What do Adele, Leona Lewis, Katie Melua and the late Amy Winehouse have in common other than their talent and extraordinary success over the past years? They're all alumni of the London School for Performing Arts & Technology, more commonly known as The BRIT School.
Founded in 1991 and funded by the British Government with financial support from the British Record Industry Trust, the school is "Britain's only FREE Performing Arts and Technology school .... dedicated to education and vocational training for the performing arts, media, art and design."
Its sprawling campus on the southeastern edge of London comprises a full scale professional theatre which can seat up to 700 and offers numerous dance studios, recording studios and fully equipped TV and radio facilities.
Having already purchased another school next door, the college is now planning a further expansion in 2012 to coincide with the introduction of three new courses in Creative Design Technology, Interactive Media and Community Arts Practice.
On its website, the college stresses that while it is a place for creative individuals to broaden and develop their talents it is not a "stage or fame school" and insists on all students following full time course to completion.
Abbie Trayler-Smith spent a few days in the school, meeting the young artists and entertainers and tried to glean what makes this unassuming college such a powerful talent factory.