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“The training and support that you get are outstanding!”

“The training and support that you get are outstanding!”

Helen O’Grady Drama Academy is transforming the lives of its dedicated franchisees

Research has shown children who partake in creative programmes such as drama are more likely to achieve academically and have a constructive educational experience. The evidence also suggests the lack of ‘soft skills’ (the type of skills gained from extra-curricular activities such as team working) within the labour market. Soft skills are the most important skills that a person should develop and as adults, we are responsible for equipping younger generations for their future.

Self-development through drama

In 1979, Helen O’Grady started after-school drama classes for children in Perth Australia, aimed at providing self-development through drama. The programme aimed to teach children:

• Enthusiasm, energy and a positive approach to life
• Ongoing confidence
• Self-esteem
• Skill in verbal communication
• Effective social interaction.

Since then, Helen O’Grady has become the largest drama organisation of its kind, with over 100,000 students attending classes each week. The ethos ‘Development through Drama’ has helped students develop their confidence, creativity and self-esteem.

For more than 40 years, the international network of academies offers afterschool and weekend drama classes for children in over 30 countries, with 150 franchisees worldwide.

Franchisee support

The proven Academy franchise model includes training, support and materials to enable franchisees to deliver classes and market their business. With the combination of online and face-to-face coaching as well as principal induction training, franchisees are set up to succeed from the start.

“Being self-employed, you could very well feel isolated and on your own. This is not the case for Helen O Grady; everyone is so supportive and willing to help each other out. Being able to come together at seminars to share our ideas, knowledge, and experience is invaluable,” said Steph Budski-Fleming, a Swansea franchisee for over five years.

“The training and support that you get are outstanding! I have not had an easy couple of years during my time at Helen O’Grady Academy, but head office is so supportive and will do all they can to help you. As cheesy as it sounds, we are one big family!”

Franchisees are supported in selecting their studio location and setting up their business. The Academy franchise is operated from home, with each studio within the franchisee’s territory.

Franchisees benefit from having all their curriculum and lesson plans provided by the head office each term. Advertising and marketing programmes have been devised with many years of experience and operate under the guidance and support of Helen O’Grady’s marketing team, so franchises can make the most of their marketing spend.

Helen O’Grady Drama Academy franchise model

The Academy franchise model includes one hour of after-school or weekend drama activities each week across three terms per year running with the school calendar. Classes are run across three age groups from four to 18, with one expert teacher leading each class. Parents and guardians can provide their children with combined life skills and drama education in a nurturing and fun class environment.

Helen O’Grady franchisees have high earning potential, achieving up to 40 per cent margins and the opportunity to grow and expand their business to benefit from a high resale value.

The unique drama programme enables franchisees great work-life balance and fulfilment through enriching children’s lives.

“After working as a teacher for Helen O’Grady Drama Academy for eight years, being able to then become a franchisee of the area I had been teaching in, was a fantastic opportunity. Running the franchise gives you a real sense of ownership of your area and for me, it has allowed me to connect with parents and students on a deeper level,” said Steph.

“Certainly, at the end of the year at summer productions, presenting the shows and seeing all of your hard work come together is incredibly rewarding! I take pride in running my Academy and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone thinking about it!”

Helen O’Grady is always on the lookout for individuals with a passion for working with young people and a love of performing arts. If you, like Steph, are looking for a rewarding career, please visit to find out more.

At a glance



Number of franchised outlets:


Location of units:


Investment range:

£7,995 plus VAT

Minimum required capital:



08456 037 220,