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Preparing a New School Prospectus

Published on 3rd June 2019

While the teachers and children are out for summer, the remaining admin staff working at schools are busy preparing for the next academic year.

That includes putting together a brand new school prospectus that will convince parents to submit an application.

Putting together a professional and polished finished product can make all the difference compared to nearby schools, so we’ve put together an overview of how to design and print a school prospectus.

Create great content

Due to rule changes made by Ofsted in 2012, all key information about the school must be held on the website. The allows you to use the school prospectus as a complementary piece of marketing that is both informative and fun; convincing both parent and student this is the school for them.

You’ll want to include basic information such as contact details, term dates and curriculum data, but think about common questions asked by parents that will need answering such as those related to school values, admission processes and an insight into what the school looks like.

Plan the layout

When you know what you want to include, the next step involves structuring the layout. Try to be creative so it is eye-catching – but without being too ‘out there’. Use desktop publishing software such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator or QuarkXPress to manage this stage. If you are struggling for inspiration, look at competitors to get an idea of the structure. In many cases the layout includes a combination of the below:

  • Front and back cover
  • Table of contents
  • Thumb index
  • Section/chapter separators

Use clear, sharp imagery

The photos used in your school prospectus will go a long way to selling it to parents and students. Focus on the strong points of the school and what will capture the imagination of the reader – be it the in-house facilities or the playing fields you use for sport. Think about the images that will work next to the content you have planned.

If you can afford to, hire a professional photographer, as to ensure the best print finish the images will have to be at least 300 DPI (dots per inch). However, if you choose to take the photos yourself, ensure they are well lit, in focus and well-positioned as that is equally as important.

Run quality checks

Before you send the finished prospectus off to print, there are some important things to double check to ensure you get the best quality:


Never be worried about asking the printing company about anything you aren’t sure about – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  • Use images that are a minimum of 300 DPI.
  • The designer must include a 3mm bleed area and 5mm quiet area on each page to avoid images being trimmed off during the printing process.
  • Check the grammar and layout of the prospectus several times using numerous people to help.
  • Plan ahead to consider printing time and delivery dates back to your school.
  • Choose a printer you can trust, that offers realistic prices, delivery times and helpful advice.
  • Send the final PDF file to the printing company in one file with pages in the correct order.
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