Footlights Theatre Schools

Footlights Theatre Schools

Expanding Member
– Joined 2016

Footlights provides affordable, part-time performing arts training and has been established for 15 years. We work tirelessly to innovate within our industry and inspire our children and young people; as well as making new friends and being with likeminded individuals, they are being prepared to be the next generation of performers and/or teachers, film makers and practitioners.

We constantly research and update our processes, learning and implementing methods that we feel incentivise children and teachers. We have evidence of the benefits of sending a child to Footlights such as improving mental health and well-being, making new friends, learning new skills, increasing their knowledge, participating in fun educational arts-based learning, and we pass on this knowledge to you with our in-depth training programme.

Footlights was created in 2005 by trained actress and teacher Jo Fisher, whose initial mantra was ‘Inspired by Children…Created by Professionals’ – 15 years on we still strongly believe in this.

After excelling in her own training at drama school, Jo’s love of the theatre led to a desire to create affordable, accessible performing arts training for children and young people ages 4-18 years…and she did exactly that. Footlights has a record number of franchises in Greater Manchester and currently extends to outlets in West Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and the Midlands, with an eye on the rest of the UK and beyond. In 2020, despite the pandemic, ALL Footlights’ franchisees are still trading as individual businesses; we thrive on a challenge and we want you to be a part of it.


You will be trained not only on our proven business model with refined systems but, as we are specialists in children’s education, we offer unique and comprehensive training in Safeguarding, Equality and Diversity, First Aid and Child Sexual Exploitation, so you are fully equipped on operating a business for children.

We provide thorough online certified training in the above as well as a five day intensive programme for UK territories face to face, plus a further five days with current franchisees. This means you are learning directly from successful franchisees, what better training is there?

You will have the opportunity to train alongside our franchisees on the ‘shop floor’ and, for UK territories, we can offer flexible training to work around your schedule, including weekend and evening training. You will need to commit to five full working days to complete your whole training experience. For international Franchisees we offer online learning and we will work with you separately, tailoring and implementing your training on an individual basis.

Our head office is in MediaCityUK, Manchester with our own 140-seat theatre that rivals any other stage school.

What will I do as a Franchisee

This is a part time business, however your weekly tasks will include administration, marketing and building strong partnerships with your target market. Your favourite day of the week will be a Saturday morning where you come face to face with the children; we can guarantee that, whatever your mood, you will be uplifted when you are busy organising the acting, singing and dance classes with your qualified teachers and getting your children ‘show ready’ or exam prepped.

Here our latest franchisee gives you an insight into a Saturday morning!

I get up and get ready, pack up the car, pick up milk for the staff beverages on the way in and arrive at school for 8.50am. I like to be there really early to set up and have everything looking ship shape before the staff and students descend. The rest of the morning goes in a flash, I never sit down! I’m always chatting to parents, then I like to register the whole school before they start and I award team points for punctuality, uniform, etc, give any notices, say a few motivational words then they’re all off to lessons.

At break, I make a point of chatting with some of the quieter students and all staff to see how the morning has gone and to get a vibe for the general mood. Most days the staff and kids are full of energy but some days they’re not and it’s good to know when these days are and reflect. Some mornings I’ll have loads of admin to do and uniform items to try on, but then a student scrapes a knee or accidentally spills a bottle of water over themselves and you have a drama! It’s never a dull day. One week we had a mouse in school that accidentally got crushed by a table and the kids wanted to give it a funeral and send off in the gardens!! My students are clearly crazy which I love! We have to have fun, happier students facilitate better learning. It never stops but mostly it’s business as usual – excellent quality tuition is being delivered and great learning and development is taking place.

Key Information

Start-Up Cost:


Franchise Type:

Office based

Sector Type:

Childcare – Activities & Education

Investment Type:

Start-up Franchise


B2B & B2C

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