At the entrances to St Joseph’s RC Primary School, in Middlesbrough UK are signs “Greet your child with a smile, not a mobile”.  

These simple signs reflect the school culture and are an encouragement that communication matters. The positive media attention would be worth more than any school could pay for.

Have you taken a look at the signs around your school lately? What do they communicate about your school to staff, parents, students and visitors? 
  • Is the tone harsh, informative or friendly?
  • How clean are they?
  • Are they legible?
  • Are there spelling mistakes or grammatical errors? 
  • Are they consistent with colours and school branding?
During a visit with a Principal I pointed out a small sign at a school entrance which misspelt the school name. The sign had been made by a contractor but no one had noticed the error.

I find the biggest challenge is not with signs that go through the marketing staff but rather the enthusiastic staff member making Workplace Health and Safety, or event signage, with no regard to consistency or who still think clip art is wonderful.

You may be surprised how many signs there are at your school so take a walk with a camera and record them. A handy tool for schools is the > School Appearance Audit which guides you through some things to look for.