A school has been in the media quite a bit regarding the removal of a senior staff member. I won’t name the school. What did interest me most were comments about recent changes of focus at the school.
One article reported “For several months now, the school council has been bombarded with emails and letters expressing concerns about the direction of the school such as its current preoccupation with academic excellence at the expense of the more holistic offering that they were known for. This change in emphasis has left students and staff feeling pressurised and led to a massive staff turnover over the past four years.” (Source available)
When school leaders seek to emphasise, or promote, a particular aspect of school – in this case academics – it may alienate those who were attracted to the school for other reasons. As a school marketer it is important to understand what your school’s reputation is. It is often why your current community enrolled. Changing a reputation takes time. It can also encourage families to reconsider their options. School leadership need to be confident that any new direction will retain existing families and staff, or be compensated enough by attracting new families and staff. Sometimes it is better to serve a niche market very well than be constantly competing with multiple schools who end up looking very similar.