Stickman Team Member Karen Talks About Living On and Off Site at Day and Boarding Schools Across the Past 20 Years and How This Contributes to Her Marketing Support For Schools at Stickman
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: everyone who chooses to work in schools is not simply choosing a job, but a way of life. Whether you are a teacher or a non-teacher, your school is more than a place of work, it is a community where people truly care about the impact they have on families day in and day out.
The education sector is fantastically rewarding and also unique, in that everyone has first-hand experience of school as a pupil themselves. Everyone can recall memories of great and not-so-great teachers, favourite or hated subjects and encounters with the Head. As a product of two comprehensive schools myself (we moved from the North East to the North West when I was 14), I had no experience of independent schools.
All that changed when I married a teacher – also a comprehensive boy – who decided that he wanted to start his career in the independent sector. That decision led to our family living both on and off site at five day and boarding schools across the past 20+ years, three of which I also worked at, in admissions and marketing (following nine years in publishing).
Living in a school is an experience like no other. Our children grew up entirely comfortable with pupils and staff all around them. Like the pupils themselves, they got to know school staff as ‘real people’. As staff ourselves, it was entirely natural to support pupils on the pitch-side on Saturdays, in the theatre on a Friday evening, host boarders for Sunday lunch, and be involved in those important rites of passage such as leavers’ celebrations in July and results days in August. Not only natural, but also a privilege.
I have spent the vast majority of my working days living and breathing school life and continue to do so. I know that my knowledge and experience contributes to every Stickman project, to get under the skin of schools and help support them to build better relationships with their community, their parents and prospective families. I understand the unique challenges and competing priorities that independent schools face: they must function as businesses if they are to survive and thrive, while ensuring a warm, welcoming environment where pupil wellbeing is at the heart of everything they do.
I know (and am unapologetically passionate about) the difference that great marketing and communications can make to schools and to the families they serve. For example, when families can identify exactly what a school does and does so well they can successfully find their ideal ‘match’. These happy parents will share their good fortune and word of mouth builds a school’s reputation, leading more families to the door and allowing the school to invest in their staff, their facilities, and their bursaries and scholarships – ensuring further families can benefit. All this and more, can be achieved with first class marketing and communications.
I’m not sure whether I chose schools or they chose me – either way, I love my job.
Can Stickman Help You and Your School?
For help with your school’s brand, marketing and communications or if you’d like to know more about any aspect of our market research, marketing strategy and admissions services, simply get in touch. We’re always happy to explain how our work helps schools to get results.
School Marketing Champion
The Stickman Consultancy