It is that time of year again: the primary school admissions period is now well underway for entries into Reception. With competition ever increasing however, it’s more and more tricky to become the ‘school of choice’ for parents and schools can no longer rely on factors such as proximity to the school and sibling connections for making your school a serious contender in the affections of families.
The Stickman team exists to make marketing simple but powerful for schools (because complicated is rubbish). We’ve therefore distilled our vast experience and ‘knowhow’ into three ESSENTIAL tips for driving pupil intake in primary schools:
1. Be clear on your USPs…and promote them!
We see it all the time…amazing things going on in a school, yet them not communicating these to their school community or wider! Get clear on what these are and hone them down to no more than 3. Then ensure that these 3 USPs are embedded…well, everywhere – your website and social media channels, in all staff dialogues with parents (prospective AND current), advertisements, newsletters and more. Make them inescapable!
2. Ensure your online presence is tip top
Many parents’ first port of call when considering a school for their little one, is to go to a school’s website or social media channels. Ensure therefore that these platforms are regularly updated with relevant information, that any news feeds are dynamic and represent your school well, and that the aforementioned key messages are proudly on display.
3. Max out on the Customer Service – be warm and welcoming at every touchpoint
Although primary schools struggle with the concept of parents and pupils as ‘customers’, it is no bad thing to think of them as such. Providing exceptional Customer Service should be a core part of your admissions planning as schools increasingly need to consider what’s going to give them the ‘edge’ over a competitor school (i.e. in the eyes of parents). Aspects such as access to the Head on a school tour, a warm and friendly welcome on the telephone from office staff, or a nice series of prospective parent liaison emails will make a lasting impression and can make the difference between a first choice application and a rejection.
“Small things make a disproportionately large difference in generating warm feelings towards the school”
NOW is the time to plan and implement these simple strategies for exceeding prospective parents’ expectations and building pupil recruitment.
Does your school need more pupils?
If you think YOUR school needs help with pupil recruitment or if you’d like to know more about any aspect of our school marketing and research services, simply get in touch. We’re always happy to explain how our work helps schools to get results.
We’ve also recently launched an online marketing course aimed at schools to help them boost their pupil numbers. Find out more here.
Want to see what work we do?
And don’t forget to take a look at our Case Studies page to read more about how our work benefits schools and education organisations of all shapes and sizes!
School Marketing & Research Consultant and Stickman Chief Cheerleader
The Stickman Consultancy