Stagecoach Performing Arts celebrates 15 new schools and expansions ahead of autumn term

Now 10 months into the first year without national school closures and pandemic restrictions, children’s services franchise Stagecoach Performing Arts is celebrating no fewer than 15 new school openings, takeovers and launches. With four brand-new schools and 11 resales, the brand is proudly celebrating this significant achievement.

“It’s wonderful to see our brand going from strength to strength after periods where our franchisees couldn’t meet with their students in person,” explained Andy Knights, CEO. “In fact, since the start of the year, we’ve been inundated with enquiries from both existing and prospective franchisees looking to invest in additional and new territories. It shows that trust in our franchise model continues to put us at the forefront of investors’ minds.”

Married couple Mara and Katie Elias-Philippou are the latest investors to bring Stagecoach to a new community as they launch their greenfield school, Stagecoach North Finchley, which opened at the beginning of the autumn term. Mara, an experienced performing arts teacher and former Stagecoach student, will combine her background in the arts with Katie’s corporate experience to bring Stagecoach to students in their community aged 4 to 18.

“I believe in Stagecoach wholeheartedly, and I feel the benefit of its impact on me to this day,” explained Mara. “I attended Stagecoach until I was 14. The growth in my confidence during my time there was phenomenal. My experience teaching drama and managing and leading performing arts departments has reinforced just how important the arts are. I can’t wait to bring my skills and experience to Stagecoach Finchley.”

“Within the next five years, our goal is to make Stagecoach our full-time focus and commit wholeheartedly to delivering sessions to students around the area where we live,” added Katie. “We pride ourselves on supporting those in our community that most need the help and, as part of that, we’d love to be able to welcome students with special educational needs to our sessions. Both of us feel extremely passionate about delivering that to children and teenagers in our area. We have so much energy to start building our franchise and would love to be able to expand and run two territories in the future. We are planning to launch our second school in Totteridge in 2023.”

More than 200 miles away, in Manchester, established franchisee and Principal of Stagecoach Performing Arts Halifax, Oleksandra Antonova - known as Alex - has launched her second territory after a successful seven years with the brand – first as a teacher, before investing in the franchise model in 2017.

“Over the last five years, I’ve increased student numbers at Stagecoach Halifax by 233% and increased from two Saturday schools to two Friday sessions and three on a Saturday,” explained Alex. “I’ve brought in five teachers, along with a manager who supports with running my Halifax territory. To accelerate this rate of growth, this year I’ve invested in an additional greenfield territory in the Manchester area. Over the course of the next 18 months, I will be raising the profile of this new business and look forward to bringing Creative Courage for Life to more students living locally. Essentially, I want to double the size of my business within the next two years and then invest in another neighbouring territory. I’ve already earmarked the location!”

Alex’s new school will open its doors to students across Manchester this October. Thanks to franchisees, both new and old, like Mara, Katie and Alex, Stagecoach expects to have had the most successful year for network growth since before the pandemic. With plans for the brand’s 35th anniversary in 2023 now well under way, prospects from across the world are investing in the children’s services franchise.

For more information about Stagecoach Performing Arts, visit

Notes to Editors

For more information, or to speak with Andy Knights, Mara and Katie Elias-Philippou, or Alex Antonova, contact Gemma Tomalin at Rev PR on 07395 641523 or email
Images available: Hi-res images of Alex with her Stagecoach Halifax students.

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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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