from The Evening Standard, 26 January 2010
The country is officially out of recession, showing growth in the last quarter of just 0.1%, reports The Evening Standard. While this is likely to promote some positive reaction amongst business leaders in all sectors, the effects on independent school pupil numbers and finances are not yet likely to have been felt, writes Joe Faulkner, Schools Marketing Consultant at mtmconsulting.
The newspaper suggests that while the recession is officially over in this country, marking the end of “the UK’s longest and deepest decline on record”, the recovery fell “far short of expert forecasts of a rise of 0.4% and prompted a political storm”. The slow turnaround in the economy gives little hope for experts rooting for a ‘v-shaped’ recovery, and is unlikely to improve the outlook for independent school heads, bursars and business managers.
mtmconsulting’s Independent Education Sector Report 2010, published recently, has forecast that independent schools will, in all likelihood, experience the bite of the recession during pupil recruitment cycles moving into the 2010/11 academic year, when the size of the independent schools sector may decline by as much as 1.5%. This supposition comes on the back of other evidence published in the Independent Education Sector Report illustrating that fee-paying schools’ rolls did not decline until up to 48 months after previous UK recessions had begun.
However, suggests mtm’s Principal Melanie Tucker, “there are some key aspects to address to ensure that your school business model is as robust as possible… Now is the time for independents to focus on school marketing. In tighter times it’s very tempting to cut the independent school marketing budget. This is always a mistake, review the budget and spend the money more wisely – ensuring that the activities are in line with your school’s strategy.” Melanie Tucker goes on to say “a great deal of school marketing spend is wasted because of poor sales activity… Now is the time for independent schools’ marketing teams to roll their sleeves up and get on with some old fashioned sales activity, rather than just taking orders - make every lead count.”
mtm’s key message for independent school marketeers: “Things may be more difficult but it’s not a time to focus on doom and gloom. Going back to fundamental business principles is not only sensible, but can be great fun.”
To read the article “UK finally limps out of recession” on The Evening Standard website please click here.
For more information on the mtmconsulting Independent Education Sector Report 2010, or to discuss mtm’s management consulting services for schools, educational business strategies, and independent schools marketing services please contact mtm.