UK arts school invests in future with ETC

The Morpeth School, in London’s less well off Tower Hamlets area, specializes in arts and music. The school recently received a financial boost with a £13.5m ($26 million) grant from the local authority, which led to a complete rebuilding program. As part of that rebuild, the school has a new performing arts block -- including three drama studios and a theater that doubles as an assembly hall.

Morpeth also used some of the funds to invest in new entertainment-lighting control capability: an ETC Congo™ jr console and two SmartFade® compact desks, as well as ETC’s SmartPack® dimming. Chris Bocking at Redbridge Drama Centre, who was brought in as a consultant for the installation, explains the Congo jr choice: “We always recommend ETC control desks because they are very sophisticated yet user friendly. One of the problems which all schools face is that staff leave, and there might be no-one else trained to use the desk. That means it inevitably doesn’t get employed to its full potential or possibly even not at all. With the ETC Congo jr, it might only take 10 minutes to get a new staff member or student up and running. We run training days for staff as well, of course, but these desks might have a life of 10-20 years, so we want to make sure that they’re going to be able to use it many years from now even without our help.”

Redbridge Drama Centre advises on school installations across London and derives its funds from the local authority as well as consulting fees. Based on the site of a junior school in the northeast London borough of Redbridge, the center also hosts school visits in one of its drama studios or production suites, which are outfitted with TV cameras and vision mixing equipment as well as an ETC Express™ lighting control desk, several ETC Source Four® fixtures and SmartPack dimming.

The facilities manager at Morpeth School, Del Kwai, is responsible for all the contractors at the school. He says: “The aim of our head teacher, Sir Alasdair MacDonald, was to change the concept of education. When we develop facilities like these, containing top quality equipment which children will see and experience when they go out to work, teaching becomes a lot easier.”

Lighting Logic was responsible for supplying all the equipment. Project director for Lighting Logic, Matt Miles, says: “The reliability of all ETC’s products make them perfect for schools, and as our relationship with ETC has developed, so has our respect for their equipment. It’s also good to know that I have the backup of ETC when I need it, just as our own clients know that if they have a question or problem with the kit that we install, they can phone me – even at the weekend – and I’ll come to help when I can.”


Morpeth School, London, UK

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“We always recommend ETC control desks because they are very sophisticated yet user friendly." - Chris Bocking, consultant

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