Participating in the Festival: Terms and Conditions


Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation (Coram SSF) places the experience of our schools* at the heart of everything we do.

The following Terms and Conditions are designed to enable Coram SSF to deliver an excellent and equal experience to all schools participating in our annual Festival.

By registering for the Festival you agree on behalf of your school to abide by these Terms and Conditions. Breach of these Terms and Conditions may prevent schools and/or students being permitted to participate in workshops or performance events.

*For the purposes of this document the term ‘schools’ includes any organisation or group participating in the Festival. ‘Students’ refers to any young people participating in the Festival.

Our Inclusive Ethos

Coram SSF creates a non-competitive, inclusive and supportive environment so that any student can take part in the Festival. We expect all participants to approach the Festival with a positive attitude to working with others of different ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Coram SSF does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and will take action if any such behaviour is reported. Failure to properly address such discrimination could result in the school in question being banned from participating.

The Teacher-Director and Festival Coordinator

Coram SSF will assign each school a 'Festival Coordinator', who will be your go-to contact throughout your Festival journey. Each school must provide their Festival Coordinator with the name and details of main contact who will be leading the project in school, called a 'Teacher-Director'. All of Coram SSF's vital communications will go to the Teacher-Director. It is the schools' responsibility to inform us if the Teacher-Director changes.

Our Top Three Terms

  1. Your school must bring no more than 35 students to the Cast Workshop and Performance Day and they must be adequately chaperoned by the school- 1:10 for primary age, 1:12 for secondary age. There is no minimum group size. If this rule is broken it will prevent the school from being able to participate in the planned activity. See ‘Chaperones’ below.
  2. Your Play must be no longer than 30 minutes. Coram SSF will provide abridged scripts. There is no minimum time limit. It is your responsibility to ensure your play is cut to time, so make sure you do a timed run through ahead of your Performance Day. Your dress rehearsal will be timed, and if your play is running over, Coram SSF staff will cut it down before the performance itself.
  3. Payment of the non-refundable registration fee (£998 +VAT for state schools, £1,605+VAT for independent schools) is due 30 days after receipt of the invoice. The invoice will be sent within 10 working days of completion of the registration form. If school funding has been confirmed but monies cannot yet be released, please contact your Festival Coordinator immediately. We are unable to offer refunds. See 'Refunds and Deferrals' below for details.

Privacy Policy

At Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation, we have always been and continue to be committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

We are a charity and a company limited by guarantee and we hold personal data for staff, schools, donors, supporters, Festival and workshop participants and suppliers. We will only use the information that we collect about you in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

To read our full Privacy Policy, click here.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of all staff and students is of paramount importance to us. Therefore, we insist that all schools operate under the DfE advice on health and safety for schools. All participating schools will be expected to have read the DfE’s guidance, and to act under its aegis (see Coram SSF and its hosting theatres accept no responsibility for injury to persons during the Workshops and Performance Days, other than that which is covered by the Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s Public Liability Insurance. Schools will be expected to have provided all appropriate and adequate insurance arrangements for their students and their staff.

Coram SSF carries out its own Risk Assessments in line with our Health and Safety Policy but participating schools must also do their own. We can provide a template if required.

Schools must appoint a Group Leader (usually the Teacher-Director) who should make themselves known to the Coram SSF staff on arrival at the Theatre or Workshop venue.

Group Leaders must be teachers who therefore act as employees of the LA/LEA/ELB or of the school governing body, and as such must do their best to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the school group.

The Group Leader will be expected to bring:

  • A register of their students in case of an emergency
  • Any information about special needs or medical conditions that may affect participation in activities
  • A list of students who do not have permission from a legal guardian to be photographed

All Coram SSF staff will have a current Enhanced DBS check. For more information see ‘Our Commitment to You’ later in this document. Click here to read our Child Protection Policy.


Students must be under the supervision of a school-appointed adult at all times in the theatre and workshop venue, including in backstage areas and in the wings.

