Background

Fairfax Multi-Academy Trust sponsors four Birmingham schools including Fairfax an Academy, Erdington Academy, Smith’s Wood Sports College and Bournville School.

Clarke Associates was first appointed in June 2016 after Bournville School & Sixth Form College made contact over concerns on how to communicate some major changes which would see it controversially close its sixth form while also opening a new primary setting and creating an ‘all-through’ school for children aged 4 to 16.

After the success of the initial three-month project for Bournville School, we were then asked to put forward a proposal to work on a monthly retainer basis.


Brief

To provide communications and media relations for Fairfax Multi-Academy Trust and its academies.


Method

We created a media relations strategy tailored to each academy within the trust. As the OFSTED rating varied from school to school, it was important to illustrate the key messages of each school. This was achieved through:

  • Press releases – proactive and crisis management
  • Profile pieces of senior leadership team
  • Social media and photography workshops
  • Blog posts – engaging with the community

Outcome

Fairfax Multi- Academy Trust continues to achieve coverage in a number of regional newspapers, as well as in key education titles and blogs. They have become the first port of contact for many national titles seeking opinion on issues including education funding, leadership and academisation.

Through digital engagement we were also able to build positive relationships with community bloggers, who are now vocal advocates of the Trust.