How to Maximise Student Numbers in Challenging Economic Times

Lucy Brook

Published in Applicaa | September 21, 2022

maximize student numbers-blog

Over the next decade, school pupil numbers are set to fall in both primary and secondary settings, with primary numbers falling more dramatically.

Projections show a drop of around 30,000 primary school pupils between 2020 and 2026, plus a decline in the number of secondary school students from 2025 onwards. The population of children in primary schools peaked in 2019 but has been declining ever since due to a falling birth rate.

Schools will find it increasingly difficult to fill their spaces and this has a corresponding impact on finances for schools that are already struggling with the increase in costs for energy, food, and maintenance.

Is there anything that can be done to mitigate the fall in numbers and the corresponding drop in income for schools?

Ramp up your School Marketing

Schools should start to think about how they can effectively market to and engage with current and prospective parents. Here are some top tips we have seen from our customer schools.

  • Your school website is a great marketing tool, design it based on what you would like prospective parents and families to see
  • Make sure you keep your website up to date and add new content regularly
  • Use your school’s Facebook page for marketing and promotion showcasing activities and achievements at your school and adding newsletters
  • Maximise your use of other social media channels with regular, interesting and targeted content
  • Register interest on your website through lead capture forms
  • Start advertising and marketing in the Autumn Term. Parents are likely to be looking for suitable schools well in advance of making their decision and they now do considerably more research online than previously.

Make Your Admissions Process Easy

The first point of contact you have with your parents should be professional, warm, and engaging. This sets the scene for the parent’s expectations for the rest of their child’s time at school. The admissions process should be efficient and parents should feel that their child has been prioritised and their individual needs are being recognised.

  • Early and efficient communication with parents is key to attracting and engaging them with your school
  • Show your parents that you have a professional, sleek data collection process where all details of their child is securely recorded
  • Ensure you know each child in advance of September, especially those with specific medical or educational needs
  • Remove all paper forms from your admissions process, parents do not have time to complete paper forms, find an envelope and a stamp and go to the post office, remove these barriers and delight prospects with an easy and quick system.

Make Your Census Day Easy!

Ensure you have accurate data in your school’s MIS (SIMS, Arbor, Bromcom, etc) is crucial because it ensures that you will get the correct funding for your school.

It should be a priority at the admissions stage to get accurate and clean data for your new pupils and families.

Why You Should Look at Admissions+

Admissions+ is an online system that digitises the process of school admissions, enrolment and timetable management, it also enables easy and fast communications with parents and prospective parents.

Schools have told us that they have seen a 20% increase in student numbers within 1-2 years of using the system, a potential lifeline of income in these challenging economic times. The cost of the system is outweighed by the benefits it brings to a school and many of our customer schools have described it as a ‘game-changer!’

Lucy Brook
Lucy Brook

Hello, my name is Lucy, I look after marketing and operations for Applicaa and have worked in education sector marketing since 2012. I have three senior school-age children and have experienced the application process to a variety of different schools over the years including in the UK and the USA and across different stages from nursery to sixth form and different types of schools including state, grammar, and independent.