We currently have around 220 schools and colleges which are members of the British Boarding Schools' Network. Our market-leading services provide the tools and resources to make it easy and cost-effective for schools to successfully recruit boarding students from all over the world and achieve a diverse range of nationalities in their boarding communities.
We know that school marketing budgets have to work hard and over the last 15 years we have curated and crafted the perfect combination of contacts, knowledge and networking opportunities that are needed for school teams to deliver successful international boarding recruitment.
The way we deliver our membership services to schools can be explained under three headings and these are all covered by an annual membership fee:
- Members' portal: school members have access to valuable resources on the members' portal including a unique database of 500+ carefully selected and reference checked educational consultancies/agencies who recruit thousands of pupils for boarding schools each year. There are around 1,000 staff in the member offices. To be approved members, agents are interviewed and triple reference-checked by our experienced team, so you can have confidence in the agents you find and contact via our portal. Each company has a searchable profile with detailed company information and staff profiles.
- School profiles: As a member, each school has a profile which is visible to more than 1,000 individuals in 500+ boarding-focused agencies whose staff can quickly and easily search for schools using detailed criteria such as course subjects, activities, facilities, type of school, educational programmes, specialisms, fees, facilities, location and much more. Agents can view your profile with content such as pupil data, curriculum information, testimonials, videos and photos, then download a short profile with all of the key facts and figures they need to consider schools for families. You can also provide vital school documents such as prospectuses, curriculum guides and inspection reports - all in one place. Agents really value the ease of the site and it saves them time and resources when searching for the right school for their client families. There is no other search facility like ours to enable professional agents to find British boarding schools in this way, and as a result we have hundreds of trusted agents using the site each week.
- Communication tools: In just a few minutes, you can quickly and easily send news and vacancy information to more than 1,000 people in 500+ agencies via the Announcement facility. The announcement is emailed to all member agents so that you can keep them up to date and visible in the community. You can also send targeted emails to select groups of agents, such as by country, or to your own pre-defined groups of agents. This is even more essential when you can't visit agents due to budget restrictions or when it is not safe to travel to the country. Schools can post details of news and events including open days and virtual events so agents can access the school news and events in one central area.
- Members' Portal: Our online portal provides schools with the tools and resources they need to succeed in international recruitment. As well as the database of agents, the Knowledge Zone gives access to the latest information relating to international recruitment, international strategy documents and country reports produced specifically for UK boarding schools. A live feed shows the Top 30 Markets table based on the school members' international pupils data. This ensures you know where the key boarding recuitment markets are so you don't waste resources on markets which don't yield results. The aim of the the data is to give you an understanding of the global landscape from which you can delve into country level information to see if there is a match between the need of the market and what yrou school offers. Next, you can find agents in target countries and cities before making contact to develop partnerships. Each member school has a profile on the portal which is highly searchable and valued by agents.
- Regular Email Updates: All of our member school receive weekly updates from our team ensuring you keep up to date with what is happening across global markets and to provide timely insights on how to navigate the challenges we encounter in changing times. We keep you updated on news via our global network of member agents and from a variety of trusted sources. We also partner with Fragomen who provide our members with valuable updates on student visas and immigration information.
- Intelligence and Training on International Markets: We also provide training and updates on markets in real time, delivered via Zoom webinars by our trusted, experienced agents. Our agents have on the ground knowledge of what is happening in key recruitment markets at any given time. In November 2020 we ran five different sessions, covering 27 different international markets and 7 hours of the recorded sessions were loaded onto the portal for members to view if they could not attend the live events. In Spring Term 2021 we ran 90 minute Masterclasses on specific key recruitment countries to help member schools get a deep dive into markets including China, Thailand, Spain, Nigeria, Middlle East and Russia. These webinars have helped our members understand how markets have changed and what is influencing parents' decisions right now due to Covid. Practical tips and key factors for success were shared so that school staff can adapt their marketing and admissions for continued success.
- Discussion Forums - regular discussion forums on topics such as Covid-19 and the new immigration routes enable our community to navigate these issues together in a suppotive, collaborative way. Some Zoom webinars are open to all member schools and agents so that we can discuss issues across the community and hear view from different markets and members.
- Personal Support - Suzanne Rowse, the Director of BBSN, provides personal support to members on a regular basis via a one to one or team meeting on Zoom. She acts as an independent sounding board and can provide advice and ideas at no additional fee. She also provides bespoke advice on how to get the most out of the member services in relation to the type of school and specific challenges they have. Having worked as a marketing consultant for boarding schools, Suzanne can quickly identify the challanges a school is facing and offer help and advice based on more than 20 years' experience in British boarding schools.
- Professional Development - A regular programme of webinars keeps staff in member schools up to date and helps to develop their knowledge and skills to support them in their roles. Topics covered have included: immigration, visas and compliance, how to develop a virtual tour, and an introduction to international markets for those who are new to the sector, and training on how to use the members' portal and keeping your school profile ahigh amongst the community of agents.
- Showcasing member schools - In Autumn 2020 we ran a series of Zoom webinars to introduce New Heads in member schools to our network of agents. This enhanced the agents' knowledge of key new staff and helped them to engage with our members schools and to use the sessions to train staff. Similar events are running throughout the year to showcase our member schools to agents.
Access to such powerful resources allows you to keep Senior Leaders and Governors well-informed, enabling them to fully grasp the significant value of agents to boarding recruitment and to understand the changes in markets and how it affects your marketing and recruitment strategy.
Networking is at the core of what the BBSN does. Our business started in 2006 when we set up the British Boarding Schools' Workshop as a networking event for schools and agents, and the company has grown since to provide a wider range of services. In 2019 we added Networking Days for members and they have been a huge success.
- Networking days exclusively for members. The networking days enhance the meetings that take place at the British Boarding Schools' Workshops as they provide plenty of time over refreshments and lunch to network, make new contacts and build on existing partnerships with agents. It also provides a valuable chance to meet colleagues from other schools and to learn from each other. Seminar sessions on relevant topics by knowledgeable speakers enhance the events, making it a really worthwhile day out of the office. The events are held at member schools around the UK and participation is charged at a low fee to cover lunch and refreshments. Details of events are sent to members.
- Member discounts at the British Boarding Schools' Workshops (BBSW): The BBSW has a global reputation as a quality event, bringing together trusted educational agents and staff from British boarding schools to develop successful partnerships based on mutual cooperation and understanding. Prior to Covid, the BBSW was run twice a year in March and November at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel at Heathrow, with 90+ British boarding schools and 110+ agents from all over the world. During Covid the events are run virtually. The BBSW is open to member and non-member schools. The BBSW events are not included in the membership package but our members are entitled to event discounts.
Is there any other service which can provide so much value for money?