Babyballet Dartford lockdown classes prove a hit as dance school lands double celebration at national awards

November 20, 2020

A dance school which kept twinkle-toed toddlers occupied online during the first lockdown has scooped a national award.

The Babyballet franchise in Dartford has been named among the most loved music, dance or performing arts activities in the UK.

It scooped the major accolade at the What’s On 4 Kids Activities Awards, launched in 2007, to celebrate the best kids clubs, along with leaders and volunteers.

Awards are nominated and voted for by a panel of experts, parents and carers and the results were unveiled as part of a virtual ceremony held last month.

Keeping little ones occupied during the first lockdown in March was a struggle for many parents as activities became increasingly home-based.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

But the dance school, which is targeted at toddlers and babies from six months upwards and also serves Bexley and Bromley, kept classes running online and delivered with aplomb.

“This year has been without doubt the toughest in my businesses history,” says Jessie Lilley, owner of Babyballet Dartford, Bexley, Bromley.

The 39-year-old, who grew up in the area, continued: “But that goes for every company in every industry. My team and I moved our classes online during the first lockdown, so that we could continue teaching our 1000 plus babyballet stars to dance.

“Keeping them happy and active was my main priority!”

On top of this feat there was also an individual accolade for one of the ballet school’s much loved teachers.

Baby ballet instructor Jade Allen, who has taught at the school for six years, was voted the most loved activity leader manager in the South East.

Affectionately known to the the children as Miss Jade, the teacher was overwhelmed to become a winner.

Related: Why babyballet founder is travelling the globe

“The South East is a big place, and I am bursting with pride to have won,” said Jade.

“The team at babyballet Dartford, Bexley and Bromley are like family to me and I adore teaching the classes.

“I can’t wait to get back into the dance studio and see my little stars, with social distancing measures in place to keep them all safe.”

Although the dance classes are closed during the second lockdown, registrations are open for future face-to-face sessions.

“We have returned once and the magic of our classes remained, even with the new safety procedures in place,” added owner Jessie.

“I am counting down the days until I can open the doors again.”

The franchise is headquartered in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and has 83 locations across the UK.

By Sean Delaney

Source: Kent Online

Code Ninjas coding schools spread around UK

November 10, 2020

US-based kids coding franchise Code Ninjas is live in six UK locations and plans to open a further 22 around the nation.

Budding ‘ninjas’ can enjoy coding, gaming and drone building at locations in Hampshire, Greater London, Hertfordshire and Berkshire.

The next round of launches will be hot on the heels of the late summer grand openings, with programmes opening up in Potters Bar, Chelmsford, Croydon, Welwyn Garden City and Hammersmith before the end of January.

The Code Ninjas network has grown at a rapid rate. With plans for 22 more locations already in the pipeline, the US-born kids coding school is on track to deliver their fun, interactive coding curriculum to ‘ninjas’ aged 5-14 throughout the nation by 2021.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

“In late August, we celebrated the grand opening of our very first UK location in Watford, Hertfordshire – that was a momentous occasion for Code Ninjas and something the entire team has been working towards for a number of months,” said Justin Nihiser, CEO.

“It was also around this time that I joined the Code Ninjas team. Stepping up to take the reins of a global kids coding franchise during a pandemic has certainly been a challenge but one I was proud to take on.

“Despite the economic challenges caused by the lockdown period, I’m pleased to have witnessed such impressive growth first-hand.

“All of the locations we’d planned prior to the 23rd March are now fully operational and our network has almost doubled during the second two quarters of the year. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as we plan for 2021.”

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Code Ninjas Watford, the brand’s UK flagship location, opened its doors on Saturday 11th July.

“It’s an honour to be part of Code Ninjas and play such a vital role in spearheading the growth of the brand on British soil,” said Jass Patel, who owns the centre with wife Reena.

“We both feel so passionately about Code Ninjas’ commitment to delivering quality coding education and are thrilled to have the opportunity to support that mission in our community.

“We’re in for a busy few months but can’t wait to make our mark on the state of children’s coding education in the UK.”

Just one week later, Code Ninjas Pinner followed suit, launching on the 18th July. On the 22nd August, Code Ninjas Enfield welcomed budding ninjas from across Greater London. On the 24th August, a centre opened in the Hampshire town of Chandler’s Ford. Code Ninjas Langley, the first location to launch under the brand’s new Studio model, launched in Langley College on the 19th September.

