arts will help teenagers to build their confidence and learn life skills, such as social interaction, which cannot be learned from phone screens and computers. At the same time, this diploma will open so many more doors to young creative people after their GCSEs, looking for an alternative to A-Levels or apprenticeships.”

Full details on the diploma and how to apply will be made available online at www.eastbourneschoolofcircusarts.co.uk