The Scholars is a partnership between Stillie DeeMartin Howland and Neil Rigg. Our partners are all hands on teachers, coordinators, managers as well as Directors. Each partner is responsible for the company’s teaching strategy, business strategy and the general operation of the college.

    The Scholars values its relationships with all the teachers, schools, examiners, charity organisations, companies and associated bodies it works with. R.A is an exciting forward thinking enterprise always looking at new and diverse strategies.

    Through its corporate collaboration the college has become the only one of its kind in Europe. The selection of dance studios, theatres and theatrical agencies, examining bodies, dance companies, photographers, costume designers, make-up artists, hair stylists and other companies involved with performing arts massively contribute to our unique identity.

    The Partners are willing to engage with any external companies who may mutually benefit by being in association with R.A or its subsidiary companies and welcomes any suitable business propositions. If your company would like to discuss an association with us please visit our Contact page.


    Teachers at The Scholars Leeds are chosen for their extensive teaching experience within the performing arts, recognised as proven experts in their respective fields and acclaimed professionals within the industry, ensuring a high standard of education.

    Variety of Teaching Approaches:

    Teaching methods at The Scholars are diverse, catering to the multifaceted nature of the performing arts. This includes a professional group environment with an individual focus. Individual guidance and informative direct feedback throughout the program assist each performer in developing a greater understanding of their performance, nurturing growth and progress. A dynamic and industry-led pre-vocational approach prepares students to become technically accomplished, assertive, and independent in their performances, establishing a strong and consistent foundation for auditions and other educational institutions.

    Legal Framework:

    This policy aligns with parliamentary laws emphasising equal treatment and non-discrimination in educational institutions. It adheres to legal standards promoting a safe and inclusive learning environment.

    Individualised Attention:

    While a direct approach may seem like singling out individuals, 1:1 focus is essential for corrections, not humiliation. Acknowledging the challenge of group dynamics, individual guidance is aimed at constructive correction rather than embarrassment. In any instance where a student feels embarrassed, overwhelmed, or experiences a misunderstanding, it’s important to have a detailed conversation to gain more understanding and achieve positive resolution.

    Educational Guidance:

    This policy adheres to educational guidance emphasising the importance of personalised attention for addressing individual needs. It aligns with educational principles that advocate for a positive and supportive learning environment.

    Holistic Approach:

    Other teaching methods involve a holistic approach, focusing on students’ creativity and personalities. Techniques, theories, physicality, and creative contexts are explored to cater to diverse learning preferences, ensuring students become well-rounded performers.

    Industry Alignment:

    This policy aligns with industry standards, recognising that auditions and the industry itself demand a mix of firmness and nurturing. It prepares students for the challenges they may face in their professional journeys.

    Collective Learning Environment:

    At The Scholars, teachers work collectively, offering various methods to facilitate a well-rounded learning environment. This approach prepares students for different aspects of the performing arts industry.

    Experienced Faculty:

    Teachers at The Scholars boast years of teaching and industry experience. Many students taught by them are now thriving as professionals in the industry or have become teachers themselves.

    Quality Assurance:

    This policy adheres to quality assurance standards, ensuring that teaching methods align with the institution’s goals and learning expectations, providing a high-quality education for aspiring performing artists.


    The Scholars is committed to maintaining a dynamic, supportive, and industry-relevant teaching environment, nurturing growth and development, preparing students for futures within the performing arts and other fields.


    The institution is willing to provide written graduate testimonials upon request, emphasising the importance of a balanced and supportive learning environment.



    The Scholars Performing Arts College believes that education is for all students accepted after audition & every student is equally important.


    We offer training for those Age 16 – 30 as the type of training we provide has been carefully tailored to suit this age type.  This is not an act of discrimination to those outside of this age limit but more a restriction determined by the type of training we offer.  It would be unfair of The Scholars to impose training on those outside of this age limit as this may cause harm. The Scholars s do offer a Scholars programme for those aged 11 -16 and are working on offering over 30s training however, are unable to do so at this point in time.

    We will strive to:

    (i) offer access to a full and challenging curriculum to suit each individual.

