Children’s services franchise, Stagecoach Performing, Arts has worked tirelessly over the course of the last 18 months to protect its position as the number one children’s performing arts provider in the world. Aside from quickly assembling and launching an entire online programme within weeks of the UK lockdown, the brand is still investing significant resources into ensuring all of its franchisees are equipped with the tools to not only maintain their businesses but expand them.
The latest initiative, which comes into full effect at the beginning of the new autumn term, has been created to ensure that student numbers remain safe and manageable once schools resume in September. Originally rolled out following the lifting of nationwide restrictions in the spring, franchisees were given the extra funding and capability to launch additional schools, meaning classes were run in ‘bubbles’ of 18 students or less. Now that franchisees are preparing to welcome students back after the summer break once more, many are officially launching these once-temporary schools – with more than 60 new classes starting.
“We’re passionate about setting our franchisees up for the success they truly deserve after such a turbulent year,” explained Andy Knights, CEO. “We’ve been so impressed by the ways in which our franchisees have adapted, but it’s been encouraging to see that the majority haven’t necessarily struggled to maintain their student numbers at all – in fact, the demand for our services is as high as it has ever been! Our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of the students, teachers, Principals and parents in our network, which is why this new strategy has been devised.”
One franchisee taking full advantage of the additional revenue from launching more schools is Emma Otway. The mum-of-two invested in the existing Wilmslow territory in 2016, having taught at the same school for two years. In less than six years, Emma has grown student numbers by 239%, from 61 students in January 2015 to 207 as of August this year. With a consistent increase in both enquiries and enrolments, Emma has launched a new mid-week session.
“I’ve been running seven schools on a Saturday for the last few years, but there’s always been a real demand for a mid-week class, especially with families taking weekend mini-breaks post-pandemic,” said Emma. “With enquiries so high and my weekend classes all full, the time was right to launch a Wednesday night class. Expanding was always in my sights, but I did initially think that the pandemic might have caused a delay to my plan. But thanks to the support from the head office team and the value that the online programme provided during lockdown, parents really trust in our services and want their children to be a part of Stagecoach.
“I’m far from concerned about the profitability of my franchise. I even had a baby in lockdown and never once felt out of my depth! I’m looking forward to filling this new session – I’ve enrolled at least 60% of the places already – and making it as successful as my weekend schools.”
Emma’s students – both new and existing – will return at the start of the new term, with the Saturday classes starting on 18th September and the new Wednesday evening class launching on the 15th. She will be joined by the rest of the UK network when the autumn term starts again this September.
Find out more about franchising opportunities with Stagecoach Performing Arts by visiting www.stagecoachfranchise.com