Is the school prospectus back in fashion?
Or did it never leave?
The school prospectus has long been a staple for independent schools but has it made a comeback in the state sector? What has prompted the change? And what does a prospectus have to offer when people can just access the school website?
A school prospectus can make a really big impact on parents. An opportunity for schools to share key information which markets all of the best aspects which make that school unique. Carefully chosen professional photographs can show the personality of a school and also highlight key features and specialisms such as sports fixtures, dedication to the arts, or practical subjects and facilities. You can really put your best foot forward when choosing exactly what sums up your school and putting it in print form. Flicking through
photos of smiling, happy children learning and taking part in practical science lessons or activity holidays can give parents a real view into life at the school. Something it can be hard to get across on an open day as they are unlikely to witness all of these happening at once, and sometimes it simply isn’t practical to set them up to show while many families are wandering around at once.
Different to your school website
Of course, your school website is already a type of prospectus in itself. It can also show beautiful photography and give a window into your school. But the layout lends itself more to being full of news content and diary entries, and menus tend to be full of the very useful, but rather more mundane, information such as term dates and policies.
A prospectus takes a very different approach as it focuses more on an overall feel of the school and is written specifically to give information to prospective parents, where a website is mostly used by current parents. You can write about what a child and parent would expect from being at your school. Information about the curriculum studied overall, without minute detail, and detailing the ethos of the school as well as extra-curricular offerings and special events which happen yearly. Maybe you have a drama festival every summer or a specialist DT department to shout about.
More and more popular
Although many state schools have seen glossy prospectuses as something only independent schools do, with the changes over the last few years with free schools, academies, and state-maintained schools all vying for applications in some areas there have been more and more schools requesting information about prospectus services. Budgets are tight however, so you may not be able to invest in the big, printed, glossy-papered version of prospectuses you may have seen elsewhere. But with technology where it is now, it is perfectly reasonable to have an e-prospectus as a PDF or a version which works as an ebook with electronic pages and has that satisfying page-turning experience of the printed version. This makes a really nice addition to your website for prospective parents and stops them getting bogged down in your current news items which may not always be your ideal selling page. Messages about missing PE kit and the reminder to pay up for the field trip are all very practical but probably do not give the first impression you might have hoped for!
We know, however, that designing and filling a prospectus when you have never done one before can be a very daunting prospect, and you are probably worried about the cost as well as the addition of this job to your ever-growing to-do list. Which is why we have created some easy-to-use templates for prospectuses. You can choose from fun and colourful templates through to the more classic and elegant designs.
We have our own photographer who travels all over the UK and is very experienced at getting great images showcasing staff, students, buildings and grounds, getting the very best shots for you. It’s cheaper than you would think too! Although you can provide your own photos if you are on a tighter budget.
Prices for creating the prospectus itself start at just £600 – and that includes the PDF and page-flipping ebook versions for your website. There is no obligation to have any printed copies but if you do wish to you do not have to commit to having hundreds. With the myriad specialist East London printers on our doorstep, we can order just 50 if that is all you require for physical copies.
You can find out more about our prospectus services on our website. Feel free to contact us any time to discuss your needs and discover if a prospectus is the next step for you.