Page 34 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 34

 Making more of school marketing
Re ections from David Morton, Headmaster of The King’s School, Gloucestershire
As a novice in the ranks of HMC it seems to me that the role of Headteacher can reasonably be compared to that of a tightrope walker juggling fragile glass baubles above a crowd of thousands. One slip could cause calamity and offer the onlookers an opportunity to observe sagely that they knew it was a poor idea all along. Focus is key. Otherwise, one can  nd one’s mind drifting off at any hour of the day (or night) to consider an unpalatable range of thorny issues, from a forthcoming Governors’ Meeting to a dif cult parent, or from a recalcitrant member of staff who sabotaged your carefully planned presentation to the constant badgering of the Marketing department for more money.
In this latter area at least I am able to claim a little expertise and to offer some words of comfort. Although Marketing may appear to be a confusing blur of KPIs, SEOs, USPs, and although your local rival school always appears to be one step ahead when it comes to the next great marketing success story, the truth is that 99% of successful marketing is based on common sense and good communication.
My involvement in Independent School marketing has ranged
from hosting lunches for
South London Prep School Heads to re-writing the Open Morning experience in a 3 – 18 Independent School in Coventry and I am currently drafting
my  rst Head’s Address for our forthcoming Open Morning in Gloucester. In my experience there are three key elements to marketing success:
1. Know what you are as a School
2. Use the Sales Funnel model to monitor closely your success in different elements of School marketing
3. Engage your entire School and local community in sharing your School’s success
It is beyond the scope of a short article to explain each of these concepts in detail. However, the next steps towards successful marketing are simple.
Your school should already be a member of AMDIS (Admissions, Marketing and Development in Independent Schools). If not,
the modest sum of £210 pa ensures access to a wide range
of advice, networking contacts, resources and the superb annual conference. At this year’s conference, presentations will cover issues and topics including:
• Engaging with feeder schools and building relationships
• Brilliant interactive websites for the 21st Century
• The importance of excellent Internal Communications
• Researching across the stakeholders of your school
AMDIS will be working with HMC, GSA, AGBIS, IAPS, ISBA & IDPE at events in the next year.
I cannot promise a return to an unbroken night’s sleep, but there might at least be one less bauble to juggle.
   For further information about AMDIS, please contact Tory Gillingham, AMDIS Managing Director: Tel: 01653 699800 Email:
Spirit of Harry
Year 7 pupils at Bancroft’s School, Essex, were treated to a week of Hogwarts’ based fun as they marked the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter! They were given a chance to swap their regular uniforms for those of
J K Rowling’s school for wizards and dress up as their favourite character. It  nished with a visit from Eden Falconry, who brought along a selection of owls and gave a fascinating insight into these birds. During a  ying demonstrations, Toffee, a barn owl, took a fancy to the rafters in the School’s hall and
it seemed for a while that not even magic spells would lure her down!
A whole variety of activities were held every lunchtime and after school: crafts, quizzes, debates, potion making. The most popular and
possibly the most bizarre activity was undoubtedly Quidditch which was played on earthbound broomsticks
in the Sports’ Hall. It turned out to be a mixture of netball, rugby and utter chaos: but great fun. Quidditch referee and Physics Teacher, Mr Jayson Ceeraz, confessed: “I’ve
never seen anything quite like this in a school before!” Throughout the week children competed to win house points for an inter-house competition, which was won by Ravenclaw (aka School House).
The week was the brainchild of Chief Librarian Kate Squire, who, with her team, organised the week’s events. She said: “I wanted to do something special for our new year 7s to welcome them and make them feel at home in their new senior school”.
  34 Independent Schools Magazine
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