Gloucestershire Schools

GDPR and your school

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforcement begins 25th May 2018. What does it mean to the education sector? What what does it mean for your school?

With GDPR for schools it’s essential to ask experts in the appropriate field. That’s why we’ve collated a couple of links for our clients below that offer a good place to start.


The ICO is UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
It’s worth taking some time reviewing and keeping up to date with their guidance.

A couple of useful links:

GDPR for schools

GDPRis are experts in data and information security for the education sector, finalists at BETT 2018. We don’t offer direct recommendation of them, but think their information is an extremely useful resource for schools.

A couple of useful links:

We hope you find the above GDRP for schools links useful.

To read more about our website design solutions for schools, click here.

Why your school’s brand is important

School prospectus design for The Abbey School Reading

At the end of the day, a school is just as much a brand as Apple or Coca Cola. And you cannot underestimate just how important it is to get your brand right as it is your window to the outside world.

From the moment a prospective parent lands on your website, an impression is created. And as we all know, you never get a second chance at creating a first impression. Therefore, you have got to set the tone from the word go with your logo, the colours and the design.

Your branding is your personality. It creates your identity and it needs to convey your core values and build trust. It needs to track across all of your literature and printed material – whether that is stationery, signage, newsletters, emails and your prospectus – to create a coherent, established message. This will help to build trust with both prospective and current parents and pupils.

Don’t forget that you are competing for admissions. So you need to differentiate yourself from the competition and show your strengths as a school. If your brand doesn’t reflect this, you are missing the point. It could be your school can boast leading sporting prowess. Or excellent academic achievement and progress throughout your school. Whatever it is, make sure that your USP (unique selling point) is highly visible and reflected in your brand.

Make sure that imagery on your website and in your literature reflects your values and shows how you are different. Don’t just plump for generic shots… really get to the heart of what makes your school special and capture these qualities. And invest in a good professional photographer (we’re happy to recommend a couple from Gloucestershire), as the images they capture will really make a difference.

In addition, ensure you get endorsements from pupils, parents and third parties. Everyone can fly their own flag but when you have the credibility of others doing it for you as well, this will underpin the trust that you are building.

And consider how you can use social media to get your message out there. We all know the power of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, so utilise these platforms in line with your school’s policies, to get your message shared and liked amongst your key stakeholders.

Click here to read more about our branding solutions for schools.

Click here to organise a no-obligation chat about how we can help develop your school branding.

What makes a good school logo?

Where do you start when considering good school logo design? We feel the following quote is a good place…“A logo is a visual piece in a bigger brand identity system. A logo embodies and transports the meaning of a brand, the logo is rarely the meaning itself.” (Tobias van Schneider)

We are surrounded by logos. Some have been around for decades and some are relatively recent additions. But they are all part and parcel of our everyday world.

And if you think of just how many there are out there, how many can you actually recall? The ones that spring to mind immediately, for example Nike, Coca-Cola, Apple and McDonald’s, are all examples of good logo design.

So what exactly is it that makes these logos good, if not, great? And what can we learn when it comes to considering good school logo design?

Here are just a few thoughts:

1. Simplicity

KISS is a well-known acronym which stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. And this is none-more-true when it comes to school logo design. The simpler is often better. Overly-fussy design which requires a bit too much thinking time will fall by the wayside quickly.

A good school logo should be able to be described in an instant, like the Nike Swoosh or McDonald’s golden arches. If you stumble over the description – “it’s looks a bit like a child, possibly holding something, with what could be books in the sky but they might be birds, inside a crest with some latin words around the edge” – well, it’s clearly not doing its job!

Your school logo design should therefore be easily recognizable, memorable and effective. With school logos being most frequently seen on school uniform, that’s never more important. Which leads nicely on to…

2. Timeless/Distinctive

With the amount of packaging and advertising surrounding us on a daily basis, logos can sometimes start to become wallpaper. So to stand out from the crowd and not be the grey man, your logo has to be distinctive. Not just rehashing something that has been done before. Or plumping for the most obvious solution. And certainly not including overly-used icons (think lightbulbs and leaping children). Dare to be a little bit different. This will make your logo more memorable and easily recognizable (see point 1).

