by Education specialist Linda Tanner
Living next door to a primary school, I opened my window on Monday morning to the sound of children joyfully greeting one another after ten weeks apart.
The return to the classroom will be presenting challenges, I’m sure, but I can also guarantee there will be many smiles in that school and all the others that have opened their doors to a larger group of pupils this week.
Schools are by and large happy places and, although the environment they’ve all gone back to is very different, both adults and children will without doubt be making the best of the situation.
One of the first steps for those involved in schools is to look at what we have learned during the lockdown. Many who previously fought shy of social media have since March turned to Facebook, YouTube and even TikTok to ensure their messages are reaching the widest possible audience.
Good communication has been key as leaders, governors, teachers and other staff, parents and chldren have embraced virtual schooling, keyworker childcare and ensuring everyone is safe and well fed.
Now is the time to take a look at which channels worked well, what could be improved, and how we might do things differently in the future.
It’s worth bearing in mind that ‘marketing’ your school, particularly in the state sector, doesn’t have to mean expensive, glossy ads on billboards or buses. It’s much more about ensuring the perception of your school in its neighbourhood and wider community matches the reality.
There are many ways you can do this. Have your pupils been helping out at a foodbank? Have your music staff been sharing songs with children or residents at a care home? Can you share the photos/videos/stories in a community Facebook group or with a local magazine or website?
In normal times, we always advise that the way students behave on their way to and from school and how staff talk about their workplace can affect reputation, so it’s the same in the virtual world. Maintaining a stream of positive coverage not only raises the morale of your current school population but also helps you attract future students and to recruit good staff.
If you’re unsure how to take this forward, we have a team of experts who can offer you support. Click here for our five top tips for sharing good news about your school and follow us on social media for further advice and ideas.Back to Blog