March Newsletter | MIS Market Update, VAT on School Fees and Latest Roles!

Greetings from ESP!

I am William, Managing Director of ESP Recruitment and I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our exclusive newsletter tailored for professionals seeking opportunities in IT, Data, and Finance within the education sector. We have not sent a newsletter recently but are now on a mission to get one out monthly!!

At ESP, we’re very focused on teamwork so I am excited to work on this journey with you, connecting talented individuals like yourselves with rewarding careers in schools. We understand the pivotal role that technology and financial expertise play in shaping the educational landscape for today and tomorrow. From implementing cutting-edge IT solutions to leveraging data-driven insights for informed decision-making, and managing the financial aspects crucial for sustainable growth, the demand for skilled professionals in these domains has never been higher as schools face significant challenges including the introduction of AI.

Through our newsletter, we aim to provide you with curated insights, industry trends, job opportunities, and invaluable resources that will empower you in your quest for career advancement. Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking for your next challenge or a fresh graduate eager to make your mark in the education sector, we are committed to being your trusted partner every step of the way!

Warm regards

William Townsend

Managing Director

ESP Recruitment

The MIS market is always moving at pace so we thought we’d have a quick look at the latest developments within the sector.


ESS continues to be aware of other MIS companies wanting to make switching as easy as possible so that schools can migrate over to the newer MIS providers, notably Arbor and Bromcom. ESS announced at the end of last year that schools wishing to switch MIS cannot send a backup data file of their information to the new MIS. Bromcom has referred ESS to the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) citing anti-competitive practices. Whatever the outcome, schools need to be able to select their preferred supplier and it seems only fair that if they want to switch, it is made as easy as possible. Surely making things difficult for schools will only encourage them to want to move away….only time will tell.

Satchel One MIS

Education software company Satchel, known for the Show My Homework app, has joined the MIS space with the launch of its Satchel One cloud-based MIS. Users like their interface and UX design which may make the MIS feel intuitive to current users of their software but how customisable will it be? Schools like to have the freedom to produce their own reports. Learn more with the link below.

Learn More…

How could the addition of 20% VAT on independent school fees affect school admissions and retention?

There has been much debate online about the possible introduction of VAT on independent school fees which Labour has said they are committed to bringing in straight away if they get into power in the next General Election, which seems likely. This was in their manifesto in 2019, so schools have been preparing for its possibility for several years.

What wasn’t factored in was the pandemic, the economy and cost of living crises and job cuts that are happening across many sectors including IT. These additional pressures have already caused some independent schools to close their doors for the last time. The sector continues to battle many pressures. The reality is most schools have seen this coming for some time and have been carefully planning a phased approach over 3 or 4 years with measured smaller increases each year. This doesn’t make it any easier though and it is likely to impact retention and admissions numbers with some families already looking at alternative options such as grammar schools.

Independent schools today are mostly financed through the fee income from dual-income families many of whom probably find the fees a struggle to pay already. Gone are the days of independent school children being from households bolstered by ‘old money’ or aristocratic connections. Many are now families who choose to forego holidays or other luxuries to prioritise education more highly, as is their choice. How are these families going to stack another 20% on top?

This is surely a topic at the top of the agenda in SLT meetings up and down the country and we have added some key resources below for you to read about this before that all-important interview!

Learn More…

Jobs with ESP

Current roles we are recruiting for!

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Call us today for an informal and confidential chat about any of these roles and visit the website below to subscribe to our newsletter.

+44 (0)20 8559 2077

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