Connecting with the hard-to-reach and under-represented groups
Effective communication with schools ensures sustainability – agencies and initiatives come and go but schools remain and almost all children attend them.
We would give five pieces of advice about communicating effectively with schools, colleges or academies.
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Work with a ‘list’ of schools, colleges or academies
Communicate with a limited number of schools in a more effective way.
Have a named person in each school as liaison to whom you send all communications
Like everyone, teachers receive lots of junk mail and emails – having a named liaison stops your emails being deleted and your letters going straight into the recycle bin.
If possible, have a regular pattern of communication
Having a regular pattern of communication means that it is more likely that your activities will become part of the school or college calendar.
Use only one form for booking, consents and requirements
The easiest way to make sure you have all consents and requirements is to make them part of the booking form.
Consider corresponding directly with participants
Reaching individuals via their schools can be fraught with difficulties – make sure you have a way of reaching them at home.
What we do at Villiers Park
We communicate with schools, colleges and universities in a number of different levels:
- Through our website at www.villierspark.org.uk, which includes a link to our free online extension activities
- By giving presentations at conferences and network meetings
- Regularly and at least once per term by post and email with 350 schools who have identified a liaison member of staff
- Frequently with named members of staff in schools, colleges and academies who are involved with one of our projects, for example the Villiers Park Scholars Programme