Top 5 Things Parents Look For In A School
I always hear from my colleagues about how they had to stand in a queue from morning 4:00 AM to get an application for their son/daughter at a particular school. It doesn’t mean that there is a shortage of schools, but that there aren’t enough schools which cater to the expectations of parents. Parents have expectations and will not admit their children to a school which doesn’t satisfy them.
Let’s see the top 5 things parents look for in a school:
Peer reference is the single most important factor for parents to choose a school and why certain schools are able to achieve 100% admission well ahead of their academic year (In some schools, admissions for the next three years are complete).
Whenever it’s time to decide on a school, parents immediately check with their colleagues, neighbors or relatives, asking questions such as:
“Hey, my son is three and half years old, can you suggest a good school in our locality?”
“Hey, where is your daughter studying? Is the teaching good there? What is good and not good about that school?”
“Hey, I heard that your son’s school gives importance to discipline and safety. If scores are less, do they take extra care to improve them?”
The million dollar question is “How do schools create peer reference?”.
The school’s management has to take extraordinary care in satisfying parents by providing state-of-the-art infrastructure, assuring discipline and safety, and providing transparent updates about the progress of their children. With increasing number of “Tech Savvy parents” who don’t have the time to visit schools in person to learn about their children, it is impossible for schools to generate transparency without digital tools like “Google Classroom, Moodle, and KLearn. More importantly, schools have to learn to adopt these tools to be able to make the best use of them.
School fee is an important factor because even if expectations are fulfilled, parents may not select the school if the fee is unaffordable. So, how can schools fix the right Fee?
They have to decide on which parent/student community to target and collect information about other schools in the locality (Within the same segment) while keeping in mind that deviating too high or too low would not be beneficial.
It’s ideal for schools to provide the best of services for students (state of the art labs, sophisticated playgrounds with equipment, High-tech computer labs, etc….). However, in reality, schools are constrained by a limited budget and thus should fix the fee and then decide on which services they can include within the available budget.
Important aspects of infrastructure which parents look for are clean and well-equipped classrooms, libraries, science labs, computer labs, and auditorium. These aspects apart from providing a good first impression also give a visual appeal which plays an important part in establishing the school’s brand image.
Friendly School Staff
Today, most parents want to be a friend than just a parent to their children and have similar expectations from the school staff. Parents expect them to be friendly and offer personal care for their children. Moreover, they also expect teachers to be very specific while giving updates about their children rather than providing general statements.
Though most parents worry about academic performance alone, some parents would like to see their children perform well in extracurricular activities as well. It’s the school’s responsibility to provide enough opportunities for students to find their expertise and shine.
To summarise, school managements have to ensure that they concentrate on all the above in order to make a real impression with parents and ensure that they rank at the top of the preferred list of schools.