On 16th March 2016 the Chancellor George Osborne announced that the government intends to turn all schools in England into academies.
What was once a voluntary choice, all schools in England will now either have to convert to an academy by 2020 or be committed to converting by 2022 under the Chancellors new plans.
When your school decides to become an academy there are many changes that will take place, aside from the financials and legislation’s, one important change will be the name and branding design of the new school.
In light of this we look at our top tips for a successful academy re-brand.
A lot of changes are going to happen behind the scenes and will involve a lot of new policies, responsibilities, ownership, structures and changes affecting the curriculum etc. Before you look at the external changes, take some time to understand the internal ones. Reacquaint yourself with the schools strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, look at your target audience, your message and ethos. Really capture your schools unique points that differentiate you from other schools. Understanding where you are now and where you want to be is the perfect foundation and motivation for allocating resources and marketing, promotional and re-branding activities for the future.
There’s no getting away from the fact that you will be updating the logos, signage, stationery, prospectuses, banners and maybe internal branding – so is there not a better opportunity to give your school a refreshed brand? You have the chance to create a brand that encapsulates your new aims and inspire pupils, staff and parents with a reinvigorated sense of pride in their new school.
A successful re-brand would make highlight the schools existing strengths. It would take into account the history and principles of the old school and perfectly combine them with the aims of the new school.
Unlike other schools, academies control their own admissions process and have more freedom to innovate overall. So why not take advantage of this momentum and be bold with a strong and clear direction of your new school branding that sends out a definitive message to your audience. Amongst the fierce competition it will be the confidence and clarity through design and message in which a school expresses itself that could be the determining factor in boosting admissions.
Whether you go for a brand overhaul or evolution, make sure that it’s implemented consistently and accurately. If you decide to keep elements of the old branding do so in an appropriate manner that pays tribute to it rather than clashes or challenges the new vision. Don’t let remains of the old branding to undermine the new. Constancy is key to supporting your new academy to unify and inspire.
You can go for an all at once approach or a more subtle introduction to the new brand but either way, make sure you talk it through with your graphic designer and have an agreed re-branding plan in place. Some areas can be redesigned and implemented quicker than others. Websites, prospectuses and signage can take a little longer and will need forward planning.