New year starts in September for Stagecoach franchise

Whether mainstream or extra-curricular, schools start their new year in September. For Stagecoach Performing Arts Schools welcoming 48,000 students across the nation to their new school year, it was also a new start for the latest franchisees to join the network. An exciting time as student numbers and retention continue to increase with the franchise reporting four years of consecutive growth.

“In spite of the current economic uncertainty, we’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved as a network,” explained CEO, Sarah Kelly. “Our brand continues to thrive, as more entrepreneurs look to launch their own performing arts business with us, opening up opportunities for more children to benefit from our specialist singing, dancing and acting training. We continue to go from strength to strength, which is really exciting and encouraging for the network.”

In a bid to open their children’s performing arts opportunity to as many prospective students as possible, new franchisees – running both new and existing territories – invite families to attend a discovery day. During these taster sessions, children aged 4-16 are welcomed to take part in a Stagecoach class, trialling shorter, interactive singing, dancing and acting sessions with a trained teacher.

“These sessions really benefit the franchisees, because it introduces the Stagecoach programme to a brand-new audience and can initiate a ripple effect across entire communities,” said Sarah. “Once one child has attended a session and signed up for their two-week trial, more often than not, other parents start to take notice. Discovery days also offer new franchisees the opportunity to know what to expect once the doors officially open, allowing for any last-minute questions to be answered – with the support of our franchise team and Regional Franchise Managers (RFM) – before the first day of term.”

The results from franchisee discovery days are speaking for themselves, as it’s estimated that 50% of attendees go on to sign up for the two-week trial. What’s more, 80% of the children who take part in an initial trial then go on to become full-time students.

One such franchisee who has benefited from hosting a discovery day is Billy Coughlin, who took over the operations of Stagecoach Performing Arts in Nuneaton earlier this year. He hosted his taster session at his central Nuneaton-based premises on the 8th September – one week prior to the first day of term.

“Hosting a discovery day has been a significant factor in the success of my first few weeks as a franchisee and Principal,” said Billy. “With the support of the Stagecoach marketing team and my RFM, we put a real emphasis on promoting the event, which saw almost 50 children attending. It was great fun – parents were invited to watch, we supplied refreshments and a handful of other more established franchisees came to support me too. The outcome of the discovery day is that I’ve managed to almost double my student numbers in less than a month and already have plans to add another Early Stages class in January. That immediate growth is extremely reassuring and makes me excited for the future!”

The proud husband and dad of two is looking to offer a whole host of opportunities to his young students – starting with a professional-standard West End acting workshop and a performance at the Nuneaton Christmas lights switch on. Like many other franchisees, he is benefitting from the backing of an established brand.

“I used to work for Stagecoach as a teacher, so I’m a real believer in the programme and the standard of lessons we offer students. I’m over the moon with how well my first few weeks have gone. I’m hopeful that this is an indication of just how far I can take my franchise in the future.”

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Editor’s notes:

For more information, or to speak with Sarah Kelly or Billy Coughlin, contact Kelly Ayres on 07895 876745 or email

Image attached - Stagecoach franchisee greeting prospective students at a discovery day.

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About Stagecoach Performing Arts

About Stagecoach Performing Arts: Over the years we have seen more than one million students unlock their potential, which is something they will value for their whole life. At Stagecoach we teach our students so much more than how to sing, dance and act. We help them blossom into well-rounded individuals, ready to embrace life and all its opportunities. With nearly 30 years’ experience in teaching the performing arts, we understand how to get the best out of our young performers. We delight in seeing our students have fun, make friends, learn new skills and discover hidden talents. We encourage them to take ‘safe risks’ through rehearsals and performance, which brings out a willingness to take on new challenges. None of us know what the future holds, which is why it’s so important for today’s children to be resilient, brave and self-assured. Furthermore you can rest assured that your child is in safe hands as we adhere to the strictest child safety policies. About joining Stagecoach as a franchisee: With our 30th birthday in 2018, the Stagecoach model has been proven and refined to become one of the UK’s leading performing arts opportunities. Franchisees build a team of equally passionate and enthusiastic teachers, qualified to bring out the very best in their students. Stagecoach schools provide a thriving, nurturing and supportive environment for creative learning. That’s just one of the reasons why 40,000 children every week flock to classes nationwide. Today, a network of more than 300 franchisees operate over 680 schools offering 1,780 classes in eight countries. Through an exciting and varied framework of teaching and development, franchisees have helped to unlock the potential of more than one million students since it opened in 1988.

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