Great Expectations – Building School Partnerships That Last

Team. Features. Timetables. SLAs. Price. Choosing a service provider is rarely an easy exercise. But with a decade of supplier experience, Sing Education wants to demystify the process and support your journey. Never settle! Just follow this guide and you’ll avoid catching a case of “buyer’s remorse.” Know. Like. Trust. These are the keys.

Schools

Try before you buy.

From fashion to tech gadgets to home decor, as consumers we’ve come to expect that we can make a purchase, take the product home and try it out in our home environment as part of the commitment process. These opportunities help us make solid decisions about which products best satisfy our needs and desires.

But what about services?

When it comes to service-based purchases such as hairstyling, plumbing or IT support, how do we make good decisions? How do we make a good investment when so much of the transaction is intangible?

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As a service-based business founded nearly a decade ago, we’ve been in your shoes. We’ve hired freelancers, consultancies, agencies and more to meet our growing organisational needs. From finance to marketing to administration, we’ve grown our team from both the inside and out – and have plenty of personal stories to share. 

Learn from our successes (and failures). But even better, let us take some of the guesswork out of the process for you. 

In this piece, we’ve gathered together a mix of industry best practices, sound professional advice and our own lessons learned in the trenches re: how to best identify, evaluate and engage a service provider. We trust you’ll find value in following this guidance – and sleep easier knowing you’ve made an excellent decision as a result.

Know The Brand, Like the Offer, Trust The Promise

First step is to get to know the brand. 

What do they stand for? How long have they been in business? Who are the executives and what is their vision for the company, as well as for their clients?

“There’s a common misconception that a brand is a name, a logo, a tagline, a visual. While these pieces do play a role in branding, this is not what branding is really about.” FOR

The first thing to understand…is that a brand is based on a deep connection. As in any relationship, that connection must include trust and an emotional bond. Without those things, the relationship won’t last. FOR

Getting to know the brand ensures you have a firm foundation for your purchase decision. 

Sign up for a newsletter, make a point of visiting social media pages, read the company’s blog, request a white paper from their website. All these activities are time well spent in order for you to shape your knowledge of their brand and values.

Secondly, you’ll want to understand and value the offer. 

If you’re searching for say IT support, you’ll want to grasp the basic parameters of the service. 

What is their response down if your network goes down? How many onsite call outs can you request per month? What are the hours their customer care lines are staffed? 

And then you’ll want to compare that with other offerings. Are they offering more, less, or the same as others in the marketplace? Where are they differentiated? Do you place a high value on the elements of their service that they consider premium?

By breaking down the service offer into its constituent parts and comparing like for like elements with other vendors, you go a long way toward deciding if this is a company with whom you’d like to do business.

In terms of reference materials, your research should include all of the above elements – social, web, email, newsletters – but now you are likely to want to add a telephone conversation or two into the mix. 

By connecting directly with your potential service provider, you can clarify any elements of their offer that you may be unsure about, request the availability of bespoke solutions and generate a stronger sense of the company’s service ethos.

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Lastly, you should feel comfortable with the promises being made. 

Like conventional wisdom tells us, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. 

Don’t trust everything you see in print or hear on video. Dig deeper to ensure you are confident that the promises made by your provider stack up with the realities of working with them.

One great way to do this is to invite potential suppliers in for a consultative meeting and/or service demo. This is your opportunity to “try before you buy,” to really see them in action and to assess the fit between your goals and their provision.

Some things you may want to focus on:

  • See the demo as a live show where the service is the star performer. Come to it with a clear idea of your core needs, wish list and budget so that you can engage the provider in an open exchange during and after. Consider not only “what” is on offer but “how” it is to be provided. 
  • The demo should clearly communicate how the service can solve your current problem and needs. During your time together, your supplier should act more as an adviser than a salesperson. Are they asking questions? Listening well and reflecting back your statements? Taking notes? Instead of pushing a specific product, the vendor should be able to recommend various solutions based on your objectives, needs and budget.
  • Lastly, you should be impressed by the supplier because the service benefits are clear and have been demonstrated in real time. The session should not be an “all singing, all dancing bells and whistles” features showcase. Look for how well the demo fits your current requirements, resources and environment. Imagine yourself working with the vendor…have they tailored their offerings to your particulars? Do you understand the pros and cons of working together? Is the fit sound?
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Female in music classroom, hands in front of her, singing, sitting in circle, 10 KS1 primary pupils

A New Model for Resourcing Music - Flexibility with Professionalism

From recruitment to onboarding to retention, staffing is a veritable minefield of stressors.

And no more so than when considering specialist provision areas such as theatre, the arts and music education. Having a strong hiring strategy, an advisory partner you can rely on and the tools to see your plan into action are vital if you want to succeed in a highly competitive talent marketplace.

If you’d like further information, guidance and support, please look to Sing Education. Our decades of experience recruiting, retaining and developing the very best quality music specialists means we have the tools and tactics to help you reach your goals – however ambitious your hiring targets.

Sing Education - Our 360° Wraparound Support

Sing Education recruits, trains and resources the very best music teachers so that your school can have great music no matter your size, location or strategy. 

We provide a 360° wraparound provision which takes all the guesswork out of developing a rich and varied music programme. From curriculum design to PPA cover to absence management and SEND inclusion, our peripatetic music solution can be shaped to meet your needs.

Sing Education is a more exciting and rewarding way to do primary music. As we teach to the National Curriculum for Music, we know that our pupils are having fun finding out why they love music, growing in their technical capacity, improving their self-confidence and wellbeing and most importantly building a musical foundation that will last them a lifetime. 

 

Sounds Like A Fit? Invite Us In For a Demo!

“The demo lesson is a chance to see our curriculum in action. It’s also an opportunity for us to meet your children and work with them directly. This helps us get a sense of your school, the children’s current musical attainment level and the overall feel for your setting. The demo lesson can be to any class of your choice, teachers usually give us the hardest class! The demo is designed to show you the types of activities that are included in the curriculum and the general pacing and feel of a Sing Education lesson.” – Josh Cadman, Sing Education Director

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To learn more about Sing Education, including how our music provision, online instrumental lessons and at home learning resources contribute to a well-rounded music curriculum, please visit www.singeducation.co.uk/schools

 


About Us

Founded in 2014 and serving more than 28,000 children each week, Sing Education is a first class provider of primary school music education. Focusing on high-quality, singing-led tuition, we deliver a complete solution for schools which includes teacher recruitment, training and management, bespoke curricular resources and educational consultancy services. 

Through music lessons, singing assemblies, choirs, after school clubs and instrumental tuition, Sing Education works with students from Nursery right through to Year 6. Our core philosophy is that “Every Child Has A Voice,” and, as educators active in the classroom, our directors and teachers know firsthand how much young learners benefit from exciting, rewarding music education. 

Sing Education currently partners with schools throughout Greater London and Kent, as well as Yorkshire and the Humber. 

Not yet on the list? Please enquire about our expansion plans for additional areas we will serve during the 2023-24 academic year.

singeducation.co.uk/schools

#SingEducation #PrimarySchoolMusicEducation #EveryChildHasAVoice

 

Sources:

  1. What Makes A Brand Successful, Forbes, FOR
A woman and a man talking and smiling in a school staff room.

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