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.
We have therefore put together 5 Top Tips to support you in making this declaration more palatable for parents:
1. Outline that it hasn’t been an easy decision
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 to the least possible amount while still being able to offer the quality of education that you expect and that your child deserves.”
2. Emphasise the benefits of investment at the school for their child / children
Outline what investment has happened recently and is happening at the School – for example, a recent refurbishment, new sports hall or astro-turf pitch – and swiftly link this to the benefits these offer for 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.”
3. Tell families you value you them and offer key contacts
Parents like to feel appreciated. They also like to feel assured they can reach out if they have any questions or concerns. Show them your gratitude and provide senior level contact details such as the Chair of Governors, Head or Bursar, e.g. “[School] are immensely 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.”
4. Keep it short and sweet
Parents are busy people (aren’t we all, I hear you cry). Keep the announcment letter to no more than 1 page. Less is more. Include a separate sheet for the detail, e.g. ‘How It Will Work’ if necessary.
5. Make it human
A ‘face’ means a lot and softens the message so, if they’re comfy to do so, include a short video 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.
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Emily & the Stickman Team