We visited Santa School and learned what it takes to become a professional Father Christmas

Successful graduates can earn up to thousands of pounds per day as a professional Santa.
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Making kids' Christmas dreams come true is no easy task, especially when you have such big boots to fill.

We visited Santa School to meet a new class of hopefuls all competing for the role of the big man himself.

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On a rainy Tuesday morning around 20 Father Christmas trainees sat behind a row of desks in the Glass House at Battersea Power Station for Ministry of Fun’s annual Santa school.

Leading the course is Ministry of Fun director Matt Grist, a Santa specialist who has been teaching wannabes for the likes of Selfridges since 1998.

“We train performers in the art of portraying Father Christmas which is a very important role because then only if they pass the training and they’re deemed good enough will they go out and meet children,” Grist told LondonWorld.

“We train them in the art of being magical and warm and wonderful and give them lots of does and don’ts of how to do that effectively.”

Meet the Class of 2023 at Santa SchoolMeet the Class of 2023 at Santa School
Meet the Class of 2023 at Santa School
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Over the last 25 years, Ministry of Fun has trained more than 500 Santas and elves. 

Every year student Santas learn the special art of Father Christmas which covers mastering “Merry Christmas” in multiple languages including sign language and perfecting “Ho Ho Ho!”

The training covers all aspects of the role, including history, character, costume, beards, voice, make-up and  role play.

“This year will be 20 years. I absolutely love it, that's why I keep coming back every single year,” one Santa told LondonWorld.

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“The best thing about it is that every single family that you see and every single child that you see it's an individual experience for them.

“Even during Covid we did some Santa visits on Zoom.”

Once the trainees have completed Santa school they are sent out to grottos up and down the country including Harrods and Selfridges and can earn hundreds of pounds per day.

Ministry of Fun said: "Most bookings are in the low hundreds but some can be several thousand per day depending on the type of booking it is".

Where’s that application form?