Talking Point

Working with schools to prepare for potential issues

We have provided strategic communications planning to many schools, to help prepare for potential issues. We also provide crisis management support during challenging times. Two examples of schools we have worked with include Bristol Grammar School and The Loughborough Schools Foundation.

Bristol Grammar School

We have worked with Pinch Point Communications for some years now, they are our retained partner for strategic communications advice; as well as providing media training for the senior leadership team. Sarah and her team are very professional and have become trusted advisors for us.

Jaideep Barot, Headmaster Bristol Grammar School, Chair Elect of Headmaster and Headmistresses Conference

We were invited to support Bristol Grammar School during a difficult time several years ago. This was on the recommendation of their lawyers Veale Wasborough Vizards.

Tragically a pupil had died on a trip to New York and we were asked to provide some sensitive advice about communicating with parents and the school community. We worked very closely with the legal team and the headmaster and it was a great honour to be alongside them during such an upsetting time. We also worked with the school as they prepared for the inquest. It was a very difficult and challenging period.

We were then asked a couple of years later to go back. This was to support the school with some media training and to help BGS bring to life the ambition of its founding fathers: to provide an exceptional education for all those who might benefit, regardless of background and financial means.

The school set up its 500 Campaign and is on a very firm trajectory to raise millions of pounds to provide bursaries for children across the whole of Bristol.

It has been wonderful to work in partnership with the school both during incredibly difficult times and more positive times; when the school has been able to reflect on its core values and its mission.

The Loughborough Schools Foundation

When we decided to review our preparedness for possible future issues and crisis scenarios, Pinch Point Communications was our obvious partner. We were very pleased with the workshops, media training and crisis communications plan; the work has prepared us really well for what we hope will never happen.

Nicola Valentino, Director of Marketing and Admissions, Loughborough Schools Foundation

We have worked with Loughborough Schools Foundation (LSF) for a number of years.

Our involvement began after I met the Foundation’s chief operating officer at a conference organised by the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association. We shared a platform together and we talked about reputation management and some of the issues affecting schools.

Then, LSF went through a period of consulting their teaching staff on coming out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). 

More than a third of independent schools have come out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

The ever-increasing contributions schools have to make have a massive impact on schools’ budgets and ultimately could impact on fees. We supported LSF with communications materials to ensure staff understood the reasons why the school was considering this change.

A couple of years later we had the most enormous privilege to work with Loughborough Grammar School, one of the five schools in the foundation. We supported them through a very difficult and challenging period. It involved a pupil raising concerns about his treatment, as a black pupil at the school. The pupil felt able and confident in raising this matter in the light of the Black Lives Matters uprising in America.

The school responded sensitively and put a full package of care in place for pupils; alongside accelerating some of their plans, including reviewing their curriculum. As often happens, someone who was indirectly involved, posted details of the complaint on social media and it then became a public story. The school continued to handle the issue sensitively and with considerable concern and care. We supported them through that period.

More recently we have helped LSF with business continuity; ensuring they are prepared and resilient when it comes to matters of infrastructure challenges. As well as any mental health issues that may affect their staff or pupils.

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