School Places looks to disrupt private education

Having just received a $2 million investment, School Places, an online marketplace connecting vacancies in private schools with potential families, is looking to expand it’s footprint into the NSW market. The company has started strongly in Victoria, with numerous partner schools on board, who provide a discount on school fees, ranging from 10-30% for last minute placements that become available. It’s a win win for parents, who can register for alerts to be notified when places become available, and for schools who can fill all potential placements.

You can read the full article at Start Up Smart : Innovation – School Places looks to disrupt private education with a $2 million investment.

Why are parents so scared of public schools?

Some interesting comments by Tim Dodd in the Australian Financial Review. Why are we seeing an increasing trend towards sending kids to non-government schools? Will the new breakaway P&C movement starting in Sydney help contribute to parents having a better say in how their government schools are run?

What needs to be done to make government schools more attractive to parents from all socio-economic backgrounds?

Why are parents so scared of public schools?.

Boost school fundraising via social media

23 January 2014

Whilst having yochocolate_chip_720pxur kids knock door to door in your local neighbourhood selling anything from doughnuts to cookies may have been a successful fundraiser in the past – social media is changing the future of school fundraising.

Coordinating school fundraising via social media channels, will allow you to reach far more people in a given time frame, and can significantly increase your fundraising revenue targets.

There are various ways to approach fundraising via social media, so it’s important to pick the right channels for the right cause.

The article below is from the US, where cookie dough company Otis Spunkmeyer is helping guide schools on best practice use of social media to gain optimal results.  I’d love to hear from any Australian companies out there doing anything similar.

Fundraising Ideas By Otis Spunkmeyer.

Are you or the public defining your school brand?

15 January 2014


Image sourced from

Gone are the days where you as a school can completely control your brand. With the prominence of social media, conversations about your school are going on, whether you like it or not. Public perception of what your school is like can be based on the school’s facilities, how the kids behave in public, or your latest academic results, however, and these may not truly represent the vision and environment you are trying to create for your students.

I must admit, having recently gone through the process of selecting a school for my son, it wasn’t until I walked through the gates on an open day that I got a true sense of what the school was about, and whether it would be a good fit for our family. Listening to the teachers and principal detail their vision for the students, and values set out by the school, along with talking to current students, and new parents, I instantly knew we were in the right place. It wasn’t the lovely facilities, the expansive sporting grounds, the fancy website, or the glossy brochures, we made our decision based on the conversations we had with others connected to the school.

Why is it then, that most schools still seem to focus on the fancy brochures and a static website that preaches to parents, instead of getting involved in the conversation? Sadly, many prospective parents may never attend an open day, they may simply rule your school out by researching online. What sort of online profile does your school have? Are you able to have a two way conversation with perspective parents? Imagine a prospective parent being able to access a school Facebook page, or follow the Principal on Twitter to get a true sense of the day to day activities going on at the school. Surely this is a far better investment both in time and money for the school to concentrate on?

If your school needs help in showing your true brand essence online, please feel free to contact me for a chat.