Biraj Nakarja, one of the four franchisees behind Code Ninjas Langley, was over the moon to welcome students, parents, families and friends to their grand opening event.

“Despite the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we still made the most of our launch party, inviting our community to help us celebrate our new business,” said Biraj.

“We’re very proud and excited to bring the Code Ninjas programme to local children and, now that we’re open, are looking forward to making a real impact on the state of coding education in our area. We’re providing a service that is so in demand and fundamental for the future of the next generation.”

Related: Code Ninjas Franchise

Along with the rest of his team – wife, Sital, and long-term friends, Raman and Karnvir Bath – Biraj plans to open a second location, in nearby Windsor, within the next year.

“Essentially, we’re establishing ourselves as the go-to providers for kids coding education across east Berkshire. Our first priority is to build momentum with our initial location before setting our sights on getting our second location off the ground. Although we definitely have to take the current economic climate into consideration, we feel confident in our ability to grow with the backing of the Code Ninjas team to guide us,” said Biraj.

Despite the delays caused by the pandemic, the majority of the UK network have already made the initial steps towards opening a second location. Justin and the support team, based in Pearland, Texas, have been impressed by the network’s commitment to delivering the Code Ninjas curriculum at such a crucial time.

“With a system of determined and passionate franchise owners and corporate staff that believe ardently in Code Ninjas’ mission, our work will result in better problem solving and critical-thinking skills for our ninjas. Building these STEM-related skillsets at a young age equips Code Ninjas’ students with valuable tools to navigate today’s increasingly tech-centric world.”

By Jonathan Symcox

Source: Business Cloud

Oswestry-based swim teacher Kim up for national awards

November 2, 2020

AN OSWESTRY-BASED swim teacher is celebrated after being named as one of the best franchisees by her parent company.

Kim Pinnington, who has a team of coaches delivering lessons at Oswestry School, among other areas, was named the Puddle Ducks Franchisee of the Year 2020, and has also been listed as a finalist in two prestigious national awards: the NatWest EWIF (Encouraging Women into Franchising) Awards 2020 and a BFA (British Franchise Association) Awards 2020.

She is the owner of Puddle Ducks North West Midlands, south Cheshire and Wrexham, part of a nationwide swim school which provides innovative swimming classes for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers aged newborn to four, as well as Swim Academy from four to 10 years.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

Managing director of Puddle Ducks, Jo Stone, said: “Kim is an inspirational woman and deserving finalist for these awards.

“I am very proud of her achievements and outstanding contribution to the Puddle Ducks franchising network.

“I wish Kim the very best for the awards.”

In February 2020, Kim was named as the Puddle Ducks Franchisee of the Year for 2020, recognising her monumental efforts in growing the business alongside providing the high-quality swimming lessons associated with the Puddle Ducks name. She is the newest Puddle Ducks franchisee to ever win this award!

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

She has been described by colleagues as ‘working tirelessly’ to ensure not only the success of her business but also for securing the best opportunities and support for her team of teachers, office workers and poolside assistants.

The last year in particular has been difficult, not only for Kim but for the entire team. A key teaching pool that also housed one of Kim’s offices burnt down last July, but Kim tackled this setback calmly. She managed to turn this negative experience into a huge positive with new pools, new team members and new class recruits.

By Barrie White

Source: Border Counties Advertizer

Code Ninjas announces a new format for the UK

September 29, 2020

Code Ninjas, the U.S.-based after-school programme that teaches children computer coding, has introduced a brand new franchise model for the UK.

Called, Code Ninjas Studio, the new offering has been designed by the company to make the UK’s profitable children’s services market even more accessible, with a reduced start-up fee and flexible location requirements.

Code Ninjas said its new business model offers prospective franchisees the chance to invest in its coding franchise at a fraction of the traditional cost and enable them to get their business off the ground in weeks rather than months.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

The company explains that new franchisees also stand to benefit from the brand’s unrivalled infrastructure, including development and support from in-house education, technology, operations and marketing teams.

The new model mitigates the need for business premises with extensive fit-out requirements as franchisees will operate in centrally located community centres, like libraries, schools and universities, keeping overheads low and profit margins high.

