primary & secondary education

3rd Annual Independent Schools Marketing and Communications Forum

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:00

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Central London


This Forum provides expert guidance and lessons from best practice case studies regarding how to develop and implement successful marketing campaigns and will also offer key insights on how to translate marketing best practice into an increase in the number of pupil admissions for independent schools from both the UK and abroad.

Attendees will learn from award-winning independent schools at the forefront of developing and implementing effective marketing and communication campaigns that are able to showcase educational excellence, attract international pupils and effectively communicate their brand and school ethos.

In addition, schools developing innovative strategies to increase their intake through tailored campaigns, social media platforms and segmentation strategies will share practical guidance on how best to utilise these kinds of marketing and communication tools to deliver the desired results.


This Forum is specifically designed for the Independent Schools Sector, including:

  • Headteachers
  • Deputy Headteachers
  • Directors of Marketing
  • Marketing Managers
  • Heads of Communications
  • Assistant Heads
  • Directors of Operations
  • Deputy Heads – Learning and Teaching
  • Vice Principals
  • Directors of Admissions
  • Governors
  • Bursars and Registrars
Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Senior Representative, Independent Schools Inspectorate
  • Kathy Campbell, Head of International Marketing and Development, British Boarding Schools Network
  • Vivienne Durham, Chief Executive, Girls Schools’ Association
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Vivienne Durham, Chief Executive, Girls Schools’ Association (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: The Role of Inspections in Attracting Pupils to the Independent Schools Sector

  • Exploring the key components of an ISI inspection and how it seeks to provide a holistic accurate picture of a school’s individual strengths and areas for improvement
  • Evaluating the link between inspections and a comprehensive accurate marketing strategy
  • Examining how schools can build their academic success and high standards of regulatory compliance into a trusted brand
  • Providing extensive guidance and support to schools seeking to attract pupils through delivering high standards of education: Including through the ISI Handbook for the Inspection of Schools 

Senior Representative, Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Sharing Lessons from Developing an Award Winning Marketing Campaign

  • Sharing the journey to winning Marketing Campaign of the Year at the TES Independent School Awards 2018: How was the campaign conceived and implemented?
  • Undertaking a 7-year project that followed one student: Creating a 4-minute film ‘Toms Journey’ demonstrating how the school supported this pupil to maximise their potential and achieve their career goals
  • Examining the impact of this approach: Increasing traffic to the schools Facebook and experiencing higher numbers of prospective parents visiting the school
  • Exploring how to successfully translate visits to the school to applications
  • Discussing how to connect with prospective parents and articulate the school’s ethos of fostering independence and ‘doing your best’

Winner, Marketing Campaign of the Year, 2018 TES Independent School Awards 

Helen Foster, Deputy Head, Loughborough Grammar School (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Effectively Communicating the Benefits of an Innovative Curriculum to Attract Prospective Pupils

  • Attracting potential students through an innovative curriculum that offers a unique educational experience
  • Creating a child- centred curriculum that gives students the ability to apply their learning to real life experiences and develop a deep understanding of a range of concepts
  • Developing cross-curricular skills that foster highly valued attributes for higher education institutions and workplaces such as independent thought
  • Examining how an outstanding curriculum can be a unique selling point to attract new students

Rebecca Glover, Principal, Surbiton High School (CONFIRMED)


Interactive Workshop: Evaluating the Role of Social Media in Transforming Independent Schools Marketing and Communications Strategies

  • Outlining the strategy for establishing a strong social media presence: Harnessing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to reach new potential cohorts
  • Measuring the success of the website redesign with the number of sessions per month increasing by 40% and the number of users rising by 41%
  • Creating engaging video content and a strong brand identity for the website: Sharing lessons from the process
  • Harnessing technology to streamline and enhance the school’s website, and improve pathways to encourage visits to the admissions pages

Rachael Wallington, Marketing Officer Kingham Hill School (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Exploring the Current Landscape for Independent Schools Marketing

  • Providing an overview of the current policy context independent schools are operating within including exiting the European Union
  • Exploring the potential impact on marketing to international students
  • Examining common challenges faced by independent schools seeking to develop an effective marketing strategy and how these can be overcome?
  • How to get the skills mix right and efficiently utilise staff and resources for maximum impact

Neil Roskilly, Chief Executive Officer, Independent Schools Association (invited)


Special Keynote: Effectively Tailoring Marketing Campaigns to Attract International Students to the British Independent Schools Sector

  • Sharing market analysis on figures for international enrolment from key markets including China, Dubai and India
  • Examining the impact of the Brexit negotiations on international student recruitment: How can smart market strategies assist with alleviating this downturn?
  • Exploring the key features of British Schools that attract international students, including the quality of teaching and learning, trusted nature of qualifications and range of international partnerships
  • Looking to the future: Evaluating how British schools can retain and enhance their international reputation through smart marketing

Kathy Campbell, Head of International Marketing and Development, The British Boarding Schools Network (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Successfully Marketing and Communicating Educational Excellence to Increase Independent School Admissions

  • Understanding how Caterham School built a marketing strategy around their academic excellence
  • Examining how academic attainment and a positive school culture has translated into student recruitment in practice
  • Ensuring the exceptional progress made by pupils at the school is a key theme that is effectively communicated in the schools marketing campaigns
  • Assessing how Caterham School developed a strong recognizable brand and targets potential families through segmentation strategies

Hannah Graydon, Head of Marketing and Communications, Caterham School (invited)


Case Study: Developing a Strong Independent School Brand and Ethos to Attract Prospective Pupils

  • Building academic excellence into a strong recognisable brand: Lessons from the process
  • Sharing examples of best practice in advertising and how this has converted into increased admissions
  • Maximizing the value of new technology and social media to reach new potential parents
  • Using data driven campaigns to maximise marketing strategies
  • Highlighting the value of well-developed and maintained alumni networks to enhance the schools long term reputation and reach new pupils through trusted channels

Senior Representative, Manchester High School for Girls (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

With average Independent School fees rising above £17,000 for the first time in 2018 and the sector coming under increased political scrutiny it is imperative that independent schools are clearly able to showcase the work that they do through effective marketing and communications strategies.

Recent figures from the independent schools census highlights the important role of independent schools in a post-Brexit landscape, attracting highly skilled individuals from across the globe seeking to send their children to world-class education establishments. In 2017/18 53,000 non-British pupils attended independent schools with the largest proportion of these pupils coming from China and Hong Kong. It is crucial that schools diversify their marketing strategies to account for the differences in successfully reaching local, national and international students. In order to continue to remain attractive to prospective international students in a post-brexit environment it is essential that the sector is able to communicate their offering effectively.

Furthermore, the independent school sector needs to be able to market and communicate effectively the work it is doing in partnership with the state sector, voluntary sector and the work it is doing to provide reduced fees for less privileged pupils with latest census figures showing 171,000 pupils were receiving assistance with their school fees.

Therefore, independent schools must excel in developing tailored but comprehensive marketing strategies that are able to capture the attention of target audiences to ensure the widest possible reach in order to ensure that the UK independent schools sector maintains its internationally renowned reputation.

You May Also Like