Take the Lead

Help your students get the best start in life with free employability workshops.

Take the Lead is a free employability programme from The Old Vic for students aged 15–18 that uses theatre techniques and creative workshops to build on five core skills: communication, self-management, self-belief, teamwork and problem solving.

This programme is created in collaboration with schools and businesses and draws on The Old Vic’s expertise as a theatrical institution to support young people to take ownership over their next steps after school and prepare them for the working world of the future.

Programme Content:

Take the Lead includes three main engagements for selected schools.

  • Launch Event: A 2.5 hour launch event where students get to network with other students from different schools, they will get insights into different industries and hear from some exciting guest speakers.
  • Learn your Part: 2 hour in-school workshop
    How do we use our physicality and words to communicate and work with others? Your students will explore the tools that actors develop in the rehearsal room.
  • Build your Company: 2 hour in-school workshop
    How do we work together using our skills and those of our team mates to create and present an innovative pitch? Your students will form their own theatre company and pitch the next Old Vic production.
  • Take to the Stage: 2 hour workshop at an Old Vic partner venue
    How can we practically apply the skills developed on the programme to help prepare us for the working world? Your students explore how to communicate their skills and strengths when applying for their next steps; including CV writing tips, how to create your own elevator pitch and interview guidance.

Partner schools will also benefit from:

  • A welcome video with Take the Lead ambassadors
  • Students will be supported by a Prompt Book, an additional learning resource
  • Teachers will be further supported via an online Meet and Greet and an online CPD session as well as a teaching resource pack

All of this is available for free thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

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Schools taking part in Take the Lead 2022 are:

Ark Evelyn Grace Academy, Ashmole Academy, Bishop Justus, Bullers Wood School for Girls, Chelsea Academy, Copthall School, Dagenham Park CofE School, Featherstone High, Guru Nanak Sikh Academy, Haberdashers Aske’s Knights Academy, Harris Girls’ Academy Bromley, Harris Invictus Academy Croydon, New City College, Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre, Newman Catholic College, Oaklands School, Prendergast Vale School, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Seven Kings School, St Augustine’s Federated Schools, St Bonaventure’s, St Ignatius College, St Martin’s High School for Girls, The Courtyard, University Academy of Engineering South Bank, Ursuline High School, West London Free School, Wren Academy.


By taking part in this programme your school agrees to take part in two workshops at an Old Vic venue and two in-school workshops across the academic year. Workshops are scheduled in advance and in collaboration with teachers. We will be as flexible as possible to accommodate the needs of each school.

  • This programme is designed for students in Year 11–13 studying any subject, students do not have to be studying drama
  • Applications are open to all secondary state schools based within the M25
  • The programme is offered free of charge

Applications are now closed.

  • Take the Lead is open and accessible to all. We will discuss any access requirements your school may have before the project begins and will ensure appropriate support is in place. We welcome applications from SEN schools
  • We can adapt workshop content to suit your students
  • We can bring in additional staff to support students during in-school workshops
  • The Old Vic offer accessible performances including captioned, audio described and relaxed performances. Find out more about accessibility at The Old Vic

If you would like to discuss your schools access requirements or have any questions before applying, please contact: takethelead@oldvictheatre.com or 02079604102


If you have any questions, please contact: takethelead@oldvictheatre.com or call 020 7960 4102

Please sign up to our Schools mailing list to hear more about workshops, skills and employment programmes, talent development and short courses for your students.

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‘Thank you, it has been truly inspiring to see the students’ confidence blossom throughout the programme’
Teacher, Take the Lead
‘Take the Lead inspired me to focus more on my future and be more confident when in interviews’
Student, Take the Lead

(Video from Take The Lead 2018)

In association with
CVC Foundation

Generously supported by
The Portal Trust, John Lyon’s Charity and The HW Sanderson Art in Industry Fund

Download Take The Lead Evaluation SAFEGUARDING POLICY