Stagecoach welcomes talent – old and new! – into growing franchise network

2019 has been an incredible year of growth for the global children’s services franchise, Stagecoach Performing Arts, as the brand records a phenomenal 13 terms of consecutive growth. More franchisees than ever are looking to invest in the management opportunity, with the new cohort of franchisees planning launches for the new year.

The 350-strong franchise network is made up of a combination of former performers, mainstream teachers and astute entrepreneurs, all looking to capitalise on the demand for children’s performing arts opportunities. The recent franchisee training week, which took place at the brand’s support office in Woking, was a great example of the breadth of experience looking to invest in their future with Stagecoach.

New franchisee, Claire Gissing, 36, will take over operations of Stagecoach Performing Arts Havant in time for the new term in January. The assistant headteacher and inclusion specialist has spent 13 years working in mainstream education. She came across the Stagecoach franchise opportunity through taking daughter, Maddie, to their weekly lessons.

“I’d always been a very hands-on parent when it came to Maddie’s time at Stagecoach,” explained Claire. “I’d chaperoned events, including the annual trip to Disneyland, and never missed an end-of-term performance. I was always so taken aback by the professionalism of Stagecoach and quickly saw it for what it is – an incredible business opportunity. When the current franchisee told me they were thinking of retiring, I jumped at the chance to invest in the business and take over as Principal. This new endeavour combines my passion for child development and my love of the Stagecoach brand.

“Whilst my skillset is going to be beneficial, I had no real experience of Stagecoach in a wider sense. That’s why the franchisee training was so invaluable. For me, I was instantly impressed with the vast size of the support team and the resources available for franchisees. I’m really looking forward to greeting my students – including Maddie! – in 2020 and putting all that I’ve learnt into practise.”

Kate Davies, also 36, came across the Stagecoach brand much earlier on in her career, having taught for various Stagecoach schools across South Wales for 15 years. The mum-of-one had been managing the franchise in Cardiff for just over a year when the opportunity arose for her to invest and operate it for herself.

“My variety of experience with Stagecoach is what established my dream of owning my own franchise one day. Over the years, I’ve taught at schools in Bridgend, Cowbridge, Caerphilly and Cardiff, often witnessing the success franchisees have benefited from. Alongside my career with Stagecoach, I’ve also worked for the United Dance Organisation for 15 years. Since having my daughter, Darcie, four years ago, I’ve limited my hours so owning my franchise will fit perfectly around my life. My experience with Stagecoach means that I already have knowledge of the franchise model and how to maximise the potential of my business.”

2018 was a year for the history books, as Stagecoach celebrated their 30th year with a record-breaking international performance and summer party. 2019 broke records of its own, with continued growth across the board. With franchisees like Claire and Kate having now joined the network - and many others in the pipeline - 2020 is set to be another exciting year for the global brand.

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Editor’s notes:

Image attached – A hi-res photograph of Kate Lewis with the Stagecoach Cardiff students

For more information, or to speak with Claire Gissing or Kate Lewis contact Kelly Ayres on 07895 876745 or email

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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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