Coram SSF’s chaperone ratios (in accordance with the DfE Guidelines) are:

  • For primary age 10:1 students to adults
  • For secondary age 12:1 students to adults

The school must provide at least 2 chaperones per group, even if you have fewer than 10 students. This is so students can be chaperoned in both wings at the theatre, as well as in changing rooms and for bathroom breaks.

Additional chaperones are required for any students separated from the group at any time (e.g. technical students in the lighting box).

The Coram SSF staff cannot and will not act as chaperones for students at any time.

Chaperones cannot be other students from the school, even if they are over eighteen.

Chaperones in the audience are not considered to be chaperoning students in the wings or on stage. This is in case a student falls ill or has an accident during the performance, and for child protection, as the wings and backstage areas are not visible from the audience.

If a school arrives at a Company Workshop or Performance Day without the correct number of chaperones they will not be permitted to take part in the activity. This is for the safety of the students which is our top priority at all times.

Student numbers

Each school group should consist of no more than 35 students. This 35 may include actors, musicians, student technicians, marketing students, and any other students who will be at the Company Workshop or Performance Day. Please be aware that no more than 2 tech students will be permitted into the technical box due to health and safety, and these must be chaperoned.

This is a non-negotiable rule. It is written into our contracts with the theatres and workshop venues and is in place for the safety of your students in the backstage and onstage areas.

If more than 35 students are brought to a Company Workshop, Coram SSF will ask the Teacher-Director to redistribute roles for your Performance Day, which could lead to some students not being permitted to perform.


Professional Conduct in the Theatre and Workshop Spaces

On the Performance Day and Company Workshops the school groups will be working in a professional space (a theatre, or other suitable venue), and it will be the school’s responsibility to ensure their students conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

Schools must arrive promptly for their Company Workshop, Rehearsal and Performance at their allocated time. N.B. Timings and dates will be displayed on the schools’ BackStage account on the Coram SSF website – a link will be sent to the Teacher-Director by email when these are released.

Schools who are allocated a morning Rehearsal slot must leave the theatre between 12.30 pm and 5.45 pm unless agreed otherwise with the Festival Coordinator. This is to allow adequate, uninterrupted rehearsal time for the schools in the afternoon sessions.

Props, Costume and Personal Belongings

Coram SSF and its hosting theatres accept no responsibility for loss or damage to property during the Workshops and Performance Days, other than that which is covered by the Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s Public Liability Insurance.

Nothing Coram SSF deems to be dangerous or messy will be allowed onstage. This includes glass, liquids, hazardous materials of any kind, explosives or combustible materials, metal blades, real or replica guns of any kind, live animals, glitter or confetti. If you are unsure, just check with your Festival Coordinator or Coram SSF staff on the day.

Props and costumes must be made of fire resistant material or treated with flame retardant.

If costumes are deemed by Coram SSF to be offensive, revealing or scary for young audiences, they will be forbidden on the Performance Day.

You may bring handheld props and small items of set to your Performance Day. Anything larger may not fit into the wing space at the theatre, or be set up in the turnaround times. A good guide is whether you can fit all your props into the boot of a car.

Chewing gum, cigarettes and alcohol may not be consumed in any part of the theatre/workshop venue.

Mobile phones are not to be carried by students in the stage, wings and auditorium areas.

Light and Sound

Schools may use a maximum of 20 lighting cues and 10 sound cues. There is no minimum number of cues. This is to enable the theatre’s technical team to run smooth rehearsals and help to deliver the creative vision of every school. If too many lighting or sound cues are included they will be cut in the technical rehearsal. See the Teacher-Director Handbook for more information on how to add light and sound to a show.

It is the Teacher-Director's responsibility to submit your technical requirements to the theatre technician on time. Depending on the venue, the deadline will be at some point between the Company Workshop and the Performance Day; your Festival Coordinator will let you know. If the tech book is not submitted on time we cannot guarantee that the theatre will be able to fulfill all of your requirements.

If you are using recorded music you will require a PPL licence for rehearsals. The performance is covered by the theatre’s license.

Many LAs/LEAs/ELBs will have a PPL licence but schools should check the specific authorisation relating to them, and what is covered by their licence. All licences are specific to previously declared requirements.