    (ii) encourage an understanding of all cultures;

    (iii) view discrimination on the grounds of race, gender or disability as opposed to its aims and take positive action to counter it.


    The requirements for equal opportunities are underpinned by law. Colleges are bound by many of the provisions of human rights legislation & the policies of the Leeds City Council.  We aim to abide by the requirements set out by BDQT our accreditor.


    Directors Martin Howland, Stillie Dee

    responsible for:-

    •making sure that the Equal Opportunities Policy and its procedures are followed;

    • making sure that the E.O.P is readily available and that self employed faculty/ guest faculty know their responsibilities and are aware of our code of conduct.

    • ensuring parents know their responsibilities in scenarios where a student is under 18.

    • providing information to staff about the policy and how it should be applied within the college.

    • taking appropriate action in cases of discrimination;

    • ensuring students are provided with a broad and balanced vocational based learning which meets the needs of the individual (but not at the expense of other students)

    • providing the measures necessary to achieve the aims of the policy.

    • providing a visual contact sheet of all students and faculty to staff.

    All Staff, Faculty, Guest Teachers, Guests in a seniority role at the college.

    Are responsible for:-

    • ensuring that students’ names are spelt correctly and pronounced properly;

    • ensuring that they are familiar with information available on all students in their teaching groups;

    • ensuring that they meet the needs of all students in their lessons;

    • not showing any form of racial or discrimination abuse or ignoring any such behaviour from others (including name-calling, racial, sexist or other hurtful jokes and mimicry, or incitement of others to collaborate in use);

    • ensuring that perpetrators and victims of above are aware that it will not be tolerated;

    • giving a balanced view of different groups, cultures and stereotypes;

    • providing a positive role model for all students;

    • keeping up to date with legal requirements.


    All students are responsible for:-

    • identifying and reporting incidents of discrimination and stereotyping;

    • promoting equal opportunities and avoiding discrimination against anyone for reasons of gender, race, colour or any other reason.

    Appendix 1

    Human Rights Act 1998

    Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (extended and amended 1986) outlaws discrimination on grounds of gender.

    Race Relations Act 1976 outlaws discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, nationality or ethnic and national origins.

    Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 states even more explicitly that responsibility that all schools have to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity. The Disability Discrimination Act 1993 outlaws discrimination in the provision of goods and services against those with disabilities.

    Safe Working Practices

    The Scholars has developed procedures for Codes of Conduct for staff to understand and agree in relation to professional conduct with students.

    Health and Safety and risk assessments are carried out by studios at Yorkshire Dance, Northern Ballet and Renaissance Head Office (The Music Study).

    The Scholars has fully operational Health and Safety Policy and Procedures.  Faculty and students should report any issue with safe working practice to the Directors who will then report this to the relevant studio.

    Record Keeping

    All safeguarding records are kept centrally and securely by the Directors.  Staff are aware that they must report all safeguarding issues to the directors.  Data is kept in accordance to the most recent data protection act.  A copy will be made available on request.

    Allegations against Members of Staff

    The Scholars recognises that when allegations are made regarding behaviour by Staff/Director which may harm a student, clear procedure must be followed.  Bodies must e-mail their complaint in writing and follow our complaints procedure.

    Allegations against students

    The Scholars recognises that when allegations are made regarding behaviour of a student which may harm a faculty member or Director, clear procedure must be followed.  Faculty must bring this to the attention of the directors and may be required to make a formal complaint in writing or e-mail.


    To ensure the smooth operation of the college, to uphold law and procedures required by it’s faculty incidents of the following nature must be recorded and kept but the directors.

    The Scholars

    CODE OF CONDUCT (customer service)

    All The Scholars teachers are required to follow our code of conduct.  Each teacher is CRB checked and agree to the following terms.

    1. Professional Values and Relationships

    Teachers should:

    1.1. be caring, fair and committed to the best interests of the pupils/students entrusted to their care, and seek to motivate, inspire and celebrate effort and success

    1.2. acknowledge and respect the uniqueness, individuality and specific needs of pupils/ students and promote their holistic development

    1.3. be committed to equality and inclusion and to respecting and accommodating diversity including those differences arising from gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, ethnicity, membership of the Traveller community and socio-economic status, and any further grounds as may be referenced in equality legislation in the future.