Franchisees will have complete access to the brand’s full offering of propriety programmes and curriculum, meaning Ninjas (students) progress through the same programme, with the same level of guidance from their instructors (Code Senseis) as they would through the traditional model.

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

David Graham, chief executive and co-founder of Code Ninjas, said: “This new model has been specially constructed to align with the way businesses operate in the UK. “Libraries and schools are predominantly regarded as community hubs, so running sessions out of these sorts of locations means franchisees can capitalise on heavy footfall.

“Code Ninjas Studio is a fantastic opportunity for those looking to build a long-lasting and scalable business, that also makes a real change in their community. We’re very excited for this new venture.”

Related: Code Ninjas Franchise

With minimal initial location fit-out for a Code Ninjas Studio, new franchisees can invest resources back into the marketing and set up of the business, and on completion of its virtual franchise training, franchisees can begin to host coding sessions in their territory in a suitable location approved by the company.

Children’s educational enrichment has seen an increase in demand in recent years said Code Ninjas and it sees the new business model capitalising on the need for digital education for children.

Source: Franchise World

Theatre schools in West Cumbria and Carlisle prepare to re-open

September 9, 2020

Two theatre schools in Cumbria are preparing to open their doors to performers and welcome back budding actors, dancers and singers once again.

Razzamataz West Cumbria and Razzamataz Carlisle say they have been thoroughly briefed by their head office, have passed a new covid-secure health and safety audit and are following all Government guidelines and Children’s Activities Association (CAA) best practice in order to re-open safely.

Matty Aitchison-Rayson, principal of Razzamataz West Cumbria believes that the theatre school can help young people adjust back into social interaction. He said: “Through the performing arts, children learn many life lessons including building resilience, working as a team and emotional intelligence. We believe that these skills are more important now than ever before as children have missed many traditional milestones. More than ever, we can’t wait to get the buzz back of teaching a room of children and watching them learn and progress each week.”

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

The theatre school franchise will be focussing on rebuilding children’s self-esteem and belief in themselves as well as getting youngsters fitter and healthier.

Razzamataz West Cumbria are due to re-open on September 5, with classes taking place at Summergrove Halls, Hensingham. Although there is now limited availability to join, the school will be holding taster sessions, where students can find out more. Contact Matty on 01946 848148/07940957894.

Razzamataz Carlisle are planning to re-open on September 12, with classes to be held at Harraby Community Centre. More information on both theatre schools can be found at their websites or Facebook pages.

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Steps to keep the students safe include sanitizer in each room, cleaning protocols, two metre safety distance between each student, plans to stagger classes, reduction of class sizes, no props and attendance at re-opening webinars.

When the pandemic hit the UK, Razzamataz Theatre Schools was just starting its 20 year birthday celebrations, and had many events planned.

Related: Razzamataz Franchise

Matty said: “Sadly our large scale events had to be put on hold but we are busy making plans for Disney 2021 and looking into what else we can do for our students who have lost out on so much this year.”

He added: “During the pandemic, we were delighted that we could continue to offer scholarships with The Stage and also our own Future Fund charity to help even more young people experience the joys of performing arts. We are a school where children come to follow their passion in dance, drama and singing but we are also so much more than that. We have so many parents tell us that Razzamataz is the place where their child feels most accepted, it is where they have grown in confidence and it is where they have found lifelong friends.”

By Lynne Wild

Source: News & Star

Clip ‘n Climb franchises to benefit from rise in staycations after UK lockdown

August 10, 2020

Clip ‘n Climb, an international leader in the fun climbing market, is expecting a rise in UK staycations following the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Clip ‘n Climb franchise owners in the UK are likely to benefit from a rise staycations this summer, following the fact that many people have put their holiday plans on hold as a result of the pandemic.

The UK entered a coronavirus-related lockdown in March this year, and while restrictions are now being relaxed many will not be travelling abroad this summer. In fact, 45% of people in the UK are expected to holiday within the country in the next six months.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

To capitalise on this, business owners may decide to open a franchise under a quality, well-known leisure brand. This means they can attract customers quickly while enjoying the security and support of Clip ‘n Climb’s proven business model.

Compete turnkey business model

Clip ‘n Climb has over 80 centres in the UK, as well as more than 300 centres around the world. The franchise model is a complete turnkey leisure business, including design and installation for more than 40 climbing challenges for the whole family. Franchisees can also take advantage of full training and support, useful resources, equipment discounts, maintenance checks and marketing support.

