Many of you reading this will have noticed that I often challenge people in my piece in Lights Out - and this edition is no different. Do you know how your boarding school is faring when compared with others? If not (and this is the case with many of our member schools), what are you doing about it? I get concerned from time to time when schools report that their enrolments have a waiting list - do they then rest on their laurels and sit back and accept that they are in a greta situation? Whilst it is wonderful to see a school with a boarding waiting list, those who don’t then reach out to consolidate this to ensure their parents are the best advocates possible for their boarding service are putting themselves at risk. Boarding numbers are influenced by so many wide and varied aspects - and acknowledging these and ensuring a well developed and thought through marketing plan is in place is critical for boarding success. During 2022 we have conducted ten reviews of boarding programs to assist them in their development, and in each case we have been able to assist the schools to raise the profile of their boarding house, to assist them with their marketing, and to ensure they are providing a boarding service which is of excellent quality. Each of them needs to be commended for putting their school on the line and asking the hard questions - and my challenge to everyone reading this is to do the same - ask just how your boarding program is going, and what will it look like in five years time? What is excellent practice around Australia, and the world, and how close are you? What could you improve?
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