Creative Circle launches free school to address diversity in the creative industries

By Mark Sinclair

Only 9.9% of employees in Britain’s creative agencies are black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME), according to the not-for-profit organisation, while advertising courses remain expensive and many wishing to gain experience of agency life in London (or any big city) are faced with high rents and living costs.

To address this, the Creative Circle Foundation is going to establish a free full-time school in September that will take in 20 students each year. According to the Creative Circle, students are not required to have any academic qualifications to apply for the school, but must “demonstrate they can answer creative problems with creative solutions”.

The Foundation has also announced that it plans to assist any students from outside of London with their accommodation in the city.

Potential students will apply via an online questionnaire and the chosen 20 will then be taught over a one-year, three-term format beginning with a 16-week bootcamp led by industry professionals. Two terms will be spent working in agencies on live and dummy briefs. At the end of the course each student will receive a six-month placement at an agency along with continued support from the foundation.

To fund the new initiative, the Creative Circle says that 100% of all membership fees, 10% of awards entries, plus any profits from this year’s ceremony at the Roundhouse in London will go towards the charity foundation.

“There’s a lot of talk about diversity and education at the moment,” says Vicki Maguire, ECD of Valenstein & Fatt and President of The Creative Circle. “And that’s all it is. Talk. The hand wringing and the panels have to stop.

“The Creative Circle Foundation is the UK industry getting its shit together. We thrive on creativity and creativity thrives on diversity. For the future of our industry please get involved.”

Details on applying for the new school will be online soon via @CircleUK and Information on becoming a member of the Creative Circle – and tickets for the Creative Circle Ball at the Roundhouse in London on May 17th – are at

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