Don’t feel tied to represent the school marketplace. For example, Apple doesn’t show a computer, Mercedes is not a car and Virgin Atlantic is not a plane! A good statistic here is that 94% of logos don’t describe what the company does! (Source: Jacob Cass).

Try not to jump on to the latest trends because trends change and suddenly your school logo design can look outdated and not relevant. Try to aim for a timeless solution. Coca-Cola is a great example. The classic flowing script has hardly changed at all since its launch. Whilst its direct competitor, Pepsi, has undergone many iterations and, in our opinion, still not quite nailed it!

3. Versatile

A good school logo design has to work across all mediums: horizontal; vertical; one colour; small scale; large scale; reversed out. Logos which have too much detail (see point 1) will not work when made small. And can be a nightmare to reproduce on school uniform. Detail gets lost and everything starts to look like a bit of a blob.

One of the considerations when we design logos is to remember there needs to be options for all eventualities. You know when a logo is good because you can put it on just about anything and it looks like it always belonged there.

Another thing to remember is that your school logo needs to be easily used by everyone. If it requires a manual the size of War & Peace to show how to use it, chances are it’s not really working too well! That’s why we always provide our clients with a set of files of the logo that can be used across different documents, media and the like.

4. Appropriate

Is the logo appropriate to the marketplace? Dainty looking fonts and pinks for a gym logo aren’t really speaking to guys who like to bench press small cows for a hobby. It may be good for a ladies only gym. But you get the idea.

Colour is also important. Fewer colours (or at the least, using common pantone colours) the better, as it means your school logo is more easily reproduced – especially on uniform.

The elements and colour within a school logo should therefore be appropriate. And they should reflect your school and its values.

We hope you found those pointers to good school logo design useful. Click here too view some of our recent school logo designs.

Alternatively, if you’d like to organise a no-obligation chat about how we can help your school, click here to get in touch.

School logo design for Warden Hill Primary School, Gloucestershire

School logo design for Upton St Leonards C of E Primary School, Gloucestershire


What. How. Why.

What How Why Branding

We completed a rebrand for a Gloucestershire school recently who were experiencing a common problem. They knew school branding matters, but were not absolutely clear on what their school is about.

The know what they do and how they go about it. They’d also identify some elements of their school environment and offering that are different to others in the area. But they were struggling to communicate anything more powerful than that. The reason is they hadn’t identified their why.

We provided the school with a few exercises for the school’s teaching staff to undertake. Following which their ‘why’ became clear.

Here’s a quick guide to why your ‘why’ is so important, especially when you’re focusing on why your school branding matters.

The ‘what’

What do you do? What could you do? What do your parents and pupils think you do?

Each is a fairly simple question. And should be relatively straightforward to get to the bottom of. If there’s a strong link between them then you can go some way to knowing how your offering is of perceived value to your key audience groups.

The ‘how’

How do you do what you do? How does your school do things differently? How does your school benefit your pupils, parents and local community? How could you improve how you do things?

You can list as many ‘how’ questions here that are relevant. At the heart of them are the essential workings of your school and the beginnings of the benefits your school provides. By focusing both internally and externally with your ‘hows’ you can refine your processes and improve the standards throughout your school.

The ‘why’

Why do you do what you do? Why should your stakeholders believe you?

Now these are much more difficult questions to answer. By thinking about your ‘why’ you can start to get to heart of why you’re school is in business. And why your school is actually different to other local schools. That’s where you can start take your school branding to the next level.

You can start to build a promise to your stakeholders that is accurate. You can develop your proposition so it has greater power and resonates more strongly with pupils and parents alike. You can make your school an even better place for staff to work. And you’ll likely identify areas that can help form part of your strategic vision for your school’s direction of travel.

Your why essentially knits everything together. The outcomes and benefits to your staff, pupils, parents, governors and local community are endless.

We’ve been working on the ‘why’ within branding projects for clients for as long as we can remember. One of the most eloquent overviews of the ‘why’ comes from Simon Sinek. He explains people ‘don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it’. Check out his TEDx talk below. It’s worth it.

Click here to read more about our branding solutions for schools.