Learning and Performance Network

Learning and Performance Network - students take part in a workshop

The Learning and Performance Network (LPN) is the RSC's long-term partnership programme with schools, communities and theatres across England.

Established in 2006, the programme works through partnerships of schools and their local theatre over a three year period to bring about a significant change in the way young people experience, engage with, and take ownership of the work of Shakespeare.

The LPN is targeted towards those schools and young people who have least access to Shakespeare, cultural provision and the RSC. It offers teachers in-depth training in active approaches to Shakespeare and postgraduate action research. For students, the programme involves dynamic ways to learn about Shakespeare in the classroom, artist-led projects and performance opportunities.

How it works

Every year six schools from around the country are recruited into the Network along with a partner theatre. These 'hub' schools, secondary and primary, each work with up to seven 'cluster' schools from their locality. The LPN is now in its sixth year and 59 clusters of schools (over 400 schools in all) have completed or are currently enrolled in the programme.

From these schools, 101 teachers have completed an action research assignment towards a Postgraduate Certificate in the Teaching and Learning of Shakespeare, awarded by the University of Warwick. Further information on their findings can be found on our Case studies page.

The regional theatre partners work alongside the RSC to recruit schools in their area, lead activity and support the development of the programme. To launch their participation in the LPN, these partner theatre companies and their local hub school host a Young People's Shakespeare production. These edited versions of a Shakespeare play bring professional productions into the heart of a school and community, giving students and their families the opportunity to experience Shakespeare live.

The LPN represents the RSC's Stand up for Shakespeare manifesto in action, with its call for children and young people to:

  • Do Shakespeare on your feet
  • See it live
  • Start it earlier

The sustained relationship with schools in the network enables a dialogue between students, teachers, the RSC and the University of Warwick. This in turn supports rigorous and robust research into the impact of active, exploratory approaches to the teaching and learning of Shakespeare.

Find out more

Read further details about the LPN »
Find out more about the LPN's three year curriculum (PDF) »
Watch three short films of schools' experiences of the LPN »
Read external evaluations of the LPN »
 Find out how LPN schools contributed to the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012 »

To experience the way we work, you might like to attend a Continuing Professional Development course in Stratford-upon-Avon or London.
We also offer a wide range of workshops and events for students to enhance their confidence with Shakespeare's text.

'The active approaches enable a level of understanding and enjoyment that is deeper and more entertaining than just reading the play.'
Secondary teacher, LPN INSET day, April 2009


Paul Hamlyn FoundationThe Learning and Performance Network is generously supported by



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Teaching Shakespeare