As we navigate beyond the challenges posed by COVID-19, it is crucial for your school to focus on what sets it apart and attracts parents, students, and staff. Independent schools operate in a crowded and competitive market, making it essential that you consider the steps necessary to ensure your school stands out.

Join us for this session, in partnership with Dr. Stephen Holmes, to explore the tools and strategies that your school can use to amplify its message. Learn about how your school can differentiate itself from others in the current independent school market. Dr. Holmes will lead us through key areas of focus that will aid your school in effectively communicating its message to a wide audience. We will focus on these key areas that can help make your school stand out:

  • Defining a clear vision, mission, values, and graduate qualities that create a compelling identity for your school.
  • Cultivating a positive reputation that distinguishes your school from others, creating a reputation “capital” that enhances your appeal.
  • Identifying uncontested space, then developing flagship programs or specializations that will be unique to your school.
  • Highlighting attributes highly valued by your community and key evaluators, showcasing what makes your school stand out.
  • Achieving differentiation and emphasizing both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that differentiate your school meaningfully from others in the same category.

Come away able to articulate a compelling vision for your school and communicate it effectively through various channels. This workshop provides an opportunity for all members of your school community to collaborate and align around a shared sense of purpose and direction. Stephen will share case studies from a variety of independent school models and together we will explore:

  • Proactive strategies for addressing the challenges of differentiation in a competitive independent school market.
  • Tools and strategies for fostering teamwork and collaboration in achieving these goals.
  • The role of authentic identity and marketing in this process and how they fit and flow together to voice your school’s unique value proposition.

This workshop is designed for all members of your school community who are involved in growing, developing, and maintaining your school’s reputation. We encourage Heads of School, Admissions and Enrollment Directors, Advancement Directors, and Marketing & Communications Directors to attend this workshop, which is free-of-charge for AISNE member schools.

Dates & Venues

Tuesday, April 2, 2024
1:00 – 2:30 PM
Presented virtually, on Zoom


This session is free-of-charge to AISNE members.


AISNE seeks to create an inclusive learning environment for all. If you have accessibility questions or needs, please contact us at

Agenda at a Glance

  • 1:00 – 1:30 Welcome, Setting the Table, and Core Concepts
  • 1:30 – 2:00 Case Study work in small groups
  • 2:00 – 2:20 Digging Deeper into the Content followed by Q&A and Reflection

About the Presenter

Dr. Stephen Holmes, PhD (School Marketing/Reputation), is the principal and founder of The 5Rs Partnership, which was established in 2004. Dr. Holmes is an experienced, credentialed consultant/facilitator in the world in the related concepts of marketing, strategic planning, and reputation management for the education sector. Stephen is the only full-time practicing consultant in the world with a PhD in school marketing/reputation.

Through his consulting, academic, and professional contributions, Dr. Holmes is recognized as both a pioneer and thought leader globally in school communities at a practical level. His reputation, which is specific to the education sector, has centered on being an evidence-based strategist with a holistic market perspective on education.

Stephen recently presented at AISNE’s 2024 Heads of School Retreat. Stephen was the first member of the Council of International Schools (CIS) consultant network. His global footprint spans Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South America, and Oceania, as well as across the United States. Stephen resides in Singapore.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to Cancellations received up to 10 days before the start of the event will receive a 100% refund, less a $100 administrative fee. Transfers of registrations from one person to another are permitted up to 3 business days before the start of the event or the first event of a series of events.

Not an AISNE Member?

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Join today or renew your membership.