There are 8177 open academies in England and a further 946 schools in the pipeline to become an academy, according to the latest government statistics.

Over the years the number of schools turning into academies has grown dramatically. From only 203 in May 2010 to date, the education system has seen an almost 4000% rise in schools- both primary and secondary- becoming independent, state-funded establishments.

The Education Secretary Damian Hinds, recently commented :

“I believe strongly that becoming an academy can bring enormous benefits to schools. Hundreds of schools every year voluntarily choose to become academies and I want this to be a positive choice for more and more schools as we move forwards.”

But what does it take to transform into an academy and what considerations need to be made when it comes to the school’s branding, graphics & signage?

We’ve been working in the education system for over 25 years and we’ve worked with many schools across the UK who have changed into academies; so it’s fair to say we understand what the process entails.

Here is an expert guide of questions that need to be asked and information that you need:

Is your brand changing?

In many circumstances, the whole brand may change with a new name, logo, colours and uniform however, it could be as simple as changing the name from a school to an academy.

Regardless of whichever occurs, a brand change will need the following to be updated:

  • School name, tagline, motto etc
  • Brand Guidelines- font, colours and other design-elements documented in a style guide.
  • Logo- this represents the academy’s identify and lies at the heart of the brand.
  • Advertising Signage- including outdoor signs, indoor signs, banners and wall graphics.
  • Marketing Assets- including print & digital assets e.g. branded merchandise, letterheads, stationery and brochures.
  • Website & Online presence- including social media profiles, email signatures & website design and content.

Ask yourself- how clear is your brand positioning?

Make it easy for students and parents to understand what the school values are and how they align with their own.

A prospective student and visitor should be able to identify your brand easily and quickly, from the moment they arrive outside the school gates to walking through the corridors.

This can be achieved through statement-making outdoor signs as well as creative wall graphics & murals. When they walk down the halls, do they see plain white, uninspiring walls or do they see colourful, engaging canvases?

Leaving any reference to the old school name will cause confusion and reflect poorly on the brand by diluting its positioning. Remember- appearances matter and a visual identity has the power to influence- good or bad- how your academy is perceived.

In addition to the above, be aware you must complete the following steps, as reported on the Government website, when preparing to open as an academy.

So if your school is rebranding into an academy or you simply need to update your classroom walls into works of art, rest assured we can help.

We specialise in supplying and installing wall murals and graphics to inspire staff, visitors and pupils; as well as signage for branding and information.

Click here to see how we help Headteachers, Business Managers, Facilities Managers & Bursars in the Education Industry.