Aims and Sample Questions
If the surveyed group believes that they will be listened to, and that the survey isn’t an onerous one, then a greater percentage of quality responses will occur.
Simple questions will often elicit the best results. Sample questions might be:
• What do you like best about (name) school?
• What improvements could be made?
• Other suggestions?
Other more explicit questions could be asked, and depending on the audience, may be of benefit, however, in most cases it is best to KIS (Keep It Simple).
Surveying the various feeder schools of a particular school should point the school in the right direction. The views of staff, parents and students of the schools are an invaluable aid as to how the school is perceived and of areas needing improvement.
Students, Staff and Parents
Students in Years 4/5-6/7 would be another good target group for this type of survey.
Staff and parents from your school could be surveyed on the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the school. Negative responses should be explained. Once again KIS would apply.
Following the survey, or in addition to the survey, Discussion Groups are often beneficial. Key stakeholders form the group/s.
Select an experienced facilitator / chairperson.
Be open to frank discussion.
Be accommodating and respectful.
You will most likely need to make it clear that you are open to considering all views but the final decisions rest with the School Principal.
Varied responses will be inevitable.
It is the School Principal’s and School Marketing Manager’s role to rank order responses and take on board
those which are relevant and practical.
Survey vs. School Marketing Plan (SMP) Evaluation
These surveys are in addition to the SMP Evaluation. The survey is concentrating on the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the school itself.
- The SMP Evaluation is evaluating the school’s marketing plan for that year.
- The surveys are held as needed.
- The SMP Evaluation is best conducted at the same time of the any year. This may be midyear and away from the major school or sacramental events.
Online Surveys - Weblinks
An approach developing quite quickly these days is the online survey, which often has a free option.
There are a number of internet companies offering various surveys. An internet search of ‘online survey tools’ will gain a number of options to explore. Two examples are ‘polldaddy’ and ‘SurveyMonkey’.
Remember to read their Terms and Conditions fully before proceeding with usage!
An email from SurveyMonkey outlines their approach for both free and fee accounts.
Get started by checking out our online tutorials to learn how to use SurveyMonkey.
The 'School Marketing Survey' blog post was written by Bryan Foster, author of School Marketing Manual for the Digital Age (3rd ed), (2011) - the paperback and ebook manual for school communications and marketing personnel - 340 pages of easy to read and implement summarized points - allowing for a considerably large number of quality strategies and examples to be detailed - with copyright remaining GreatDevelopment Publishers. Book available from Amazon.com and Createspace.com and all good internet stores.