Build a business in the Performing Arts
With its first franchisee up and running, LIPA 4:19 is capitalising on the huge increase in demand among young people for performing arts teaching
Established in 2003, LIPA 4:19 was developed by The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts' founding principal and CEO Mark Featherstone-Witty to harness and develop the talent of four to 19 year olds. LIPA itself, which offers university level education, was established in 1995 and is based in the old school of its lead patron Sir Paul McCartney. The Guardian University Guide 2009 has rated LIPA the top UK University for Dance and Drama.
LIPA 4:19 offers prospective franchisees the opportunity to become the principal of their own academy. The investment opportunity is flexible: franchisees take a managerial role and oversee the running of the academy and can also teach some classes themselves (providing they have an appropriate teaching qualification). Alternatively, they can leave their teachers to run all of the classes.
Following the successful launch of the first LIPA 4:19 franchise based at Rainhill High School, St Helens in September 2008, class participation is growing with youngsters from the local community, as well as the school, attending its Saturday classes. 'To be associated with a highly regarded performing arts institution like LIPA is fantastic,' enthuses Rainhill High School Head Teacher John Pout. 'It has enforced our image as a leading media and arts college for 11-18 year olds.
'Investing in the franchise was a natural progression for us. I had been talking to LIPA founder Mark Featherstone-Witty for some time and both of us could see the benefits of integrating the part-time performing arts academy into the school. With the LIPA 4:19 curriculum we are now able to provide a range of classes for our students that lead to LAMDA qualifications in acting, singing and dancing. This complements the GCSE, 'A' Level and BTEC qualifications that we already offer to our students. From September 2009, Rainhill will be the sole provider of the new Creative and Media Diploma in St Helens.
'By introducing LIPA 4:19 to our curriculum our relationship with other schools and nurseries within the area has grown closer and stronger. This means the community's aim of developing a Rainhill learning village where children of all ages can have fun and get educated is taking shape.'
As part of the franchise package new LIPA 4:19 franchisees are put on a training course, which covers an introduction to the marketplace, teaching style, curriculum and course. Training is adapted to the individuals as John and his staff have found. 'Our staff only needed to be taught the LIPA 4:19 curriculum because they had experience of working with children and are qualified teachers,' John continues. 'A member of our team has also been trained as a LIPA 4:19 administrator and has been provided with the appropriate training. In terms of support we have an excellent, robust working relationship with LIPA. I know we can phone head office at any point if we have a problem.'
Reported by Jess Sturman
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