The Key To Maximising Enrolment In Years Years

I’ve written extensively over the years about the importance of ensuring show arounds and the enrolment process for prospective parents are truly optimised to ensure settings are full. I’ve also talked about the need to ask for the business to ‘close the sale’ when parents have finished their tour. 

The key point here is that successful settings prioritise the lead–sales–onboarding process to ensure they are consistently maximising capacity. 

Prioritising Enrolment Efficiency

Having highlighted this issue so often, I thought it would be interesting to talk about my recent personal experience whilst touring six secondary schools for my 12-year-old son as we move countries. Full disclosure first: we live abroad so he attends an international school where we pay fees, so the scenario is more relevant than say, attending a UK secondary school where there is little personal choice. 

It’s also worth stating that all the schools were fairly new, and their facilities were significantly similar. All but one had excess capacity for our year group, so all should have been working on the opportunity to fill their vacancies. 

Engagement Matters For Enrolment

What was not similar was the care and attention given to engaging with parents and the all important post show around follow up. Only one of the schools re-engaged with us after the show around (despite each of them committing to send us something), and we only met the Head Teacher at two of the six – albeit one of those was with many other parents. 

What was interesting though was the focus these schools gave to our engagement with them during the show around. Pretty much each tour was exactly the same, a tour of their facilities. And yet, as I’ve already mentioned, their facilities were pretty much the same – so this isn’t showing parents any key differentiators. 

One school had children show us around. This was a nice touch, and the children were clearly proud and had a very different approach to the show around. Interestingly though, the children did a better job than most of the other tours we took, with one being so rushed we became disengaged quite quickly. 

Staff Engagement Wins

What was the final deciding factor? Only one of the six schools properly engaged with us. We met with the Head Teacher and the Deputy Head. In every classroom we entered, the teacher took the time to say hello. 

And so, of the six schools we visited, the only distinguishing factor was how the staff and leaders engaged with us as prospective parents. It’s obvious when the facilities are similar, but surprisingly, none of the other five schools realised this and have therefore not won our business

Your show around process, the engagement of staff with prospective parents, and asking for the business, are essential parts of maximising occupancy, improving your enrolment and being a successful setting.

Essential, but often not given sufficient care and attention. Unless you are completely full, this is an area of your business that needs a review. 

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