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
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 were skilled in working to improve young people’s mental health.
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 the 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, a 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 per cent to 80 per cent 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 and safety policy, plus, a new operations manual, written by the head office team, to further support the 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 the 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 an award ceremony on a Thames luxury liner. There were also many other 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.”