A part of Ruth Conti's inheritance was the running of the school. Her first responsibility was to find new premises, a difficult task in bomb ravaged London. After a long search she found the perfect building in the heart of London's theatre land. Although the studios were eagerly prepared for class the roof was missing! A major problem! With very little money and a huge bill for repairs and no planning permission - Ruth looked for help. Her friends and ex-pupils rallied around her, a 'fund raising' party was planned. All the local Counsellors were invited to see the changes she had already made and to welcome the school back to London. The actor Charles Hawtrey organised all the music and volunteered to play the piano while the Conti Students acted as hosts to the distinguished guests and used all their best persuasive acting skills! Not only was planning permission given but also the school secured a grant to cover all the building works!
The school was soon re-opened and the re-building of 12 Archer Street provided the impetus for a number of changes. A general education component of up to four hours a day was added to the school curriculum.
Annual assessments for students were put on a more formal and rigorous basis and students were challenged to prove themselves worthy candidates before progressing to the next year of training.
This progressive process has been adopted by most full time theatre schools, performing arts colleges and acting institutions and it is now a recognised part of student life and professional development.
Despite the enormous loss of its founder, the devastating war and her personal sacrifice, Ruth Conti maintained the standards and dreams of her aunt and led the Italia Conti Stage School pupils to even more success in a dramatically changing Britain. Her reputation and the school's continued to be much sought after and she was often consulted by the Home Office regarding working conditions for children in the Theatre. In 1949 she wrote:
"The 'professional' child's life is different from the 'normal' child. Their days are full and work is a pleasure, and intense disappointment and even real unhappiness would result if they were unable to continue. Unlike the average child, at quite an early age they discover what they want to do when they grow up and the specialised training and performing enables them to fulfill their desire whilst still carrying on with ordinary education. Stage children are quicker, more individual and livelier than the average child, they are self reliant, well balanced, courteous and understanding. Their faces are eager and alert their bodies graceful. They develop charm, they cultivate good-manners, and those who do not continue on the stage find that their training and theatrical performance have given them poise, quiet assurance and confidence, which is invaluable to them whatever career they eventually follow." My precept is always; Work hard children, learn your job, and aim to become a credit to the great profession of which you aspire to be members.
Where the Rainbow Ends was performed for the last time in 1959. After 48 years of continuous Christmas holiday time showing and countless charitable funds raised for hospital cots through the Rainbow League, the Children's play that inspired Italia Conti disappeared into theatre history.
Exactly one year later the school moved again, this time to Avondale Hall, where it stayed until 1984.
In 1968 Ruth Conti passed the school to trusted friends and colleagues, Eve & Don Sheward, although she remained teaching part time and acted as an invaluable educational consultant - she was also a fundraiser for the Royal Academy of Dance. She finally retired in 1977 and returned to her native land, Australia.