Working smarter not harder 

Guthrie Denniston

Published in Applicaa | October 20, 2022

Working smarter not harder

I was on a demo with a school this week, they were considering Applicaa to help them streamline their admissions & enrolment process.

I was hugely encouraged that one of the school staff said their Headteacher was on a mission to help his staff work smarter, not harder

School staff are some of the hardest working, and most committed workforce I know. At Applicaa we look to recruit former school staff because we know if they’ve survived in the trenches of the classroom or SLT they’ll have developed a skillset, resilience, adaptability, and resourcefulness to cope and thrive in a Start-Up environment.

Transferable skills are key to our culture at Applicaa.

60% of our team are former school staff from the independent and maintained sectors, including teachers and members of SLT leadership teams.

 Despite being naturally resilient, school staff burnout is on the rise and schools are struggling to retain their best talent, as workloads increase. I recently met a Head of Sixth Form from a school in North West London who was responsible for running pastoral care, teaching, and running operations, including admissions & enrolment.

This is a very heavy workload!!

She was being pulled from pillar to post. It’s the equivalent of several roles. It’s no wonder some leaders and teaching staff in schools look elsewhere to continue their career path.

At Applicaa, we’d never have been able to scale the business to 1,000 schools in a few years if we hadn’t put great software in place to increase our operational efficiency. 

These have enabled us to work smarter not harder

We currently use software to free up time so we can focus on serving our schools.

We use Hubspot CRM which we run our business on. Recently, at SaaStr the SaaS tech conference in San Mateo, USA, I was honoured to meet (and get a photo with!) Brain Halligan, co-founder of HubSpot with Darmesh Shar. (photo of me, Brian and Lucy Brook, Applicaa Head of Marketing).

Hubspot has enabled us to work smarter, not harder. So we can free up time to focus on the needs of our customer schools. 

In the same way, through adopting Applicaa software like Admissions+ and Bursary+, school staff are able to work smarter, not harder. These systems remove a huge workload from school staff freeing up their time to focus on what matters most, the students. The more time Heads of Sixth Forms spend with their pupils, the better pupils’ outcomes. Better outcomes lead to a positive multiplier effect. 

Cost vs Benefit 

At the start, in the early days of our business, I was worried about the cost of HubSpot. However, it has more than paid for itself. In the same way, schools can be concerned about the cost of Applicaa software, but the investment almost immediately pays for itself. 

As Tom Kennedy Fowler, Assistant Head from Urmston Grammar said this year following Enrolment Day, ‘Applicaa more than pays for itself many times over; whilst Headteacher, Mrs. Wall, describes Applicaa as a game changer – because of the way in which students are processed 3-times faster on enrolment day. 

If you’re looking for ways to enable your staff to work smarter not harder check out the links here:



Guthrie Denniston

Hello, I’m Guthrie co-founder of Applicaa, with my colleague Tim Dixon, and Managing Director. Tim and I used to work together at Greenford High School in London where he was Head of Sixth Form and we both taught Geography.