Top 10 tips for a successful school prospectus
Schools don’t tend to think of marketing as a key part of their job, and in fact may shy away from the idea of “selling” or “marketing” themselves. But just like in more commercial industries, marketing your school is all about storytelling and information. Building your brand by putting your ethos and values front and centre. Modesty often tends to win with schools and teachers when actually you should be shouting loudly and proudly about how great you are. And screaming from the rooftops about the impact you have on the young people in your care! Failing that, however, we do have some top tips to help you with creating a beautiful prospectus which shows prospective parents, and students, everything you have to offer. Make sure you stand out from the crowd!
We are always happy to help schools create a bespoke prospectus and we have style guides available ready to help you gather the information you need to in school. We can also help with a photographer to really elevate your images to a new level and capture those moments which make your school uniquely yours. For the smaller budgets, we have templates to choose from and quick guides to get you up and running quickly from just £600. Print runs can be small as we can print from as few as 50 copies at a time with our trusted print partners. Or you can just have a “page turning” e-prospectus to add to your website, social media and to email to enquiries from prospectus parents.
But what will make your prospectus something you are proud to hold and share? Here are our top 10 tips for a successful school prospectus:
1. Images speak a thousand words and can make a real difference to prospective parents. Some large, high quality images on pages can really stick in people’s minds and feel like being warmly welcomed to your school grounds and classrooms. A combination of images of the grounds and facilities will help to show what is on offer and can especially capture those unique areas you have in school which students may love or parents may be drawn to such as your drama performance space or sports courts. Even a quiet area where students gather to read in summer can give such a great impression of the culture of your school.
2. Keep words to a minimum. Though we will recommend certain sections of longer text, people generally do not want to read through pages and pages of chunks of text. Short quotes, mottos and captions on photos interspersed between the longer text sections helps to break up the paragraphs and focus parents on the feel of the school, leaving opportunities to cover the more detailed information via email or visit times.
3. Give a warm welcome from the head teacher. Parents usually know that the ethos and values of the head teacher, and getting a warm welcome from them, will make a difference to them and the students. Everyone wants a head of school who is approachable in case of concerns, as well as wanting to know what your priorities are. Making the most of your welcome message to get across these aspects gives a great first impression. A photo of the head teacher also helps parents and students to feel they know you already when they first set foot through the school gates.
4. Include information about your community, local area and school history to help parents and students figure out if this is the school for them. Including information about the wider school life, grounds and facilities will help show how they will become part of that rich history themselves.
5. Show a happy school and happy students to make happy parents! Key photos and quotes which show happy students in your school will help to allay the fears many will have when looking to start or change schools.
6. Give curriculum information. Finding out about your broad and balanced curriculum, and the opportunities afforded to students passing through your school, will help to convince parents of the choices which matter to their children. A list of subjects, with special mention of anything offered which is not available everywhere, such as dance exams and musical instrument lessons, is the ‘icing on the cake.’
7. Offer extra curricular options. If there are after school clubs, lunchtime tutoring, concerts, plays and any number of sporting events available…make sure to mention them! Parents generally want to know their child will be well rounded and have the chance to delve deeper with favourite subjects so this is really important and is an area which could give you a real edge on the ‘competition’!
8. Talk about pastoral and Special Educational Needs provision. Although not every parent will feel they need these areas, there will be many who do have genuine concerns or needs which they will want to be sure their chosen school caters for. A bit more detail here may be helpful to show your expertise in any specialist area. Also letting parents know what facilities may be on offer, such as mental health and wellbeing support, will help parents to at least choose to visit and find out more. Adding the name of the person to contact for this area in particular may also give a direct communication route for a parent who is prioritising this area of schooling.
9. Let quotes speak for you. If you are shy in coming forward to speak about how great you are then let others speak for you! Quotes from parents, pupils, Ofsted and any other visitors can help to get your point across for you, and will overlay well onto image pages to break up bigger text sections.
10. Include contact information and visit day options. It is important that prospective parents know how, and when, it is best to contact you to arrange a visit or to have a more 1:1 chat about their child(ren). Parents generally underestimate how early in advance they might need to organise that so let them know when is best depending on which year group their child is entering, or point them towards the right part of your website for more information if you want to keep the text brief in case of changes to open days and so on.
Just wanted to say the prospectus have arrived and they are absolutely fab …. we were really happy so thank you soooo muchWyedean School
Please get in touch to find out how our many years of experience in helping schools to shine in their prospectus can help you. Our experienced team are ready to get started for you!