The government has created 87 new teaching school hubs (TSH) which will replace the existing network of around 750 teaching schools, from September 2021.
We’re here to help you take the next step in the process, by providing you with all the information you need to create a successful teaching school hub website.
Branding your teaching school hub
First things first, will you need a new brand identity for your newly formed teaching school hub? Your school’s brand may be great for engaging with students, parents and staff but the new hub will also need to engage with a wider audience of trainee teachers, head teachers, governors and teaching staff within your area.
Whether you look at developing a new identity or creating an extension of your existing brand, we recommend looking at this before embarking on a new website or any promotional materials.
Creating a teaching school hub website
You’ll need a new website to promote the courses for the teaching school hub and your designated region(s). From continuous professional development (CPD) courses to school-based initial teacher training (ITT), specialist national professional qualifications (NPQs) to support for schools, all the information on the services you offer and courses you provide will need to be easily accessible via your teaching school hub website.
Some website features that may be especially useful for a teaching school hub include:
By displaying upcoming courses in a calendar, you can make the information easy to locate and view. You could even add filters or categories to help the user to select the options they’re interested in by type/date/location. Alternatively, you could display this as a list and group by date or course subject.
There are several pieces of important information that a user will need to make an informed decision on whether a course is right for them.
As well as the date, time, course duration and location (if it’s not online) they’ll also need to know the content of the course and what requirements they need to have to sign up.
If the course is delivered over a number of sessions, consider whether you want to allow delegates to choose which sessions they would like to attend or whether they will need to sign up to attend all of them to complete the course.
Once the user has chosen their required course, how would you like them to sign up or register for more information? You could link to a third-party website or use a booking form on your website to capture relevant delegate information. Alternatively, you could use our course booking system which allows you to create one off or recurring sessions, set course numbers and monitor bookings. If there is a cost for the course, then payment methods can also be set up to be taken at the time of booking.
To engage with the local schools in your community, it’s a great idea to include a news section with frequent updates and success stories This will encourage users to visit your website on a regular basis as well as becoming a central source of information for them. News stories are also a brilliant way to keep your website content fresh and engaging.
You could also take it one step further and produce a regular newsletter. Using our digital newsletter builder, which seamlessly integrates with our website content management system, you can pull news items from your website to create an engaging newsletter in minutes.
As with a school or trust website, you may also want to include information about your organisation and your staff as well as contact details in case any visitors would like to find out more about your courses or services.
As the formation of teaching school hub programme is still in its infancy, your users may have a lot of questions. It’s a good idea to include a ‘frequently asked questions’ section, to provide them with relevant content and signpost them to important areas of your website.
Marketing your new teaching school hub website
Once your new teaching school hub website has gone live, you’ll want to make sure your local schools and teaching staff in the wider community are aware of the launch to help drive traffic to it. This is especially important if you have a new domain name, as genuine traffic can help to boost your new website’s organic ranking with search engines.
Traditional marketing efforts can be used such as direct mail, emails and social media. For these you’ll need a strong database of contacts at schools in your catchment area and, in the case of mass email marketing, GDPR opt-in permissions.
There is also an opportunity to consider using digital marketing to improve your profile and drive traffic to your new website. This includes Google Ads (pay-per-click) and social media advertising campaigns.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) will also help to drive traffic to your teaching school hub website. Making sure your new website and its content is fully optimised will give you good organic search engine rankings from the start.
Getting people to your new website and signed up for your offering is only the start of the journey. The next step is to deliver the course! With the majority of training and qualifications currently being offered remotely many providers are turning to online software to help meet demand.
Schools have recently had to make a number of adjustments to be able to deliver remote learning to their students.
For teaching school hubs there are some additional areas that will need to be considered:
- Communications - to allow delegates to communicate with the course leader and each other
- Subscriptions – to manage payments and user access for different course durations and costs
- Evaluation forms – to obtain feedback at the end of a course
- Certification – to generate certificates on successful completion of a course
At e4education, we’re currently developing a new platform designed to help teaching school hubs to deliver their courses remotely.
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