We use our unrivalled sector knowledge to help school leaders plan strategically and to identify and seize opportunities to secure their schools’ future

We understand that a sense of ownership is central to successful strategic planning and decision making. Our strategy team brings together former school leaders, senior level marketers and operations and finance specialists to work alongside you.

We help you hammer out the far-reaching strategic decisions you need to take in order to safeguard the future of your school.

We bring fresh eyes to the diagnostic process, make recommendations informed by research and best business practice and then, if you wish, we can support and guide you through the implementation phase.

We can help you with:

01.Strategic planning

We are experts at developing strategies that secure futures.

Firstly, we identify what you are good at, what you need to do less or what you need to stop altogether. Then we help you decide on the opportunities for growth which play to your strengths and the needs of the market. Finally, we work with you to develop an action plan to make it happen.

We immerse ourselves sympathetically in the unique culture of your school, probing, querying and testing consensus.

02.Age range, gender mix or structural review

Will your school’s structure, size and shape see you through the next decade? We are skilled at the type of analysis required to answer this question.

We deploy a variety of market scanning and diagnostic tools to help you analyse the dynamics of your marketplace and your performance within that market, financial and otherwise. We immerse ourselves in the data and overlay our deep sector knowledge and understanding to recommend a clear future direction.

03.Mergers, acquisitions, group formations

We help you chart a course through key strategic decisions such as mergers, acquisitions, group formations and internal restructuring.

Our consultants are skilled route-planners and have significant expertise and experience in the most relevant aspects of education, finance, governance and marketing. Based throughout the UK and globally, we select a team to bring together the insight and skills that are precisely right for your school and the particular challenges you face.

No two projects are the same. We work with you to define your project’s scope, determine its objectives and decide on the best approach.

04.Feasibility studies & business planning

Most big new ideas need testing: Is there a market? Do you have the resources you need? How will people react?

The answer to these questions, and many others, are found by conducting research. Our consultants work closely with our research team – all of them experts in the independent schools’ sector – to provide a thorough, authoritative and candid assessment of what can be done.

Armed with this we interrogate your existing plans and collaboratively generate new ones such as:

  • Short and medium-term estates development plans
  • Financial budgets and long-term forecasts
  • Pupil number forecasts
  • Staffing structures

05.Affordability studies

The question of affordability is increasingly prevalent in schools’ strategic deliberations. We offer a range of research and analytical tools designed to help you understand affordability within your school’s context.

No two approaches are the same. We can add questions to surveys. We can link to demographic studies. We can scan your market and analyse the competitive landscape. Whichever approach best meets your needs, we interpret the data, draw conclusions and recommend strategies to ensure you remain affordable to your target market.

06.Workshop facilitation

Working with your Senior Leadership Team and Governors, we facilitate discussions to develop your thinking and help you take the far-reaching decisions required to safeguard your school’s future.

We can seed those discussions with a presentation of sector trends or some bespoke research for your school. We can help you frame the right questions you need to answer, as well as find answers to the most important questions of all: “What sort of school do we want to be in the future?” and “How can we get there?”

07.Marketing & admissions strategy & planning

In partnership with you, we assess how your school is performing in the market. We consider how effectively you recruit and retain students, compared with your competitors, plus any factors that are impacting on your reputation. We identify objectives and design a pragmatic marketing strategy to achieve them.

Some schools ask us to guide them through the sequential elements of strategic marketing planning, others simply want to know what issues they need to address – often through research. You tell us what you need and we deliver a bespoke service, on a project basis or over a longer period.


"The analysis, honestly and positively, shared our shortcomings and then, with warmth and understanding, suggested steps forward. We would certainly work with RSAcademics in the future and can recommend them without hesitation."

Dr David Burnett, Headmaster, The Royal School Dungannon

Get in touch

Email Heather Styche-Patel, Head of Strategy, Marketing & Development, at heatherstyche-patel@rsacademics.com

Call Heather on +44 (0)1858 383173