    1.4. seek to develop positive relationships with pupils/students, colleagues, college management and others in the college community, that are characterised by professional integrity and judgement

    1.5. work to establish and maintain a culture of mutual trust and respect in their schools.

    2. Professional Integrity

    Teachers should:

    2.1. act with honesty and integrity in all aspects of their work

    2.2. respect the privacy of others and the confidentiality of information gained in the course of professional practice, unless a legal imperative requires disclosure or there is

    a legitimate concern for the wellbeing of an individual

    2.3. represent themselves, their professional status, qualifications and experience honestly

    2.4. avoid conflict between their professional work and private interests which could reasonably be deemed to impact negatively on pupils/students.

    3. Professional Conduct

    Teachers should:

    3.1. uphold the reputation and standing of the profession and the reputation of The Scholars.

    3.2. take all reasonable steps in relation to the care of pupils/students under their supervision, so as to ensure their safety and welfare

    3.3. work within the framework of relevant legislation and regulations

    3.4. comply with agreed national and school policies, procedures and guidelines which aim to promote pupil/student education and welfare and child protection

    3.5. report, where appropriate, incidents or matters which impact on pupil/student welfare

    3.6. communicate effectively with pupils/students, colleagues, parents, college management and others in the college community in a manner that is professional, collaborative and supportive, and based on trust and respect

    3.7. Private communication such as e-mail, texting and social networking sites is not permitted to ensure protection of both teacher and student. Teacher and student must not share or keep personal contact details or have any un-authorised correspondence whilst enrolled as a student at The Scholars.

    3.8. Ensure that they do not knowingly access, download or otherwise have in their possession while engaged in school activities, inappropriate materials/images in electronic or other format

    3.9. Ensure that they do not knowingly access, download or otherwise have in their possession, illicit materials/images in electronic or other format

    3.10 Ensure that they do not practise while under the influence of any substance which impairs their fitness to teach.

    3.11 Student contact is often required in dance and theatre class in order demonstrate line and correct positioning.  Faculty should be mindful of letting students know about this contact.

    4. Professional Practice

    Teachers should:

    4.1. maintain high standards of practice in relation to pupil/student learning, planning, monitoring, assessing, reporting and providing feedback

    4.2. apply their knowledge and experience in facilitating pupils’/students’ holistic development

    4.3. plan and communicate clear, challenging and achievable expectations for pupils/students

    4.4. create an environment where pupils/ students can become active agents in the learning process and develop lifelong learning skills

    4.5. respect the vocational learning programme of The Scholars

    4.6. inform their professional judgement and practice by engaging with, and reflecting on, pupil/student development, learning theory, pedagogy, curriculum development, ethical practice, educational policy and legislation

    4.7. in a context of mutual respect, be open and responsive to constructive feedback regarding their practice and, if necessary, seek appropriate support, advice and guidance

    4.8. act in the best interest of pupils/students.

    5. Professional Development

    Teachers should:

    5.1. take personal responsibility for sustaining and improving the quality of their professional practice by:

    • actively maintaining their professional knowledge and understanding to ensure it is current

    • reflecting on and critically evaluating their professional practice, in light of their professional knowledge base

    • availing of opportunities for career-long professional development.

    6. Professional Collegiality and Collaboration

    Teachers should:

    6.1. work with teaching colleagues and student teachers in the interests of sharing, developing and supporting good practice and maintaining the highest quality of educational experiences for pupils/students

    6.2. work in a collaborative manner with pupils/students, parents/guardians, school management, other members of staff, relevant professionals and the wider school community, as appropriate, in seeking to effectively meet the needs of pupils/students

    6.3. engage with the planning, implementation and evaluation of curriculum at classroom and school level.

    7. Training

    Those teachers requiring further training in customer service would be directed to NCFE to take a course in customer service.  If the directors refuse to offer further help in providing further training then an official complaint can be made to The Scholars or there local trade union (such as equity) if they are unhappy with the final decision.  Should a faculty member fail in customer service mentioned in the above they may be asked to take the course to avoid dismissal.