If the school is licensed through the LA/LEA/ELB and not currently covered, they should contact the Council and ask them to declare Amateur Dramatics use to the PPL.

If the Council has devolved funding and/or the school is responsible for its own licence, the Teacher-Director should contact the PPL offices directly to ensure the school is covered.

PPL Contact Details,,, 020 7534 1000

PRS charges will be covered by SSF through the theatre (see for more information).

Coram SSF Scripts and Repeat Performances

Copyright of the abridged scripts rests with the Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation. The registration fee only allows a school to perform the abridgement during the 2019 Festival.

The script may not be shared outside school, used in subsequent years, or downloaded for use outside the Festival.

A public performance of the Coram SSF abridged script must be premiered on the Performance Day. Any subsequent non-Coram SSF public performance must take not take place until at least four weeks after the Coram SSF Performance Day.

The Teacher-Director Workshop

The Teacher-Director Workshop is restricted to those teachers whose schools have paid the registration fee. Each school is permitted one space at the Teacher-Director Workshop. If you would like to book an additional place at an extra cost, please contact your Festival Coordinator. Teacher-Directors may bring a Student-Director for free, but the student must be 15 or over, and it must be confirmed with your Festival Coordinator beforehand to ensure that there is space at the workshop.

Refunds and Deferrals

Coram SSF is unable to offer refunds on the registration fee.

As a charity, we heavily subsidise each school's registration fee through fundraising, ticket sales, and other activity throughout the year. When a school signs up to the Festival, both they and Coram SSF are committed to the costs of their participation, including venues, staff, resources etc. This means that if a school drops out of the project Coram SSF lose all the money invested, as well as vital box office revenue, making it harder for us to continue run the Festival in following years. Therefore, in order to protect our future work with schools and theatres, we are unable to offer refunds.

In case of exceptional circumstances (serious illness or bereavement, or venue changed by Coram SSF after the schedule is confirmed) we may be able to defer a registration fee to the following year’s Festival, with deductions as follows:

  • For all deferrals - minus £155 +VAT administration fee
  • Less than one calendar month before the Teacher-Director Workshop – minus £410 +VAT
  • Less than one calendar month before the Company Workshop – minus £700 +VAT
  • No deferrals are possible after this stage.

Staffing changes, changes to budgets, changes to school commitments or priorities do not qualify as ‘exceptional circumstances’.

The deferred fee will be credited against participation in the following year and the school will need to pay the remaining balance of any price difference.

If there is any chance that you might need to defer your place, please contact your Festival Coordinator immediately.

In the case of a union strike Coram SSF events carry on as normal and we ask that you try to attend planned events. Do seek advice from your union.


Each year we at Coram SSF evaluate our work in great detail. This is so that we can continue to improve our products and creative offer to schools, as well as demonstrate impact and provide demographic data to the partners, trusts and foundations that support us. To this end, Coram SSF will be sending you various evaluation forms throughout the year, please complete each stage in the evaluation thoroughly. Many thanks for your help.

Our Commitment to You

Coram SSF will ensure that appropriate Public Liability Insurance is in place. All Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation employees are covered by Public Liability and Employer’s Liability Insurance.

We guarantee that all Coram SSF Staff (office staff and freelance staff) working with your students and employed directly by Coram SSF will have been deemed suitable to work with children following a Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service and received Child Protection training.

N.B. Personnel employed by theatres or workshop venues (e.g. theatre technicians, box office staff, and other adults present in the venue) may not have been checked for their suitability to work with children. In all cases the students must be chaperoned accordingly (see above).

Your Festival Coordinator will do everything in their power to accommodate requirements or needs of the school, while maintaining a fair experience for all other schools involved. If you have any restrictions (for example dates, locations, timings, play choices etc.) please make this known to your Coordinator before the start of April, when the schedule is put together. Once the schedule has been announced (usually in May) you should check your dates and times, and contact your Coordinator immediately if there are any issues. Swaps will be very difficult to facilitate in September, so please make sure that you check the school calendar and book in the dates before the summer holidays.

We at Coram SSF are committed to making the Festival experience fun, fair and professional for all involved, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation in helping us achieve this aim. Thank you.

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