It’s that time of year again – announcing school fee increases to parents. Eek. Never something that will be warmly received, especially in the current tough economic climate where schools will be all too aware that parents will be wrangling with steep rises in the cost of living.
So we have put together 3 tips to support you in making this communication more palatable for parents:
- Outline that it hasn’t been an easy decision and emphasise where the money is spent
Mention the inflationary pressures and highlight the unavoidable reasons for the fee increase, e.g. “We have found a way to manage these unavoidable costs and to minimise the fee increase while continuing to offer the quality of education and provision that you expect and that your child deserves.” Outline how the school is using these fees – from a recent refurbishment to recruiting and retaining the highest quality, experienced staff – and link this to the benefits these offer their children. Wherever possible, personalise the letter e.g. “These developments will undoubtedly further enable Charlotte and Joseph’s progression at [school name] and we consider it a privilege to share with you the experience of seeing them grow into amazing individuals.”
- Keep it brief, but tell families you value them and offer key contacts
Parents are busy. Keep your announcement letter to no more than 1 page. Include a separate sheet for the detail if necessary (e.g. ‘How It Will Work’). Remember that parents like to feel appreciated and to be reassured that they can reach out if they have any questions or concerns. Show them your gratitude and support, and provide senior level contact details as appropriate, such as the Chair of Governors, Head or Bursar, e.g. “[School] are hugely grateful for your continued support. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our <name person and role> will be more than happy to discuss this with you.”
- Make it human
A ‘face’ means a lot and softens the message so, if they’re comfy to do so, include a short video, or a photo at the very least, from the relevant person e.g. Chair of Governors.
For many parents, keeping their child/ren at a great school will be a top priority even when finances are tight. A transparent, personal and reassuring approach will help families feel that the school is in their corner.
The Stickman team help school leaders, bursars, and marketing and admissions managers to boost revenue via powerful and simple marketing strategies.
Join our mailing list via the form on our Home page to receive new blogs, sage advice and practical school marketing guidance direct to your inbox.Join our mailing list
Alternatively, if you’d like to talk to us about any aspect of school marketing, admissions and communications we’d love you to get in touch.Get in touch
Emily & the Stickman Team