Falling School Enrolment

I think it most important to look to see what does the school currently offers by way of subjects and programmes. Do they match the current needs of todays life and the community? Is there a need to revise the subjects offered and include for example Computer Science, Physical Education and Politics and Society, LCA using teachers currently employed in the school and possibly looking into the future when it comes to job vacancies. Subjects might need to be seen to be more relevant to todays job markets and third level courses etc…

The school with falling enrolment will have to extend its links with the students in primary schools within the catchment area by inviting their students into the school for activities like sports day and blitz matches, maths competitions. Hopefully a positive connection will be made then with prospective students. The school should run a programme like paired reading with the primary schools whereby some 4th year students could go to the primary schools to help with their school literacy initiatives. Hopefully a positive connection will be made then with prospective students

When the secondary school is having an open evening, that management should ask the current first year students who would know the primary school students to assist and guide parents and students around the school and to show case school activities.

The sporting success etc.. of the secondary school should shared with the primary schools. Primary school are very proud of their past pupils. When the secondary school principal is going to the primary schools that he /she brings past students from the school who could relay what life is like in the secondary school. They could also mention the awards and trophies won.

The secondary school may need to sell the school more. PR should be pushed. Any school event the media needs to be invited i.e. school awards night, quiz nights, debating, etc.. The school needs to show case its achievements more on facebook, twitter, local newspapers and the school website.

There will be a need for the principal to talk ERST, the BOM, the Parents Council, the teaching and all school staff and the students as to what strategies could the school could use to increase school enrolment numbers.

There could be a drop in enrolment numbers because there is a drop in the teenage population within the catchment area. The local area census returns could provide some insight here. The school admission policy may also need to revised. It might be too limiting in its criteria for admission.

There will be a need for the principal to talk ERST, the BOM, the Parents Council, the teaching and all school staff and the students as to what strategies could the school could use to attract

One thought on “Falling School Enrolment”

  1. If there was a falling enrolment in the school, I think that the curriculum being offered in the school needs to be looked at and see if it could be expanded to cater for more students. What programmes are the school currently offering? Could the school offer LCA, LCVP, Level 1 and Level 2 Learning programmes? What subjects are in the school and could extra subjects be offered? A broad curriculum is certainly pertinent in any school enterprise. Are subjects such as Home Economics, History Politics and Social Studies, Agricultural Science being offered? It is important that a diverse curriculum is offered in order to appeal to different students needs.

    It is important that a strong link exists between the school and the wider community. This can be fostered through maintaining a strong bond with the local GAA clubs, Liturgical events for example St Patricks Day Mass, Carol services, school concerts etc.
    Associations and bonds such as these are a key enabler in maintaining a link between the school and wider community.

    Is it is also essential that the school has a guiding vision and that this is portrayed to all stakeholders. BOM, Parents Council, Parents Association all need to play an active role in initiating, embedding and sustaining this vision. This could be done by having a proactive school website, monthly newsletter, an active Facebook and twitter page. Again reaching out and collaborating with the wider community is essential to actively challenging the falling numbers issue.

    A whole school approach is the only appropriate way to deal with this particular problem. Recognising the issues, changing the culture, ‘the way we do things around here’ is imperative to tackling the falling numbers. Focusing on curriculum, linking with the wider community, supporting and developing strong public relations internally and externally, reviewing policies especially in relation to admission policies could help in actively dealing with the falling numbers issue.

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