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Vicky Coupe, Clip ‘n Climb franchise manager, says: “Following our reopening on July 25th, we are encouraged by the high number of bookings we’ve received by existing and new customers. It’s clear that more and more people across the UK are looking for new fun ways to spend their free time and with that, there’s the opportunity for new franchisees to benefit.”

Clip ‘n Climb centres in the UK have been open to the public once more since 25 July, with extra safety procedures such as social distancing, online bookings, contactless payments, PPE, smaller sessions and new hand sanitising stations. Many have been declared ‘Good to Go’ by visit England, confirming that they meet all the relevant health and safety guidelines.

Earlier this year, Clip ‘n Climb published the results of its global customer survey on attitudes to COVID-19, with the aim of helping operators plan for a safe reopening that takes into account their visitors’ needs.

Source: Blooloop

Cheshire businesswoman up for major franchising award

July 30, 2020

Feeling stifled and unfulfilled as an accountant and knowing she always wanted to run her own business, Kim Pinnington, now 37, took on a Puddle Ducks franchise three years ago, and since then has thrived.

Because of this, she has been shortlisted in the Transformation category at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards, taking place at the Vox, Birmingham, on November 30.

She runs a Puddle Ducks (a franchise that teaches babies and toddlers to swim), that covers Cheshire, the North West Midlands, and Wrexham, employing 23 people. Despite the wide geographical split, she has managed to make the territory much more profitable through hard work and canny business decisions, even though it was operating as a successful business before she purchased it.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

“I am thrilled to be shortlisted for the Franchisee Business Transformation award and to be recognised for what I have achieved over the last few years as a franchisee.

“Franchising has given me the confidence to run my own business in the knowledge that I have full support from my network and helped me to strive towards my professional goal of building a successful sustainable business and my personal goal of balancing work life around my family” says Kim Pinnington, Franchisee.

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the bfa, said: “The territory Kim purchased is spread wide and far, and although the foundations and base of a great business were acquired when she purchased it, the previous franchisee had only made a modest return. However, Kim really utilised the power of the network for advice and formulated an airtight business plan.”

Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchising at HSBC, added: “Kim more than tripled net profit in her first year of operating through steady scaling and sticking to a robust plan and cutting classes where necessary. Despite having just over 700 customers in 2016/17 and just under 900 in 2019/20, the net profit margin has risen from 10% to 22%.”

Kim will go head-to-head against three other franchisees in November.

By Emma Lumley

Source: BDaily

International coding school opens first UK sites in London

July 22, 2020

A coding school has announced that it has opened its first two UK centres in the London area. Code Ninjas, which has franchises internationally, opened its first centres in Watford and Pinner this month.

This comes ahead of plans to open more UK sites “in quick succession” before the end of this year.

Reena Patel, who owns the Watford centre with partner Jass, commented: “It’s an honour to be part of Code Ninjas and play such a vital role in spearheading the growth of the brand on British soil.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

“We both feel so passionately about Code Ninjas’ commitment to delivering quality, fun coding education and are thrilled to have the opportunity to support that mission in our community. We’re in for a busy few months but can’t wait to make our mark on the state of children’s coding education in the UK.”

Prasad Prabhakaran, one of the four co-owners of Code Ninjas Pinner, said: “It feels so wonderful to be able to welcome our first students. “

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

It’s been an exciting few months for us all, as we’ve worked hard to prepare for our launch. The centre looks incredible and the feedback we’ve received from our ninjas and their families has been fantastic.

“We’re all looking forward to a ninja-fuelled future in our area!”

Marty Flanagan, VP of Franchising at Code Ninjas, added: “Opening our first few UK locations has come at such a pivotal time, as families plan for their children going back to school in the autumn.

Related: Code Ninjas Franchise

“The turnout at both events is proof of the demand for our kids’ coding curriculum in their respective communities and we’ve been blown away by the initial response.

“If the launches of Code Ninjas Watford and Code Ninjas Pinner are anything to go by, the next few launches – which will be taking place in quick succession before the year is out! – will really put Code Ninjas on the UK map.”

