Regional Head of Admissions & Retention
REPORTS TO: Regional Managing Director, US & Canada
DIRECT REPORTS: Yes
SALARY: $125,000 – 135,000 (commensurate with education and experience)
Purpose of Role
We are seeking a seasoned admissions and/or sales “guru” for our Regional Head of Admissions & Retention (RHAR) role. To be successful in this role, this leader needs to be “hands-on” with an entrepreneurial mindset and approach to drive student enrollment and retention functions, advise on maximizing engagement with all stakeholders, pursue excellence in operational efficiency, and deliver exceptional customer service across the ISP schools in the US and Canada Region. This role is crucial to the sustained growth of the schools, their promotion as the School of Choice in their local area and the effective delivery of the Amazing Learning message that is at the center of the ISP vision.
The RHAR will contribute to the annual Business Planning process by working closely with the Regional Director of Marketing to develop a coherent annual strategy for admissions to ensure maximum recruitment and retention of students. The post holder will be expected to build close working relationships with colleagues on the ISP regional team as well as school admissions and leadership teams to fully perform their duties in the US and Canada region.
This role will include travel throughout the region on a frequent but as required basis, providing support and training where necessary.
- Begin with our children and students. Our children and students are at the heart of what we do. Simply, their success is our success. Well-being and safety are both essential for learners and learning. Therefore, we are consistent in identifying potential safeguarding issues and acting and following up on all concerns appropriately.
- Treat everyone with care and respect. We look after one another, embrace similarities and differences and promote the well-being of self and others.
- Operate effectively. We focus relentlessly on the things that are most important and will make the most difference. We apply school policies and procedures and embody the shared ideas of our community.
- Learn continuously. Getting better is what drives us. We positively engage with personal and professional development and school improvement.
Admissions - Supporting Proactive Recruitment Activities to Reach Annual Student Recruitment Targets:
- Assume a dotted line management of school admissions and enrollment teams in partnership with the Heads of School and school leaders, to ensure teams are working effectively, continuously developing, and receiving training as required.
- Develop and oversee comprehensive and strategic admissions policies and procedures that align with our institutional objectives.
- Support and direct the establishment of strong relationships with prospective families.
- Develop strong internal relationships with school staff to guide and support the effective planning and execution of high-quality admissions activities that enhance recruitment efforts and provide engaging experiences for prospective students and their families, including admissions meetings, events and parent communications.
- Work closely with school admissions teams as a coach and advisor to ensure the effective planning and execution
- Ensure an effective event program is in place that will best promote the school and its offering, including but not limited to open house events (both virtual and in-person), stay-and-play sessions, informational coffee mornings, community engagement events and external student recruitment events. To support and represent schools as required.
- Continuously assess and train school teams in conducting effective school tours, ensuring they are equipped with accurate information, can showcase the school's assets effectively, and can address prospective students' and parents' inquiries successfully.
- Collaborate effectively with school admissions and marketing, and the regional Director of Marketing and Communications, to ensure that impact-focused sales and marketing activity is built into the annual budgets and that appropriate competitor analysis is built into any action plans and activities.
- Work with school leadership teams to develop appropriate programs and campaigns to fill capacity, such as referral schemes, scholarships, community and corporate partnerships, and working with feeder schools and nurseries.
- Regularly developing and reviewing admissions documents, parent communication platforms and templates, and marketing collateral to ensure accurate information and best practice.
- Be responsible for the development of the MIS/CRM systems in use, currently various across the region and HubSpot, to ensure robust collation of clean and accurate recruitment data, high levels of customer satisfaction and effective reporting of data.
- Be responsible for the management of Admissions when all systems migrate to the new MIS system iSAMS that all schools across ISP will be migrating to over the next two years.
- Work closely with the Regional Director of Marketing and Communications to consult in the selection of the activities, budget allocation and the production of effective advertising and marketing activations and campaigns of schools to secure enrolments and achieve targets.
Support Maximum Student Retention:
- Develop and oversee comprehensive and strategic retention policies and procedures that align with our institutional objectives.
- Be responsible in ensuring that all schools create and implement student retention plans and actions throughout each academic year, seeking and acting on parent and student feedback.
- Advise and support school staff in establishing strong relationships between the school and parents, using channels such as parent apps, newsletters, meetings and in-school displays.
- Work closely with schools and the Director of Marketing and Communications to best share Amazing Learning successes and progress with parents and the wider community to influence retention.
- Ensure schools have an effective annual parent engagement event program in place. Oversee the regular review and improvement of these programs to ensure optimal participation and return.
- Review and analyse Net Promotor Surveys (NPS) to support school stories.
- Review and Analyse school surveys with SLT and Marketing team to generate school stories.
Engagement - Through Brand Awareness and External Partnerships:
- Support schools in creating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with feeder schools, universities, local businesses, government entities, education agents and other organisations to maximise student recruitment and retention in the school.
- Work with the Director of Marketing and Communications to establish relationships with educational platforms and influencers to drive enrolment, for example through sharing content, events, and advertising.
- Support school leaders in establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with external activity providers or academies, to offer more to families and secure additional revenue streams.
- In collaboration with the Director of Marketing and Communications, develop the school’s communication and engagement strategy, based on the strengths and development areas of each, promoting the same within and beyond the school community.
