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Measuring the Experience of families, students, and employees in your school


Many schools capture their school’s experience by means of a number of disconnected surveys and the occasional focus group. Sometimes the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is also used.  


Drawing upon the latest research, we have developed a bespoke tool that allows school leaders and their teams to move beyond one-dimensional surveys and begin to measure the current felt experience of parents, students, and employees at each stage of the Lifecycle of School Experience.


A visual summary of this tool, along with a short description of each “circle”, is depicted below.

Image of the Felt Experience Indicator and its three circles


The Felt Experience Indicator illustrated above offers a conceptual framework designed to help us think about the questions that we are asking parents. There’s a lot to unpack and, to be honest, some of our ideas are still “a work in progress”. But here are some of the headlines that we hope will be enough to get the conversation started.

Lifecycle of school experience. Six stages, inlcuding attraction, Admission, Induction, Engagement, Retention and Departure/Arrival


Just as the experience of school should be intentionally designed, we are convinced that we should offer the same degree of intentionality to the feedback that we gather from families at each stage of the Lifecycle of School Experience.


From the moment that parents join our community, they should be clear on how we will check in with them, how their feedback will impact our understanding of their needs, and how these moments of reflection will provide opportunities for transformation as they transition between each stage of their journey through the school.


When we think about our experience of school, there is a progression from Expectation and Promise to an eventual End and a residual Memory. But, equally, at each stage of the journey our parents are moving through each of these phases. This helps us to think about just some of the questions that we should be asking: What did you expect?  What was your impression?  How well did it end?  What will you remember?  Was it time well spent?  Did we get the job done for you? Did we deliver on our promise?

Image of the IKEA journey map with highs and lows
A frame with 6 questions. 1 My child and we as a family are happy. 2 We feel connected and welcomes as members of the community. 3 This is a place where we belong and feel at home. 4 We understand how our child is learning and information flows efficiently between us and the school. 5 We are confident that this was a good choice for us and our children. 6 We feel grateful for this opportunity to be part of this learning community.


Finally, we have defined 6 distinct dimensions to the overall experience of school. Each dimension helps us to better understand what a good experience looks like and what we should be measuring.


It's beginning to uncover what we actually want families to feel at each stage of their journey with us.

Using this framework, we believe that we can generate authentic opportunities for feedback and reflection that are meaningful for both the school and the families alike.


Over the course of the 2023-24 school year, we will be partnering with a limited number of schools that are ready to be early adopters of this new approach.


The list of participating schools includes:

  • St George's School, Vancouver

  • Oaks Christian School, Los Angeles

  • ISL Qatar, Doha

  • Wesley College, Perth

  • British School of The Netherlands, The Hague


Providing a unique opportunity for learning and collaboration across these schools, [YELLOW CAR] will host a quarterly seminar will all participating schools to share insights, reflect on trends, and discover new ways of using the tool.

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