The Press

School visits better than marketing


The column by Cas Carter (July 18) suggesting schools need to market themselves is misleading. And if her conclusion (local school is just fine) is taken literally, her message is quite confusing as well.

Schools should not spend any money on marketing at all. I say this because it diverts taxpayer money from the purpose intended – educating children.

Parents need not refer to ERO reports, league tables or websites to find the right school for their child. All they need to do is follow these simple steps.

Phone and make an appointmen­t to speak to the principal only, not their delegate. Meet the principal and take along with you all of your children, old and young, and extended whanau if available. More than five is preferable.

Talk to the principal, as a real person, about their school. Are they passionate about it? Then request the principal accompany you as you walk the grounds when it is full of the students. Observe the students’ reactions as you trawl the grounds.

Now request the principal leave you alone in the grounds and then talk with your whanau and to the students. Are they happy, sad, excited about their school and why? Is the place clean? Is the environmen­t respected?

Leave and shout yourselves a cup of tea as you discuss with your whanau what you learned. Pat yourself on the back, you are now in the best position to determine if a place is right or wrong for your child. John Laurenson Headmaster, Shirley Boys High School

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