Published 16/3/20 4:12pm

COVID-19 Update

Statement on MGA’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak from Managing Director Drew Gowland:

As one of the founders of MGA and Managing Director, I would like to reach out to you all on behalf of myself, Murray and Marcella, at what is proving to be a worrying time for us all. I reach out to assure you that we have been, and will continue, to pay close attention to the fast moving and changeable environment we find ourselves in.

As we’ve seen throughout the course of the last several weeks and days, the global health situation continues to be increasingly challenging. Today, as major announcements continue surrounding what the world is doing to stop the spread of COVID-19, our thoughts continue to be with our team members, our students and our friends and families.

While no one that we know, or is associated with our activities, has yet tested positive for COVID-19, we must take a leadership position as a company whose health, safety and happiness of all those involved in our activities is paramount. We must ensure that we do everything we can to help protect each other and protect our ability to continue being of service to all those who rely on us.

We are lucky to be a small, intimate institution whose students and staff, in the majority, fall into the low risk category for any health concerns. We must however pay close attention to how our actions affect the wider community. We will therefore follow all instructions given to us by our local councils, governing bodies and national governments.

It is increasingly important for us, as an institution, not to fuel anxiety and stress by acting in haste or with excessive caution. We will of course follow official World Health Organization guidelines and abide by any enforced government restrictions on our activities.

As a company working for the education, empowerment and prosperity of all those young people who entrust us with their training, I want to assure you that our three main aims at this time remain unchanged. 1 – The Health and Safety of all those who work with us. 2 – The delivery of world-class education, tuition and training to our student’s, culminating in recognized degree qualifications. 3 – The future career prospects of our graduates.

I am currently working tirelessly with authorities to manage our response and ensure that The MGA Academy is prepared and able to continue delivering your education through any possible restrictions placed upon us.

Marcella, our Academic Director, is working closely with our team of tutors and accrediting bodies to safeguard the delivery of your training and success in achieving your qualifications no matter what the teaching environment looks like moving forward.

And Murray our Creative Director remains dedicated to safeguarding your future prospects and is, even today, travelling the world working with institutions, employers and other drama schools ensuring that we do not fall behind during this challenging time and maintain our strong links to guide you upon successful graduation.

As such, today, all our activities remain operational and all classes, workshops and activities are taking place as planned and as recommended by our local policy makers.

I realize that this is a worrying time for us all and that uncertainty causes us to fear the future. Please let me offer my assurances to you that MGA will continue to deliver all its courses, activities and qualifications moving forward and that your involvement and subsequent successes will not be jeopardized by this current, temporary crisis.

There will undoubtedly be changes to schedules and timeframes, but our commitment to you is that whatever they are, we will ensure that our end goals and your achievements remain the same and that we will return to normal schedules and deadlines as soon as possible once this current situation is under control.

If, for whatever reason, it is a requirement for us to pause any face-to-face learning opportunities, please rest assured that we are already preparing possible contingency plans to ensure that no time is wasted and that any opportunities missed as a result will, where necessary and possible, be re-arranged.

Plans are being produced as we speak in what the world seems to be calling “an abundance of caution” should we do need to temporarily cease large group classes. These include the introduction of online learning to our schedule during any periods that the MGA studios need to be closed. Also, increased individual private tuition where necessary and, where possible, internal projects and workshop work, revised schedules for public performance work and the re-structuring of future terms to incorporate any essential classes missed.

It is important to understand that no matter what happens globally during this crisis, The MGA Academy will continue to deliver to you the very best training possible and ensure that we do everything we can, in partnership with Bath Spa University, to make sure that your educational aspirations and future prospects as professional performers are not jeopardized.

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, has, over the last 15 years, come across numerous hurdles to overcome. With your continued support, faith, patience and flexibility we will most certainly look back at this time and be proud of how we collectively worked together to find our way around this situation.

For now, I urge you to throw yourselves wholeheartedly into your study, enjoy your friendships and working relationships with those around you, exercise the physical and mental resilience that we are so proud to see in our students, remain calm and keep a sense of perspective.

The MGA Academy is here for you not only as your training provider but also as a safe space for you to express yourselves and find support. I’m proud of how each team member, student and associate is coming together during this challenging time.

Drew Gowland
Founder and Managing Director

Updates and information on the coronavirus outbreak in Scotland is available at www.gov.scot/coronavirus

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