Why, how and when will benchmarking help your school planning?
I am often asked about the benefits of benchmarking a school and what you need it for. Knowing why and how benchmarking matters will help you to comprehend who and what you need to benchmark against, and when you need to do it.
Whether your international school is well-established, brand new, or in development, here are ten reasons why benchmarking matters:
1. Rather than using gut feeling, relying on information from a few people, or trusting the word of websites designed to attract new admissions, benchmarking helps you to identify how your school enrolment compares against other schools that you’re competing against.
2. Benchmarking helps you to identify your competition; who, what and where it is. This may vary depending on the information you need. For example, if you want to plan your teacher recruitment strategy, then you will want to know the teacher nationalities, or salaries and benefits of similar schools around the world that could be competing for the same calibre of expatriate teachers that you are. If you want to plan your admissions strategy, then you will want to know how your school compares to other schools in your city with similar provision and facilities.
3. It gives you an independent and detailed view of the market that impacts your business, rather than taking an insular perspective.
4. It reassures your board or governing body of the decisions you are making.
5. It helps you to know how your fees compare to other schools that parents in your city are considering.
6. It can inform you of enrolment capacity and waiting lists to know how other schools within your city or wider area are coping, which can be particularly beneficial during challenging times.
7. It helps you to identify how and where you differ from other schools within your fee range and/or in your locality so that you can emphasise these unique features in your admissions messages.
8. It helps you to know how your class sizes and student/teacher ratios compare to other schools that you compete with so that you can optimise your staffing.
9. It can help you to plan your investment focus by identifying gaps within your market.
10. It gives you an understanding of your place in a market that’s evolving and expanding at pace.
More information about benchmarking your school and what a benchmarking report looks like is available here