International schools will be hit particularly hard by the absolute collapse in international travel; parents can't just hop on a plane to go and get to know a school they are considering for the next school year.
In the same way every school has innovated in how they deliver lessons, they will also need to innovate and get creative to make the most of the (almost certainly) lower numbers of pupils moving from country to country.
One of the most valuable resources any school can have is a happy parent community - with all the best marketing in the world, word of mouth is still the biggest factor for parents picking a new school. One conversation or recommendation can be enough to convince someone to add a school to the shortlist.
Introducing Parent Ambassadors
Many of the visitors to International School Advisor are international parents researching their next move - often selecting the school is the decision that has to be made before all others. To help schools in these trying times they have been working on something totally new called Parent Ambassadors.
Parent Ambassadors allows prospective parents to make controlled contact with a school's community. A parent submits a question, then the school admissions team chooses which parent ambassador to allocate the question to. From there, the parents can chat online and start to build a relationship that hopefully fills the knowledge gaps of the new parents and help them start to feel at home with a school.
In addition, as more questions are answered by the school community, conversations can be added to an FAQ style page (with the permission of parents asking questions) so future parents can get a real feel for what a school is like from the very people who know it best. Again, the admissions team has full control over what is used and what isn’t.
In normal times you can easily invite your prospective parents in to see your community in action - for the time being this has to be done virtually. These new tools are designed to give a starting point to that process and also to demonstrate to parents that a school has enough trust in its parent community to enable that interaction.
See an example below - you can click the image to see a larger version or click here.
International School Advisor founder, Ian Ryder, says:
When you move cities it can be really daunting if you don't have a network of people to ask questions of; what the areas are like to live in, what the school community is like, basic logistical issues and more. Parent Ambassadors is designed to help fill those gaps and give schools a new set of tools to allow parents to see their best side.
Especially in these times where travel is restricted, we think it can really help solve some of those fundamental issues and allow parents to take the next step with a school.
You can see some examples schools already using Parent Ambassadors here:
Would you like to know more or test out Parent Ambassadors for your school? If so, get in touch here and we will get back to you with more information.