By Chloe Shakesby

Source: BDaily

Franchise Theatre School Extends Support To Families Over The Summer

July 1, 2020

Traditionally, the six-week summer holiday has provided a chance for children and their families to take a break from the routine. With the closure of schools and the disruptions to everyday life, the six-week break is leaving many parents feeling concerned about a further lack of structure.

When schools closed, Razzamataz Theatre Schools responded with a well-considered and researched strategy to take all their classes online, with small groups enabling the students to interact with their teachers and other classmates. Not only have there been regular classes, there’s been a host of special events including masterclasses with performers from West End shows, talks given by Felicity French, casting director for Cameron Mackintosh and former students who are appearing in shows such as &Juliet as well as former Razzamataz Barnet student Tamara Smart who is a young actress with leading roles in many TV shows and films including Artemis Fowl, which is soon to be shown on Disney+.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

In usual times, during the long six-week summer holiday, finding things to keep children entertained day in and day out is not easy. During the pandemic, finding things to keep children active and also interactive with others has been even more challenging, which is why Razzamataz has announced that schools throughout the UK will be offering summer holiday online classes.

“We have had so many testimonials from parents thanking us for continuing to provide classes, which has helped create a structure for family life,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “We have proved that through our small, interactive classes, we can keep the students having fun and maintain a high standard of performing arts training.”

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

There are almost 50 Razzamataz schools throughout the UK with summer school classes that will welcome both current and non-Razzamataz students. Some of the typical testimonials from parents include: “Razzamataz Online meant that my daughter was able to interact with her teachers she knows and loves. She was so motivated knowing that they were watching her movement and the fact she was able to ask questions about specific moves was really beneficial. The high Razzamataz standard was maintained throughout.”

During the summer schools, students between the ages of 4-18, will be split into small age appropriate groups to work on either a musical theatre or commercial piece to create a short presentation that is performed at the end of the course. With more and more casting agents looking for performers to create ‘self-tape auditions’ this is a great way of understanding and preparing for the changes in the industry.

As well as the performance side, students will also get to participate in some of the backstage aspects of theatre and the arts. This will include prop making and set and costume design, all created with everyday objects that can be found in the home.

Related: Razzamataz Franchise

“Although COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, it doesn’t have to stop us from being creative and engaging young people in a new and exciting way,” explains Denise. “Of course, this is new to us all but the power of our network means that we can collaborate and find the best ways of continuing to provide exciting opportunities for students. We know that parents are also exhausted and although everyone’s situation is unique, many are still reaching out to find activities for their children.”

Even during the pandemic, Razzamataz continues to expand and has recently welcomed five new franchisee Principals who have just completed a week-long training conducted via Zoom. To understand more about the flexible nature of running a Razzamataz Theatre School and learn more about franchising in general, the company are running a number of online Discovery Dens where you can meet the Head Office team and hear from franchise Principals.

Source Franchising

Dundee tuition firm sees growth as it pivots to online learning

June 8, 2020

A Dundee based tuition service specialising in teaching English and maths to primary and secondary school learners has adapted to move all its students to an online learning environment during the Covid-19 restrictions.

The Kip McGrath centre in Dundee, run by Yvette Hill and Chris Hill, previously offered the option of in-person tuition at its Court House Square facility, or by a virtual classroom.

The centre, which opened in 2017 before moving to larger premises last year, employs seven fully qualified teachers, each with a minimum of two years of professional teaching experience.

Centre director, Yvette Hill, said the business had seen a steep increase in new students, enquiries and assessment requests since the start of the pandemic.

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

She said: “We currently teach children from a broad geographical spread ranging from the highlands, to Angus and Fife, so it wasn’t too much of a challenge to move to an entirely online service.

“Of course, parents and students are keen to return to the centre once we are able to, but the current situation has also shown the benefits and flexibility the online learning offers.

“For many parents, home-schooling their children, often while trying to work full-time at home was manageable in the short term, but it has also become increasingly difficult as time as time has gone on and are looking for extra support.”

Related: Education Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The online classroom has a fully interactive whiteboard and students can ‘raise their hand’ in a virtual way.

The Kip McGrath centre is part of a franchise which has 260 centres around the UK and more than 560 centres globally.

Ms Hill added: “We went through a transition period when the pandemic restrictions came into force, but we have been fortunate to have the capability to move the business completely online.

“We have seen strong growth over the past few months.”

By Jim Millar

Source: The Courier