The cost of living crisis is hitting most of us; the conversation around taxing school fees continues; parents’ disposable income is shrinking.

With the Daily Telegraph headline “Middle-class families ‘priced out of private schools’ for their children as fees ‘go up and up’” and that new research finds “Private school fees cost parents twice as much of their income as they did a generation ago” (24 February, 2023), retention and ultimately growth, using the right tools, have to be the priorities for many schools.

This, coupled with the need to retain their best staff with attractive salaries and working conditions, (“Independent school staff ‘hit hard’ by cost-of-living crisis” revealed in National Education Union March 2023 survey and reported in School Management Plus), independent and international schools have to proactively build pipelines to improve future forecasts and ensure the coming years’ rolls are as full as possible, to at least maintain income during these challenging times.

Identifying areas of improvement

It’s not always easy to find how a well-established institution can improve the bottom line, but being able to scrutinise the marketing and admissions procedures has to be a good start. Lessons can be learned from how Millfield School did just this with its successful rebranding exercise a couple of years ago (published in The Independent Schools magazine here.)

Schools really need to look for the best tools to evaluate data obtained from campaigns and subsequent enquires. Then, it’s a necessity that parents who contact the school see value for money at the outset – whether or not they have been highly recommended – to prevent them from considering that a more economical competitor school has enough to offer.

Budget can be saved when the quality and quantity of enquiries from each platform can be easily understood, allowing admissions teams to decide where to focus efforts and investment.

Beware, schools with a waiting list

Schools that had the luxury of waiting lists in the past now must consistently show value even before the parents’ admissions and enrolment experience so as not to fall victim of high drop off rates once the time comes for them to commit.

It can’t be assumed that during any of the waiting period they have not considered enrolment at another school; maintaining efficient and effective communication throughout the period to remind them just why they are on your waiting list should be seen as a given!

It’s not too late, but schools need to take action now

Whether you’re looking to better manage your waiting list or fill empty places to increase revenue, you can take two weeks to review your admissions strategy whilst exploring the latest admissions software in your school’s unique realm.

We are offering a free trial of our CRM, HUBadmissions. It’s cloud native, meaning that you don’t install it on your servers, so no extra work for your IT team, and it has been designed in such an intuitive way that users don’t need any training.


Developed specifically for independent and international schools

HUBadmissions has been developed specifically for independent and international schools to help give your admissions strategy a head-to-toe review, and the trial comes with a workbook full of exclusive content not just from us but also our partners Stickman Marketing Consultancy and Kampus24.

There is no further obligation once the trial period has ended, and during the two weeks you can contact WCBS at any time if you have questions that can’t be answered in the workbook.

There are limited slots available so that our experienced team can facilitate each trial properly.

Get in touch to sign up for your free trial, or to have a chat around your existing admissions strategy to learn whether HUBadmissions can help your school.

Not a HUB user yet but want to get more from your data? Request a demo here.