With the pressures on parents’ finances increasing and the effects of the pandemic still to be counted, it's important that independent schools get the message out there of the benefits of a private education.
For any business having a (USP) unique selling point is vital in finding new customers. Independent schools are no different, and in the current financial climate it's important that they communicate what sets them apart from other providers of a similar service - otherwise they will be forgotten about as people make economically driven decisions to save money by sending their children elsewhere.
With 2,500 Independent schools across the UK educating around 630,000 pupils. This equates to around 6.5% of the number of UK school children, so making your school standout has never been more important.
Why is your school special, and what does it offer that others don't?
Every school is different and has their own advantages, but some common points are:
- Private teachers who focus on the needs of each individual child
- Smaller class sizes that make for a better learning environment
- Access to more resources than offered by local state schools - particularly when it comes to things like science laboratories or musical instruments
- Private schools tend to offer better facilities than state schools. They are often newer or in prime locations that local councils cannot afford
- Schools with boarding facilities may be attractive as they provide security for children
- A well-rounded educational experience that is tailored to the needs of each child - including emphasis on traditional subjects like math’s and English, as well as art and music
How does your school compare?
How can independent schools improve enrolment?
Here are five ideas
- Branding: Your school should have a strong, clear brand message that distinguishes them from other schools. This branding will help you reach the right audience with your marketing messages and get people excited about what's happening at your school. A well-thought-out marketing plan, executed with consistency can yield measurable results.
- Develop a content marketing strategy that aligns the school's goals and values to the needs of your audience, inviting them to interact through social media or by subscribing to a newsletter mailing list for updates on what is happening at your school. Share different perspectives about education - like how technology is changing.
- The first place most parents will look for information on a school is online. A well-designed website will help parents when choosing a school and make it easier for you to get in touch with them. Make sure the navigation of your website is easy to follow and directs parents to the information they are seeking. Also ensure you have up to date information on your website and all the contact details are current.
- Be sure your website communicates the benefits of your school and the advantages of sending their child there. Showcase your successes and explain how you are continuing to grow in the future. Include videos, photos of school life and testimonials from current parents showing why your school is a good choice for their child.
- Word of mouth is an excellent way to get the word out about your school. Have parents and teachers speak on behalf of your school at conferences, job fairs, or neighbourhood events in order to build awareness around what you do and why it is important for children today. Local and national newspapers are a great way to get your school noticed. For example, you could get your school mentioned in a feature article about the city neighbourhood it is located.
- Offer open houses for prospective families similar to college visits - Give tours on campus every week so potential students can get an idea of what it is like at your school.
Having a monthly school marketing meeting and involving key members of staff is a great way to keep everyone on the same page. By sharing information about events and achievements, can help plan your future marketing.
Speaking with students and parents what they like about the school, will give you invaluable information on what made them choose the school in the first place and where they found out about the school.
This information will help you come up with better marketing campaigns that more people are likely to be interested in.
How to help parents afford the education they want for their children
With many parents' wallets feeling the pinch and their children's education being one of the first things they cut out as costs continue to rise, offering monthly support is not only an excellent way for your school community to grow, but also help with your school funding.
Why private schools should offer parents a payment plan?
Most private schools in the UK offer parents an option of paying for school fees upfront or over time. However, only 40% of these options are monthly payments. This means that 60% of parents must pay their child's school fee up front.
Offering monthly payments for private schools can help parents afford the cost of sending their children to a school. Private schooling is expensive, so it makes sense that monthly payments would be an attractive way for parents to cover these costs with predictable instalments.
Monthly payments also offer more stability and peace of mind for parents because they don't have to worry about saving up money for years before being able to afford the school fees.
The advantages for the school are they receive the money upfront and know how much money to budget for. The pressures on private schools have increased in recent years, but for those who want to offer a monthly payment option the rewards are well worth it.
Most parents who are looking at paying their child's tuition up front worry about the impact this might have on them. They also want the choice of how much they can afford to pay each month and when they would like it paid over a set period.
It's clear that parents have more options than ever before when considering where their children can receive private education and if they need some help paying for school fees, this is an excellent opportunity.
It's never too late! Talk to us now about school fee funding plans - just give us call on 07854 380900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our plans.