FACTORS THAT ATTRACT PARENTS TO SCHOOLS
Any parent who wishes to enroll his/her wards in any private school looks out for certain things which they expect in schools before deciding to take their children to any school. It is important for school owners to focus on some of these factors so as to leverage on their performances and have a better patronage from many parents. Some of the needs of parents are listed and explained below:
1. SCHOOL SECURITY:
Parents consider adequate security within the premises. Such security also entails security of children after closing time and transportation security where children are being taken home in school buses. If a school has a good security system and prospective parents are sure of the security of their wards, they will patronize your school.
2. SCHOOL BUS:
Schools having buses have advantages over those that do not have buses. It is not enough to have school buses but parents also look out for the condition of a school bus. If a school bus is rickety and breaks down on the roads, parents will not take their wards to such schools. The population of pupils in a school bus also counts a lot. If a school has a penchant for overloading its school buses with pupils, parents will be discouraged from enrolling their wards in such a school.
The academic performance of a school is another key factor any parent will look out for before enrolling their wards. If a school has a track record of outstanding performances in unified examinations such as UTME, NECO, WAEC, etc, parents will be attracted to such a school. No responsible parent will take his wards to schools with poor academic performances.
A school that uses modern techniques of teaching pupils will have a better chance of being patronized. A good school must make use of modern techniques of teaching. The use of multi-media projector, white boards and other technological innovations are necessary to attract prospective parents.
5. FRlENDLY ATTITUDE OF TEACHERS:
A school having friendly teachers and other workers will always attract more customers to their school. Teachers must have a friendly attitude toward the pupils. Teachers must be patients with the pupils. School owners must motivate teachers and show a good example to teachers.
6. MORAL STANDARDS AND SEXUAL ASSUALTS:
Some parents consider moral standard of the school. Also, cases of sexual assaults by male teachers will cause a serious problem for any school and dent its corporate image. Parents are wary of schools where female pupils are assaulted. To this end, school owners must recruit responsible men in their schools.
7. CLOSED CIRCUIT CAMERAS:
Apart from serving as a security measure in a school, a school should install closed circuit cameras within and around the school and in all the class rooms. If all male teachers are aware that these cameras are installed in all the classes and around the school, none of them will attempt to rape or assault any female pupil. However, a new school might not have such financial capacity at the beginning but they should have it in their short term plans. Closed circuit cameras should also be installed at the frontage of a school, back of the school and at the reception.
8. SCHOOL FEES:
School fees should be reasonable and affordable by average parents. If a school charges exorbitant fees, they may not get many people who will patronize them except those schools that have created a niche for themselves. New school owners and those intending to start a school business should carry out a survey of school fees being charged around the area. Fees chargeable by schools differ based on locations. For instance, in Lagos State, school fees are high in places like Lekki, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ikeja G.R.A, VGC, Parkview estate, etc. Let your school fees be competitive in order to attract people to your school.
9. SCHOOL UNIFORM:
This might sound funny but some parents are attracted by the quality and beauty of school uniforms. A school having a fantastic school uniform will attract more customers. Please, pay attention to your school uniforms.
10. PUBLIC COMPETITIONS:
A school that allows its pupils to participate in academic competitions which are done with other schools in attendance will attract more parents to enroll their wards in the school. When parents watch these programmes on the television and see the performance of pupils from a particular school, they will be interested to take their wards to such a school. As a school owner, look for opportunities for such a competition. A good example is COWBELL MATHEMATICS programme. Participation in academic competition is another means of advertising a school.
11. RESPECT FOR PARENTS & VISITORS:
As a school owner, you must have respect for your customers. Your customers are the pupils in the school and their parents. You must not be rude to the parents that patronize your school. If parents are insulted by school owners or teachers, such a school will experience a decline in fresh enrolment of new intakes and withdrawal of existing pupils. Respect your customers. No matter how terrible the characters of your customers, remember;
THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.
Treat your customers with respect. NOTE: Respect is a marketing strategy while disrespect is a de-marketing attitude in any organization.
Dear school owners, pay attention to the above factors and many more that are not mentioned here. However, all these cannot be provided in a day. As your school is growing, you should think of what is the next most important thing to provide to attract parents.
Thanks for reading