28 October 2014

Tasmanian boarding schools to attract mainland students with help from a new online service.

The world’s first competitive online marketplace for private school places expands into Tasmania today having partnered with three local schools looking to compete with Victorian schools for boarding students.

“School Places” (schoolplaces.com.au) helps private schools maximise student numbers and optimise revenue by connecting them with families who are searching for discounted, last minute private school vacancies.

The site received a phenomenal response when it launched in Victoria in April, achieving 35,000 vacancy searches on its official launch day. Since then, it has delivered more than $3.7M in enrolment fees to its 38 partner schools in Victoria and New South Wales with over $3.3M in enrolment fees currently pending processing by the schools. Meanwhile, it has saved parents almost $200,000 in total through the offers they have taken up.

From today, St Michael’s Collegiate School, The Hutchins School and The Fahan School will all publish discounted boarding vacancies on schoolplaces.com.au, recognising that families are increasingly researching, comparing and selecting their preferred schools online.

School Places’ CEO Natalie Mactier said: “Our Tasmanian partner schools offer a quality education and lifestyle, enhanced by the State’s natural beauty, with competitive school fees attached.

“We are delighted to welcome our new partner schools to School Places’ platform, and look forward to promoting them to families who are actively looking for a place for their child.

“When it comes to enrolling their child in a school, the number one concern for parents is choosing the right fit for their child’s needs. Until now, parents have tended to enrol far in advance for places in many private schools on the basis that demand for places is high and they do not want to miss out. We are now seeing that many parents keep their options open and are still considering alternatives right up to the intake year.

“What we’ve learned is that places become vacant all the time because families relocate or decide to switch for personal reasons. However, until now, there’s been no central place for these vacancies to be advertised.

“Meanwhile, fee growth at private schools has been outstripping income growth for some time, and schools remain under constant pressure to ensure that every place available is filled, so they can deliver capital development, increased resources and improved programs to the benefit of the entire incumbent school community.

“School Places is therefore addressing a parent’s basic need while assisting schools with their most pressing issue. I encourage parents who see a place on our site to claim it fast because they are usually snapped up very quickly”, she said.