- Support Heads of Schools with participation in relevant national and regional conferences, events, and competitions to raise the profile of the school, students, and faculty.
Customer Journey and Building Positive Culture:
- Oversee the entire parent journey, ensuring a seamless, positive experience from initial inquiry, through enrollment and years of attendance, and after graduation. Strategize to maximize parent engagement and satisfaction at each stage, fostering strong relationships that extend to alumni families.
- Work with parent-facing administrative staff closely, assuming a dotted line management of school receptionists, to ensure the first impressions of the school are excellent leading to positive visitor experience.
- Lead the relevant staff in each school to pursue excellence in operational efficiency and customer service delivery. Systems should be reviewed regularly, and written and verbal communication are to be customized to maximize engagement.
- Advise on effective continued support and communication to new families after students enroll at the school - ‘after sales care’.
- Conduct mystery shopper calls/visits in line with ISP London – review and analyze results and give the necessary training and guidance as required.
- Support schools in constant tracking and reporting of the admissions pipeline via HubSpot, ensuring staff understand the data generated, can interpret this to support decision-making, and analyze the conversion at all stages of the process to maximize enrolments.
- Oversee regional admissions data management needs, ensuring school teams use internal trackers frequently and accurately. Be prepared to analyze data, create meaningful reports, and develop new reporting tools to meet evolving requirements.
- Regularly analyze and interpret admissions and retention data to make strategic decisions that contribute to continuous improvement.
- Present relevant and appropriate reports and KPI data to Division and to Group.
- Report on successful recruitment activity, ensuring it informs the setting of annual budgets.
- Work in collaboration with the Heads of School, Regional Marketing Director, Regional Finance Director in putting together an annual budget for recruitment and retention activities.
- Undertake such other reasonable responsibilities and tasks that may be assigned by the Managing Director and the International Schools Partnership.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
- Alignment with ISP mission, vision, and values.
- Commercialized mindset and approach.
- Strong systems knowledge (Hubspot and other Student Engagement Platforms).
- Comprehensive understanding of private school admissions processes, retention strategies, and best practices.
- Familiarity with local, state, and federal regulations related to school admissions and retention.
- Ability to adjust and set priorities to meet deadlines.
- Ability to effectively lead staff with and without direct authority.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills, including presentation skills.
- Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to engage and influence diverse stakeholders.
- Demonstrated proficiency in data management, data analysis, reporting, and strategic decision-making.
- Ability to work independently and motivated to drive projects with autonomy.
- Having worked in a global multi-site de-centralized organization is essential.
- Strong sense of urgency.
- Able to exercise independent judgement and act on it.
- Excellent analytical, mathematical, and creative problem-solving skills.
- Excellent listening, interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills.
- Logical and efficient, with keen attention to detail.
- Highly self-motivated and directed.
- Ability to effectively prioritize and execute tasks while under pressure.
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor's degree or equivalent or combination of education and experience
- 7+ yrs admissions, sales or related field
- 3+ yrs in a senior management position
- Education space experience preferred
- Fluency in English required
ISP Leadership Competencies
You consistently demonstrate and role-model the ISP Leadership Competencies in all that you do:
- Takes an active part in leading their school or region; is cooperative and a genuine team player, developing positive, supportive relationships with colleagues to solve problems and maximize opportunities.
- Learning & Getting Better. Continually demonstrates personal commitment and passion for learning and getting better using evidence and feedback, supporting others in their continual learning, development, and growth.
- Innovation Leadership. Is good at creating an environment where ideas for learning initiatives and services are generated and can motivate and inspire others through the process of creation through to completion.
- Outcome driven. Can be counted on to find solutions. Is consistently looking to exceed goals and is focused on KPIs.
- Can deal with setbacks and challenges calmly and effectively.
- Community Focus. Is committed to meeting and exceeding the needs and expectations of our students and their families.
- Integrity & Ethical Management. Has the ability to work ethically and with integrity; helps others feel valued; upholds and models the ISP Vision, Purpose, and Principles.
- Leading & Inspiring Others. Supports, encourages, and inspires students, colleagues, and teams so that they give their best.
- Understanding People. Is a very good judge of talent, can objectively articulate the strengths and motivations of people inside or outside the organization.
- Influencing & Communication. Consistently informs, influences, and inspires students, parents, and colleagues through timely and effective communication.
- Responds and adapts to changing circumstances; manages and solves problems by providing solutions in a climate of ambiguity.
- Strategic, Commercial & Financial Awareness. Has the ability to apply understanding of the business and industry to improve effectiveness and profitability.
- Planning & Decision Making. Makes decisions on the best course of action and then plans, organizes, prioritizes, and balances resources to achieve the desired outcome.
- Diversity & Equity. Has the sensitivity, awareness, and skill to understand the values, behaviors, attitudes and practices across cultures that support all children and adults to learn and work effectively.
ISP U.S. participates in E-Verify and will provide the Federal Government with your form I-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S.
ISP Commitment to Safeguarding Principles
ISP is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All post holders are subject to appropriate vetting procedures and satisfactory Criminal Background Checks or equivalent covering the previous 10 years’ employment history.