    GENERAL All teachers/self employed faculty are required to read our procedures manual and in signing the form agree our code of conduct.

    The Scholars are happy to share policies and procedures and relevant paperwork in accordance to the data protection act  to those enquiring about the smooth operation of the college. If you wish to know something in particular about the college then please don’t hesitate to e-mail us.

    At The Scholars we value customer service.  If you have a complaint about our service and would like us to investigate the matter all complaints must be in writing or an email. The Scholars complaints policy adheres to customer service guidelines.  We aim to respond to your written letter or e-mails within 10 working days.  On request we are happy to provide a full detailed copy of our complaints procedure.

    Address to write to for Complaints
    Neil Rigg (Head of customer Services)
    The Scholars
    C/O Renaissance Arts
    3 St Peters Square
    LS9 8AH

    E-mail –   FTAO Neil Rigg (Head of Customer Service)

    Please note that standard queries have a 5 working day response time. 14 working days response for complaints that require investigation.

    The Scholars Classes are a physical activity and appropriate physical contact between students and teachers in class is essential to dance training and sometimes vocal/acting training.

    Teachers will use their hands, and occasionally a foot or knee, to illustrate a concept to a student or to adjust parts of a student’s body (especially with the younger students). 

    Ballet posture (for example) often requires adjusting the rib-cage and the buttock area simultaneously and it is sometimes necessary to touch areas of the body to explain where physical movement should take place. 

    In vocal classes it may be required to explain where the jaw hinge is or the diaphragm.  To explain this it may be a requirement to touch a student.  Permission should be asked before doing so. 

    In pas de deux classes or advanced movement classes teachers will be demonstrating with students in ways which will involve supporting and lifting. In choreographic teaching, teachers demonstrate positions and movements to the students by moving parts of the students’ bodies and by moving dancers in relation to each other: this often involves a good deal of contact with students.

    Renaissance Arts recognises that such physical contact is a potentially complex area; and the conservatoire also fully recognises its responsibilities for safeguarding students and teachers and for protecting their welfare.

    The following principles and procedures are in place to fulfil the conservatoire’s obligations:

    Contact by the teacher is made with particular awareness of the needs of each individual, to assist the young dancer in correcting placement/alignment/stretching.

    All teachers will treat any physical contact with due sensitivity and care.

    Contact will not involve force or the use of any instrument.

    Teachers will be mindful of location and avoid situations where they are isolated with a student;

    all classes should be held in studios and dance areas.

    Teachers and students should feel free to report any concerns to any member of faculty, the pastoral team or admin team. 

    Intention should be clear. 

    Further Information.

    When teaching posture and correct placing, it may be entirely appropriate to use physical touch to cue the correct pattern of movement. In these cases, a teacher should consider how to approach someone.

    Treating young people with respect and dignity would suggest that permission should always be sought before we touch.

    The teacher must consider carefully the desired outcome of touching the student and be very aware of the potential for misunderstandings.

    Other complex factors to be aware of could include specific cultural implications of touching, invasion of personal space and having an awareness of an individual’s background. 


    The relationship of the The Scholars and its employees/contractors/directors is based on mutual trust. In general, therefore, an employees/contractor/director should refrain from allowing their personal and/or financial activities from coming into opposition with the interests and integrity of the [The Scholars] and thus placing it at a disadvantage. 

    Where this does happen is known as a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest between an organisation and its employees can arise in many circumstances and it is not possible to provide a single definition. If, however, an employees/contractor/director is aware of a conflict of interest, they, as a matter of urgency, should raise the issue with their immediate Directors or HR so that corrective action may be taken before actual damage is done. 

    The responsibility for resolving any conflict of interest lies with the Directors — although it may later involve senior management and HR.

    The Scholars will attempt to resolve any conflicts of interest as fairly and as reasonably as possible. If no resolution can be found, the final action to be taken will rest with Directors. If a conflict of interest is deliberately concealed by an employees/contractor/director or if no solution to one can be found, The Scholars may invoke disciplinary action that could lead to the employees/contractor/director disciplinary or dismissal.

    The Scholars reserve the right to change teachers as and when required.  Lessons may vary in genre and specialisms in order to provide an excellent service to The Scholars users.