What we do

Mobility and the circus, words which go together naturally. But what about in terms of training? Are students mobile? When and under what circumstances? What barriers are there to mobility during training or professional integration?

The ESCALES survey aims to find out about the learning mobility experiences of students from schools in the FEDEC network, analyse them and assess the impact mobility has on the development of students’ skills and the improvement of their professional integration and employability in the labour market.

Mobility experiences include any activity that a student pursues outside of her/his training centre in another country (workshops, work placements, internships, international projects, festivals, conventions, international exchanges…).

Focus Group 5 joined forces with author Cristina Farinha, to analyse the data from the survey questionnaires aimed chiefly at three groups of key mobility stakeholders:

  • circus arts students
  • directors of professional circus schools
  • coordinators in charge of international exchanges in these schools

As well as the fundamental importance of the first network data on student mobility, the survey analysis resulted in 6 major recommendations for improving the mobility of circus arts students, the recognition of the skills acquired and the management and support it receives:

  • Continually invest in research to reach a better understanding of mobility in circus arts training and education and observe, analyse and evaluate its practices
  • Build a stable mobility platform to provide every student with fair access through the dissemination of relevant information and the existence of financing opportunities
  • Incorporate mobility and the international dimension of current training and education systems as an organisational feature of school management, by offering language courses and encouraging teachers to find out about European training programmes, etc.
  • Develop new mobility initiatives for educational purposes and proposals to help with their management, and make mobility more relevant, easier and affordable for everyone by developing joint training programmes and shared initiatives with employers
  • Increase cooperation between the schools and the use of common tools, such as an online mobility platform and a "FEDEC passport"
  • Build capacity in the sector of circus arts training and ensure that its specific characteristics are recognised by the schools, the professional performing arts sector, other fields (artistic or not) and by all the actors involved, the authorities and the policy makers, at a local, regional, national and European level, by developing joint actions and tools

The results of the ESCALES survey helped identify good practice and recommendations in order to develop the following tools: a Mobility Charter and a Mobility Agreement. In 2016, aTumblr, a kind of online Creative Diary, was set up as part of the CIRCLE project’s 10th anniversary, so that students and teaching teams can put mobility into pictures and showcase their learning.

These tools supplement the ESCALES publication and will help encourage, oversee and enhance many mobility experiences. The publication and tools are intended for use:

  • Internally by schools in the FEDEC network as a benchmarking tool to improve the quality of their mobility and maximise its impact on learning, creativity, languages and student employability
  • Externally by national and European authorities to ensure that mobility funding is increasingly tailored to the realities of circus arts education and its training programmes.

Don’t hesitate to contact Clothilde Fery for questions about ESCALES.