Marketing for school – student recruitment

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Growing up in the 80s and 90s you had very little choice where you sent your child to secondary school. In those days you attended the nearest school to where you lived. Though in a relatively suburban part of the capital, my secondary school had a fearsome reputation.

My parents didn’t want me to go, neither did I, but it didn’t feel like there was a choice.

There were a few who sent their children to schools on the other side of town. Most just accepted their lot.

Education, education, education

Fast forward 10 years there was a new Labour government with a desire to shake up the education system.

As they pushed for a second term the campaigning centred around greater choice and improved standards in education.

There were now also Ofsted ratings and later exam league tables. Schools considered successful by those two measurements became very popular, while those that fell short struggled to fill their places.

Then, under the Tories, came Free Schools, which increased competition further, not least because many were set up based on desire rather than need.

This led to an even greater challenge in recruiting students for some schools.

Marketing for schools

Every school receives a per-year government grant for each pupil. This is different for primary and secondary schools, and in different parts of the country.

Let’s say, on average, a child is worth £5000 to a secondary school (it’s often much more). Over the course of their five-year education, that is £25,000.

If a school has a PAN of 180 but is short ten children in each year, or 50 students in total, that is an annual shortfall in the budget of £250,000.

Now, if you consider many schools are 50 down in each year, you are now talking over a million pounds per year.

This has a huge impact on what schools can do for their students. With budgets tight, arts and sports programs get scrapped, specialist teachers are laid off. Schools sometimes cannot even afford teachers or leaders in key positions.

In short, the quality of education is impacted, making it even harder to measure up.

How we can help

We help schools employ corporate-level marketing strategies in what is still a relatively unsophisticated market.

When we started ten years ago, schools were still advertising in the local paper, which nobody was buying, or on bus adverts, which reached only a very tiny percentage of their market.

Our schools/MATS are streets ahead of the competition because we help them deliver a coherent marketing message to a highly targeted audience.

When you look at the numbers involved for a school struggling to fill their places, it becomes a really easy decision.

Our service costs less than recruiting one extra student. On average, we help our clients to recruit an extra 20 students per year.

You don’t need to be a business studies teacher to work out that makes very good economic sense.

Arthur Communications are marketing for schools experts. 

To book a discover call please email or call 0208 396 4204