What should you put in a school prospectus?
Since 2012 schools have no longer been required to publish a printed school prospectus, but there are requirements to publish certain documents, eg such as Ofsted inspection results, online.
However, the printed prospectus is still a useful document to use as an “advertisement” for the school and as a checklist of essential information. Above all, it should be a welcoming and appealing experience.
Who is the prospectus for?
When planning the content it is important to consider the audience. Primarily this will be the parents and also the students.
They will use it as a handy guide, particularly when pupils are new to the school, so it is important to consider the information they will consider essential.
The information needs to be clear, short and to the point and easy to find. They are unlikely to be willing to read through reams in a booklet, especially as those who are interested will be more likely to look for greater detail online on the school website.
Information should include name, address and phone number for the school and its e-mail address.
The school’s identity and ethos is important, so both should be described briefly and succinctly. A welcoming letter from the head teacher can be a good way of doing this.
Is there a policy on uniform, hairstyles, the wearing of cosmetics or jewellery, mobile phones? It is important to give clear details and also what actions are taken if students do not comply.
The age range, number of classes and a general overview of the curriculum will help people to know what to expect. Any special achievements, awards and successes can be included here.
A brief description of arrangements and facilities for pupils with special needs or with disabilities.
How well-equipped is the school?
What opportunities are there for pupils to pursue interests in after-school clubs that cannot be covered in lessons?
Don’t forget the pictures
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so it is important to pay attention to getting the best photos the school can afford.
Using plenty of pictures of students engaged in classroom and other activities will say much more than words, but remember, even if those included are not named, make sure you have parental permission.
Layout and design can also make a huge difference to how engaging and successful a prospectus is. Your printer may be able to help with this or it may be something that can be used as an art, design or IT classroom project