Using our academic and real world experience of business consultancy, we offer tailored and targeted solutions to the private school network.
The education sector has, like many sectors within our economy, been hit with wholesale changes to how we operate. Due to the recent pandemic, many idnependent schools are facing difficult decisions, forced by these changes. Now more than ever, independent schools are seeking external support to understand, create and affirm their next steps. At Akcela, our personal and business history comes from working alongside the education sector and are well placed to support independent schools with many elements of strategic consultancy.
Whether you are looking for a “critical friend”, full scale operations, marketing or strategy consultancy, you can be assured that Akcela understands the nuances and challenges that independent schools face.
At our clients request, we have not listed any case studies of our work, however, should you require an introduction, please contact us and we can arrange individualised feedback.
Working through an overarching strategy for independent school incorporates many elements. At Ackela, we operate with two main support focuses for our independent school consultancy. Firstly, we support with independent school admissions and revenue generation strategy. Secondly, there is the education and operations support too, to ensure that excellence is engrained not only into the classroom from an academic perspective, but into the operations from a business perspective.
At Akcela, we understand the importance of continual, consistent and improving enrolment is a core foundation to success and continued growth. Our consultancy services offer independent schools a support structure to maintain a consistent cohort through marketing and enrollment programmes. When schools are assured a consistent cohort, fixed costs can be reviewed and managed in a controlled and focused manner.
We work with independent schools to define their overall brand strategy. Whilst many independent schools have a heritage and inherent brand, we work to ensure the brand values are aligned to the target market. Delivering the correct messages through the consumer life cycle. The market for independent schools and ensuring a consistent cohort is ever evolving. Branding and brand deployment is now, more than ever, a pivotal piece of any independent schools repertoire.
It may seem obvious what a target market looks like for a independent school, but defining and executing market segmentation consultancy is a key area Akcela can support in. In fact, market segmentation is one of our key areas for support across a number of industries. The reason that target segmentation is so efficient, is that it draws out the “tribal knowledge” within a business and articulates it into a strategy focused on results. Developing strong, repeatable business, with low acquisition costs is not only efficient from a time perspective. It also allows schools to pursue further spend, in higher cost of acquisition areas. Allowing gradual scale of cohort sizes, where required.
Whilst a full segmentation and detailed approach to a holistic marketing and admission process is preferable. We understand that a declining cohort across a number of year groups can need instant review and focus. Our admission sprints work to define fast scale processes and target markets to increase admission in a faster cycle time.
At Akcela, we offer management accountancy support independent schools to bridge the detail into management outcomes. Generally this is to highlight and drive detail from elements of a profit and loss statement that requires attention, along with a process to review, and feedback outcomes.
Mark has a long history of working as a consultant, and as a governor and critical friend within public and independent schools. Mark is the MD of Norwich based marketing agency Flocc, holds an MBA and postgraduate in professional consulting.
James has held roles as a governor and works to support independent schools with corporate level business strategy and process improvement. James studied Politics and Economics at undergraduate level, holds an MBA and postgraduate in professional consulting.
Matt has a wealth of experience in delivering high level strategic sales and marketing strategies, as well as supporting in the operational execution. Matt has an undergraduate in Marketing and Advertising from Lincoln, an MBA and postgraduate in professional consulting from the UEA.
As schools we must strive to achieve excellence. Our ethos at Akcela is not to deliver this just with a focus on the curriculum, but as a holistic approach. One such example of this is with timetabling excellence. With reduced class sizes, independent schools must seek to drive efficiency, whilst delivering and maintaining high standards in the class room. Simple timetabling management through our business process reengineering can support in driving efficiencies.
Independent schools supply chains can become complex and arduos to unpick opportunities from. However, over time, there are generally areas where improvements can be made. Supply chain consultancy should never be about diminishing quality, although sometimes there may be an element of overspecification present. The core aim should be around consolidation of like opportunities. Then leveraging potential. At Akcela we can support with catagorisation and tendering of supply chain opportunities to independent schools.
Whilst timetabling may have demanded its own sub-heading, it is important to note that many business processes can be reengineered to support efficiency within independent schools. One such example of this is the onboarding process for a new cohort. With a fixed eye on legal compliance, it is important to review the process of onboarding, which can, in some cases, be overlooked as an improvement opportunity. Of course this is just one process in a whole business flow. Generally there are many areas for improvement from a business perspective.
Independent schools attract some of the best talent in the industry. It does, however, mean that when a staff member departs the business, there can be some large gaps left within the team. Working to map any gaps, highlight resource requirements and plan for the future with detailed succession planning, delivers a strong foundation for future growth. A good succession plan gives both parents and students reassurance that the high standards delivered today, will continue long into the future. For both their current education and that of any siblings or friends too.
Mergers and acquisitions in the independent education sector allow schools to gain the purchasing power of scale. Create a consistent, holistic approach to education, as well as driving investment for future success. At Akcela we can support through the mergers and acqusition process and work with the new entity to unlock the potential this process seeks to deliver.
All of our consultants have the ability to work within a school setting, and can provide, or acquire relevant DBS checks.