6 Tips to Increase School Admissions
School admissions is such an important consideration as the knock-on effect of high admissions is a better budget to afford great resources and staffing for all pupils. There are a number of ways to support school admissions, and increase your number of pupils on roll, whilst also supporting your current school community:
1. Use social media
Even if you are not on social media yet – your audience is! Sites like Facebook and Twitter can help you to connect with a wider audience. No doubt other schools local to you are already using it too, and therefore positioning themselves in front of prospective parents and students. We have previously written a guide for using Twitter as a school and also a guide on using Facebook for advertising too. Twitter is great for sharing updates and showcasing student work, which helps to show parents the kind of activities and learning their child will have access to at your school. Facebook is great for sharing adverts for open days and for answering questions from prospective visitors. Our social media walls, which feed onto your school website, also mean that any posts on social media are visible to any parents who do not have social media accounts themselves. This helps to always keep your website fresh with new content as often as you wish.
2. Make a great first impression with your school website
A school website is often the first place prospective parents go to find out more information about a school, once they have identified potential schools from those they have seen in adverts or on social media. Make sure your website is putting your best foot forward. As well as being engaging, it is important that your website is easy to navigate and also responsive to mobile devices as so many parents and students now use mobile devices more often than laptops to view websites. We have a blog post full of top tips to help with making the most of your school website. One school recently told us that the funding which comes with one more pupil on roll at the school easily covers the cost of a redesign of the website. That sounds like a worthwhile investment either to start from scratch or spend some time tweaking what you have. Making a good first impression is so important. If your website information is out of date, hard to find, and not even accessible on mobile devices, you may lose prospective pupils before they even step through your door for an open day.
Some families also may not be able to visit in person. There are lots of ways to help them to experience the school via a virtual visit and we have added a number of ideas to a previous blog for you. From the headteacher’s welcome video to the interactive campus maps, parents love to see information which helps to answer their questions and put their minds at ease about choosing the right school for their child.
3. Make it easy to contact you
Many parents may want to make enquiries at times the school is not open – weekends, evenings and other times they are not at work themselves. Make it easy for them to start a connection either through social media or using contact forms on your website. You can make forms to book onto open days also to save parents having to write an email or call during their work day. Anything which makes it easy to join your mailing list or make initial contact will allow even more parents and prospective students to connect.
4. Promote your ethos and values
Parents want to know that their child will go to school with teachers and leaders who share their ethos and values. This can be hard to communicate in words but often comes across really well in high-quality photos and videos. When you click on a school website and it has no photos it is very hard to get any sense of the school or what happens there. But when you click onto a website and straight away you are greeted by widescreen videos and images there is so much you can see immediately without having to read pages of text – making it easier to create an emotive impact on visitors. You might want to showcase your facilities, or curriculum activities and extra-curricular experiences such as sports and drama, or you may want to simply show images of happy and smiling children. Perhaps all of the above and more! A picture paints a thousand words, they say, so make sure you feature recent high-quality photos on your website and in your prospectus.
5. Match your school branding to your ethos
As well as photos helping to share your values, your school logo is something people will recognise too – especially if you use this in social media and adverts too. A school logo can say a lot about your school and ethos. Marketing may seem like something businesses do, in actual fact a school brand is a bit like a visual representation of their culture and beliefs. As well as logos you may want to make sure your branding is consistent across all channels – adverts in the press, adverts and posts on social media, presentations you give at events, on your website, and in your prospectus. A branding kit can help you to make sure that you are recognised in multiple places. This helps to build trust with parents and they can connect an advert they have seen to you, the school.
6. Make the most of your prospectus
A prospectus, whether printed or online, is another opportunity to put your best foot forward and give people a great impression of your school. A combination of high-quality images alongside carefully crafted text can support you with increasing school admissions.
Include quotes and recommendations from current parents and pupils to help show prospective parents and pupils that choosing your school is one of the best decisions they will ever make!
Want to ask us more about how to increase your school admissions? Get in touch to hear about our success stories and discuss how we can help you too.