The responsibilities and duties of an educational director differ from one school to the next, where there may be just one person in charge or a team, with a horizontal or vertical structure.
However, despite having different understandings and approaches, they must all have a common set of core skills and take advantage of peer exchange to share expertise for conducting a successful high quality educational project and also furthering their own progress and career mobility.
Educational and managing directors are pioneers and visionaries. They created professional circus schools so that the circus could develop in a wide variety of contemporary forms and so that everyone who wanted and had the ability to be a circus artist – previously reserved for traditional circus families – could access the profession. Directors, both male and female, invented this occupation. They were trained on the job, as no initial or continuous training existed in this field. This profession requires a host of skills in the artistic, educational and administrative fields and in human resource management.
And so in 2010, the FEDEC embarked upon a process of reflection and consultation within its network to identify the competencies of its educational and artistic directors and ways to enhance them.
Observations and mutual needs emerged, such as the need for lifelong learning, the need to upgrade skills and share experiences with peers, and the need to develop a forum for reflection and improving skills relevant to the specific characteristics of the constantly changing sector.
Based on these factors, Focus Group DIRECTORS created “MAILLONS – Workshops for Skills Enhancement for Educational and Artistic Directors of FEDEC schools and Training Programmes” with the following objectives:
- To become better acquainted with the skills and expertise of educational and artistic directors of professional circus schools
- To identify their needs and provide a series of themed workshops tailored in both form and content, encouraging specific lifelong training, knowledge exchange and mobility
- To create free, multilingual tools which can be shared
- To develop a proposal for a programme of twice-yearly themed workshops
This continuous training programme – workshops and tools – is organised into 3 main topics tailored to the needs expressed by the educational directors of schools in the FEDEC network:
- 2010-2012: MAILLONS01 – Ethics and Deontology in Education, which resulted in the FEDEC Charter on Ethics and Deontology
- 2012-2014: MAILLONS02 – Developing an artistic and educational project, which resulted in the Repertory of creation exercises and arts education experiences of FEDEC schools
- 2014-2017: MAILLONS03 – Student Support/Guidance, in 4 strands:
- Health and psychology
- Social and legal
- Artistic education
- Transition to work
- 2018-2020: MAILLON04 - Transition to work