Once upon a time, private school education was deemed to be miles above state schools – in terms of facilities, teaching standards and, most importantly, academic records. However, according to recent British press articles, state schools are improving ‘massively’ and could be putting Independent Schools out of business all together.
The founder of the Good Schools Guide, Ralf Lucas told The Guardian he was noticing a clear shift when meeting parents: “We are getting parents approaching us saying: ‘We want to know more, we’re really taking state schools seriously, don’t just tell us about independent schools.”
With parents now being spoilt for choice with a higher standard of free education, Independent Schools should really be thinking of how they can ‘up their game’. This is why a detailed and well executed digital strategy should be a necessity to any marketing team in the Independent School sector.
So, what should a marketer be looking to achieve by implementing a digital marketing strategy?
- Have a strong insight into the “parent journey” for first time buyers
- Raising School awareness and perception across the UK and Internationally
- Convert enquiries into leads
- Create engaging content to increase social awareness and credibility
- Boost your commitment to community collaboration
Judging by the looks of the current climate, the Independent School sector should probably be reacting quickly. Parents are active on social media and continue to engage digitally with the education sector. An Independent School who doesn’t feel equipped to handle the above points, will need to evaluate their current strategy.
According to a spokesperson, from the Department of Education: “1.4 million more pupils are being taught in good or outstanding schools than in 2010, so it’s no wonder more parents are choosing for their children to be educated in the state sector.” David Cameron?
No one is suggesting we don’t applaud the success of state education, as it is an excellent achievement; but at the same time don’t let your Independent School fall short. Appeal to pupils and parents across a wide range of digital platforms. Be fierce and demonstrate that your school is worth it.