Bringing Back Confidence To The Nation’s Children
August 17, 2020 // Franchising.com // When schools closed in March, much was talked about children missing out on education and the problems that might arise. As the weeks turned into months, what became apparent was that the lack of social interaction was causing huge issues in terms of self-confidence.
Razzamataz Theatre Schools quickly responded with not only small interactive online classes but also many opportunities for students to share how they were feeling with their teachers and classmates as well as dedicated sessions with coaches who are skilled in working to improve young people’s mental health.
It is with absolute delight that the franchise network has now been given the go-ahead to open face to face and once again support students to not only improve their performing arts skills but to also help rebuild their confidence and hopes for their future.
To ensure a safe, enjoyable and relaxed return, the Head Office has been continuously following all Government guidelines and working with the Children’s Activities Association (CAA) and other franchisors to follow best practice. There have already been face to face Razzamataz summer schools, which have been met with huge success. “This summer has been very challenging for all the health and safety issues, but the procedures were meticulously followed which enabled everyone attending to relax and thoroughly enjoy the week,” Christine Watson, parent at Razzamataz Rickmansworth.
Before each school has the go-ahead to open, they need to pass a new COVID-secure health and safety audit issued by Razzamataz Head Office. Included in the audit will be new risk assessment forms, 60%-80% alcohol sanitizer in each room, cleaning protocols, two metre safety distance between each student, plans to stagger classes, reduction of class sizes, avoiding any gatherings, facial sign in only, no props or Razz Teds, electronic communication only, attendance on Head Office’s reopening webinars and a full new Health & Safety policy plus a new Operations Manual written by our Head Office Team to further support our network. Razzamataz will continue to add to the audit as and when new official information comes in.
Each Principal has been guided through the reopening process with care and attention as Matty Rayson, Principal of Razzamataz West Cumbria explains: “Thank you to you all at Head Office for all your help, support, advice and guidance through these very difficult times. It’s been hugely appreciated especially with what I can imagine is a massive task of reviewing everyone’s audits to allow us to re-open face to face.”
When the pandemic hit the UK, Razzamataz was just starting its 20 year birthday celebrations, having treated all its franchisees to an incredible Conference in London and award ceremony on a Thames luxury liner. There were also many exciting events for the students planned, including a performance trip to Disneyland Paris.
“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,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “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.”
COVID-19 has also changed family life for many people and parents no longer want to rush from one activity to another. Razzamataz offers a range of performing arts styles and genres to a wide range of ages, so parents can do just one drop off and pick up and keep everyone happy and simplify their weekend.
Every Principal and teacher throughout the 50 Razzamataz schools nationwide is focussed on rebuilding children’s self-esteem and belief in themselves as well as getting our youngsters fitter and healthier. It is also about getting children socialising again and giving them a focus after months of being at home. While all schools are able to reopen, sadly, some of the venues have not been helpful in accommodating a return.
“We want to reach out to all of our venues to support the children in their local area,” adds Denise. “We have hundreds of testimonials from parents who have seen the benefits first-hand of their children attending classes and who are concerned about the on-going impact on their mental health. Although schools can continue to teach online, we know how well our face to face summer schools have been received and how keen students and parents are to return, especially as we have communicated our COVID-secure process with them from the very beginning.”
Throughout the pandemic, Razzamataz has continued to grow as a business. In fact, five new franchisees have come on board, taking advantage of virtual training and full support from a dedicated mentor. With many industries facing a tough time, Razzamataz is reaching out to individuals who find themselves looking to reassess their future.
“This has been particularly tough for the arts/entertainment and travel industries, with many people set to lose their jobs,” adds Denise. “There are also going to be plenty of redundancies in other sectors so for the first time ever, we are giving the right candidates the chance to join our award-winning network without having to pay a franchise joining fee.”
To further support them, Razzamataz is waiving the MMF for term one and hosting free virtual events to help people understand more about running a theatre school and franchising in general.
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