BRIT Kids is part of The BRIT School. It has 700 students and over 50 staff, and is celebrating 20 years in 2022. We offer children ages 7-18 Performing and Creative Arts classes and run over 80 sessions each Saturday. BRIT Kids has National sites in Canterbury and will be expanding around the Capital over the coming years.
Previously the application process was managed using GoogleSheets, so there was not one system being used to consolidate the process and there was too much room for error. The team wanted a ‘one-stop shop’ where they could store everything.
Invoices were raised on a separate system too and it was quite tedious and time consuming for the team. With a growing operation, The BRIT Kids were looking for a system that would grow with them and reflect the digital transformation that the school(s) was(were) going through.
In looking for a new system to reflect their digital transformation, they wanted an app that parents would be able to use easily as well as a system that would be intuitive and easy for their staff to use too. They also needed something very flexible for their multiple sign-up options, with instant pay after allocation, which is quite unique. Finance integration and features was also a very important consideration for the school, to be able to have everything in one place for the finance teams and the parents.
Safeguarding of course is a critical aspect of the school, due to the fluid nature of their students, the age of their students (some students being as young as 8 years old), and being a large campus, they wanted to ensure their safeguarding information, parent contact details etc. was able to be replicated, error free, onto registers for each day. This meant they had a live picture of where students were starting from (previous lesson), where they were meant to be and where they were going at any point during the school day. Due to the complex nature of their set-up, there was a large room for error if manual systems were used. With ClubsBuddy, they are able to see the registers and student allocations instantly. For additional security they do produce a paper-based master list as back-up, but have never had to use this. ClubsBuddy has also made the lives of their teachers easier, in allowing them to see information on the students schedules and help them, rather than having to refer to multiple lists as they had done previously. For safeguarding issues, the instant nature of ClubsBuddy saves valuable time in being able to communicate out any safeguarding issues to the staff teams and also having parent contact information immediately to hand. The attendance lists within ClubsBuddy are also invaluable to be able to track older students’ attendance and report to the parents as a safeguarding concern if persistent non-attendance is seen. ClubsBuddy has helped take The BRIT School’s safeguarding to another level.
Improving the Parent and Student Journey
Another important aspect for the school was to provide parents with a clear roadmap for their journey with The BRIT School, from sign-up, choosing the relevant and right options for their child, through to payment. With ClubsBuddy, the whole process has become more easily understandable and streamlined. The visibility for both parents and students of their schedule via the ClubsBuddy app has also been a game-changer in terms of their ability to be more organised. The BRIT School team has also benefited from the option for parents to be able to update their details in ClubsBuddy, with the school team being updated instantly. Again, this has streamlined processes and had a real benefit on the ground, with the teachers being able see information about the students in their classes eg. for SEN/AEN and SENCO staff being able to add additional details for how that student should be treated in the classroom etc. The BRIT School also feels the system contributes to the nurturing environment of their school. For instance, they have someone managing the system live on event days, and parents can just come in, sit down with the staff, see what is available and sign-up there and then. The team can also manage classes and registers instantly to accommodate parent and student needs.
The ability for parents to be able to pay online, by credit card has been transformational. As well as improving the parent experience by giving a more streamlined end-to-end journey, the benefits for the school’s administration and finance teams have been immense, moving from a manual process to receiving sign-ups and payments straight away in an integrated process. For more complex bookings, the finance teams have the option to invoice in one-click after allocation of students has been made, again a major time saving. The finance teams also appreciate the flexibility of ClubsBuddy’s payments system, the ability to ‘clear the wallets’ of parents whose children have their places paid by bursary or local authority funding and as a community school, offer payments by instalment. 99.9% of bookings are now being paid online through ClubsBuddy.
For The BRIT School, the ability to raise revenue for their school in advance has been accelerated by the use of ClubsBuddy, raising more advance revenue than ever before in paid invoices. The result of this is that from day one of the school term there is a confirmed, paid cohort that allows them to securely plan for staffing and resources and have them in place. It has also allowed them to review and manage low-subscription classes, moving around resources to where they are needed and providing a better experience for the students in fuller classes.
Simplifying a Unique and Complex Sign-up Process
The BRIT School is unique in the fact that it offers an instant book feature for its classes. However, due to the complexity of its offering, the management team has to re-check the bookings and finally allocate based on multiple factors (such as age, level, etc.) to find the right class for the student, which would be impossible for the parents to do. For this and to make final bookings, they use ClubsBuddy’s preference based allocation system internally to make final bookings.
As mentioned previously, the ability to have a clear view of sign-ups and confirmed paid-for classes has allowed The BRIT School team to manage their resources more effectively.
The process of looking for a system has been in planning for a number of years, but the school was struggling to find a solution that would fit their unique needs. The school found it important to have a dedicated project team for the implementation of a new system. Once, they found ClubsBuddy – although the implementation was a daunting process, the ClubsBuddy support team were critical in training the key teams in its set-up and use and working through the key areas, mostly they have found it extremely intuitive. The response of the support team has also been very fast if any urgent issues needed addressing. The BRIT School has also been able to implement their own ideas with the guidance of the support team. Teachers have also commented on how easy the registration process is with ClubsBuddy. A clear roadmap for the integration process with milestones prior to start of the project will allow school teams to have the right people allocated to manage the project and ensure its success.