Meet Our Team

Annette Firth - Our Founder

Our founder Annette Firth started the first phonics bear class in her local library to see if parents were interested in taking their children to a phonics class. Annette is mum to her two little bears and was particularly worried that her youngest daughter would enter school at a disadvantage due to her being a July baby.

Prior to this Annette had worked in education for over 12 years.  Since then we have built our business through nurseries and community groups and thrive on word of mouth.

To see if running a phonics bear franchise is right for you email or call us today!

Katie McClean

A former primary school teacher, Katie joined phonics bear after her three daughters started school and nursery.

Katie was reluctant to go back to teaching as the huge pressures on teachers make the work life balance too difficult and take away from what Katie actually wanted to do which was teach!

Like many of our franchisees Katie was looking for a role she would enjoy but that would allow her flexibility and time to spend with her own family whilst still making a difference in her community.


"After joining Phonics Bear just over a year ago, I can honestly say that this is how work should be!  I’m in total control of my own hours, work load and therefore my own income.  It fits perfectly with a family and I am able to drop off and pick up from school daily.  Although I work independently, I feel very much part of a team and am in constant touch with Annette and the other franchisees, lending each other moral support, work ideas and advice.  The classes are lovely to deliver and, coming from a teaching background, I find that I am able to focus entirely on the teaching without any of the extra admin. that goes along with a teaching job.

If you enjoy working with children, and want to be your own boss then I would heartily recommend a Phonics Bear franchise!"

Phonics Bear Team Image