Regardless of the type of school you may be, you will always want your school to be perceived as doing a great job, appearing efficient, professional and forward-thinking. In addition to having excellent teaching staff you also want your facilities to look good; from the buildings students pass through every day to the sports pitches, to the technology they use in the classrooms.
In fact, impressive technology in school is a great way to attract prospective parents, students and even new teachers and in doing so, help you to achieve greater competitive advantage. How best then to showcase your school’s facilities and ICT to ensure that the right people get to see it and are completely wowed when they do?
Open days are the perfect way to show everybody what a great school you have. From the moment a parent contacts your school regarding an open day to the minute they leave your site, all touch points need to be seamless. This includes the communication during the run-up to the event and technology working perfectly when they are being shown around – including the Wi-Fi that they may even ask to hook up to on the day. Take a look at these open day tips the BBC gives to parents to get prepared.
We’ve all heard of the times when teachers wrote handwritten reports about their students and probably weren’t even quite sure who they were – including generic text and irrelevant facts. With improved reporting through the use of better technology in school this is no longer acceptable. New cloud-based school databases that can be updated in real time and accessed quickly by everyone mean that reporting is no longer as labour intensive or as inaccurate as it was years ago. The majority of parents want deep insights into how their child is progressing and improved data/technology for reporting is how this can be achieved. TES offers some report-writing tips here.
Inclusive schools – those that welcome the community in, whether for evening classes, renting out the sports pitch, Christmas fayres or fundraising events – can become the heart of the community. Focal points of communities are few and far between these days. The town/village hall, the park, the community centre are all less vibrant places than your school, which is full of life and hustle and bustle every day of the week. By opening up your doors and inviting the local people into your school, you are generating greater awareness, positivity and just one more reason for new students to attend your school. For ease of management, check out free Workspace for Education for institution-wide email, shared calendars and greater collaboration.
Employing a PR agency is pretty expensive but there are other ways schools can positively promote their good news stories. Most parents these days are using at least one social media channel and this is a great way of connecting/communicating with them. You could ask a tech-savvy Governor to manage a team of parents to share your good news stories across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. Any comments/feedback and tone of voice will need to be managed. The Guardian has some great tips here.
Whatever steps you take to increase your competitive edge and attract more parents and students to your school, technology is a key tool that you could be using to do this. From ensuring your Wi-Fi is flawless, to making sure your data is accurate and easily accessible, to having impressive ICT facilities in school, why not seek the support of the RM Services team? We can advise on many aspects of your ICT and help you to implement improvements with as little or as much support as you need.
We have also created a useful ICT Health Check Tool for you to get an insight into the effectiveness of your ICT: