Blog by James Leggett, Research Manager
When we undertake Mandarin studies as part of our school research and strategy packages, we often ask a school to send us the postcodes of their new starters, or pupils who are due to start at the school in the following September. This allows them to compare the lifestyles of new families against the current parent body, the distances new pupils are prepared to travel, and the towns and villages new starters live in.
Knowing the locations of the towns and villages new starters travel from will help you plan your bus routes effectively, as well as highlighting where your school marketing efforts have been most effective. If there are a number of current pupils from that area then word of mouth may have been key, whereas in new areas advertisements may have been the driver. Conversely, if no new pupils are coming from an area which typically provides large numbers of children, this may need to be investigated further.
An understanding of the distance new starters are prepared to travel to the school may help inform decisions over what is a suitable area to consider as your catchment, and therefore inform where to promote the school. If children are travelling further to the school, it may be worth pushing the boundaries throughout the catchment, whereas if the pupils are travelling shorter distances then thorough research should be carried out to ascertain why.
Finally, comparing the socio-demographic lifestyles of new parents against current families will help you compare how your school recruitment pattern is changing, and whether you are appealing to the correct kinds of families.
If this sounds like the sort of school recruitment research you would like to undertake, why not contact us on 0843 308 7548.