Got it!
We use cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to visit this site you agree to our use of cookies. More info

Already a subscriber or advertiser? Enter your login information here

Sunday, 7 March 2021

FREE! Sign up for the TIE newsletter and never miss out on international school news, headlines, resources and best-practices from around the world!

04 March 2021 | #MyFreedomDay
17 February 2021 | Revealing the Hidden Curriculum
3 February 2021 | Bring on the Mistakes
20 January 2021 | Teaching in Turbulent Times
06 January 2021 | When Educators Grieve
23 December 2020 | Welcome Back to Better
09 December 2020 | Confronting Place Ignorance

view more

 

Enter your email below to sign up:

Ready to subscribe and get all the features TIE has to offer? Click here >>


INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL APPOINTMENTS

You are here: Home > Online Articles > How the Next Generation of Parents Will Choose the Right School for Their Children

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL NEWS

SEARCH

How the Next Generation of Parents Will Choose the Right School for Their Children

By David Willows

02/16/2021

How the Next Generation of Parents Will Choose the Right School for Their Children

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash
_______________________________________________


Back in June 2020, a McKinsey Report started to articulate the ways in which Covid-19 was changing consumer behavior across a number of sectors. In some cases, it suggested, the pace of acceleration and change was so remarkable that we literally shifted “decades in days”. 


Anyone working in a school during the first quarter of 2020, I am guessing, will look back and agree. The exponential rise of a global pandemic, unprecedented existential and economic uncertainty about the future, and a sudden transition to distance or hybrid learning changed everything, all occurring within a matter of days. A tsunami of change, that also changed the way in which prospective parents selected the right school for their children. As I summarised once before:


Parental priorities are adapting to a new reality and we are being assessed on our ability to manage a crisis, implement ever-changing health & safety regulations, and our organisational agility both in terms of programming and pricing. In short, what parents want is not what they wanted in 2019.


But what are the longer term implications of this shift? Could it be that Covid-19 has already started to mould and influence the ways in which today’s generation of students will choose the right school for their children? Has this moment of massive disruption already altered the DNA of future decision-making?


I decided to test this idea on the school-aged people in my own family, by asking them to imagine a day in the future when they have to choose a school for their (not-yet-existing) children. What would be important for them in making this decision and has the Covid-19 pandemic influenced their thinking?


Given that it was a wet and wintery Sunday afternoon, I opened a bag of chips to inspire focus and reflection. Ten minutes later, five “raw” but powerful themes had emerged:



  1. There was a fleeting reference to the importance of reputation and academic results, but nothing more than that. Once spoken of, these concepts were never mentioned again.

  2. There were several references to the idea of access and support. Feeling “accepted” and “not left out” was key to a good education, they explained. The idea of support connected a variety of ideas, from having the right technology in the event of future pandemics, to the role of teachers in making students feel “safe”, “confident”, “happy”, and “comfortable”.

  3. Likewise, personal choice and relevance came up a lot. The desire for choice was explained as no longer being satisfied with “set classes” or “traditional subjects”. Instead, they argued, school needs to be “relevant” and students need to “learn what they truly need to get along in life”. The assumption here was that much of what they were learning already felt irrelevant.

  4. As the conversation drew to an end, there was recognition that, in the end, Covid-19 has taught us that education may be simpler than we have come to think. It was expressed in a single line: “You don’t necessarily need fancy things in order to have a good education”.

  5. Finally, they all concluded, “school isn’t the most important thing in life”. There is more to childhood, they explained, than school. Childhood is also about family, friends, and other interests beyond the relatively limited world of school. So if someone were to ask right now whether school is worth all of the work, the hours, and the stress that we put in, then the answer is a resounding “no”.


Back in June 2020, the McKinsey Report concluded that the “stickiness” of these new consumer behaviours and ideas will ultimately depend on a number of factors and that the long term trajectory of these trends are, in no way, fixed in stone. 


Still, I suggest, it is worth considering how the experience of school in 2021 is already moulding the decisions that will be taken tomorrow and the day after that.




Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:

Nickname (this will appear with your comments)
Email
Comments


Comments

There are currently no comments posted. Please post one via the form above.

MORE FROM INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL NEWS
Listening to nature can bring us to the present moment in times of turmoil. Wyatt Franz would know. ..more
Initially when leading trainings, Adelina Holmes was giving fast lectures and expecting participants ..more
The nearly 150-year-old British Quaker school in Mount Lebanon raised over US$130,000 since August 2 ..more
GETTING A JOB IN AN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
Teaching Overseas: Are you Qualified?
By Cynthia Nagrath
26-Feb-18
Teaching Overseas – Does Age Matter?
International Schools and Overseas Hiring Practices
03-Aug-12