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CASE STUDY

THE Wensleydale School AND SIXTH FORM

Overview

The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form is a vibrant rural school in the heart of the dales. They face challenges many schools don’t due to the remote nature of Wensleydale and they draw from a vast pool of feeder schools. The Richmondshire district has one of the lowest retention rates of young people in North Yorkshire and this is something that’s acutely felt in this part of the dales. 

Julia, the headteacher approached us because she wanted the school to have a positive presence on Facebook and there was reticence due to past experiences. She also wanted to find a consistent way to celebrate the achievements of the students and convey the life and vibrancy of the school. 

We have made the student’s achievements the central focus of our social media messaging and we  also create regular blogs which are mix of celebration and useful tips. In addition we provide professional photographs, digital marketing activity such as videos, graphics and brochures. In order to convey the school’s vibrant brand beyond their immediate community, we create a steady stream of stories for the press.  

The school took a bold step to tailor their sixth form offering to meet the needs of their students and created the Business and Innovation Centre which has a leaning towards vocational study. The centre prepares students for the world of work or enables them to start higher education having already gained working experience, preferably in their chosen field.  We helped to promote the wonderful results of this 16 plus offering.

Outcome

The school has and continues to be featured in national and regional press, and now has an engaged following on Facebook.  Stories are frequently shared across all platforms and as a result, the school’s brand, tone and style is strong. The Business and Innovation has also increased its numbers. 

IN THEIR WORDS

“In a rural setting, reaching out to all potential students and parents is essential and being small we have limited staff time to get the message out regularly. We  switched to using Dales PR and Marketing two years ago and the impact has been impressive. Our community footprint has improved significantly, they helped us create a usable Facebook account and have taken over the updating of the website, so more regular articles and stories are published. The biggest drive was promoting our Post 16 offer. In just one year we now have a small but viable group of students. I  highly recommend them to anyone wishing to have a ‘headache’ taken away in terms of marketing and PR strategy.

JULIA POLLEY