SUPPORTING CHANGE & EMPOWERING HEADTEACHERS
This small school, graded Good by Ofsted, was packing a powerful punch in terms of its offer and pupil experience and appeared to be holding its own in terms of market position when we were appointed in March 2018. The specification was a research project for St Clare's followed by a three day training and coaching programme (over 3 months) for four of the primary school within in St Clare's then MAT.
Through our comprehensive research and audit package we explored the external factors impacting the school; the challenges soon came to light. Declining pupil numbers were firmly linked to a drop in birth rate and the expansion of other local schools in the area. Parental choice was in abundance with much to choose from within a 5 mile radius of the school.
We identified several key opportunities for the school to prioritise and act on that would address the issues around demographics. The school soon had an action plan which focused on three key areas; firstly to explore and communicate what was unique about St Clare's and the benefits of joining this school in the midst of a myriad of choice for parents. Secondly, it had to widen its reach to a new growing community group that was particularly attracted to the school's offer, and thirdly to increase its outreach work to a numerous selection of local pre-schools and nursery provision.
The training and coaching programme, with a number of representatives from partner primary schools in attendance, was lively, constructive and practical. The training was broad enough to appeal to each school which had different challenges and objectives. Individual schools were set marketing challenges after each session that they could practically implement and report back at the next workshop. Everyone felt motivated as colleagues we exposed to different marketing and communication disciplines and every school wanted to fast track their learning to achieve the necessary objectives they had set. Acquiring knowledge and achieving personal goals, as well as improvements for the school, was a recie for success.
“My colleagues and I found working with Grebot Donnelly extremely informative and opened up ideas of promoting our schools in simple but effective ways. Our work immediately gathered momentum and we were able to share good practice amongst our group of schools and learn from each other as well as using various elements of the strategies, plans and campaigns. It was win-win for us at St Clare's; we have had a number of new pupils join, parents are talking positively about us and we really feel that the school's profile in the community is on the up. We also thoroughly enjoyed our joint CPD which forged and built strong relationships between colleagues."
Louise Freeman, Headteacher