Marketing to schools this summer: All the updates you need

Topics: Education Insights
Lyndsay Rushton
Lyndsay Rushton Marketing Manager 1 July 2021

There’ll be more happening in schools this summer than ever before. To make the most of this busy time, it’s important to consider the opportunities that are available for you and your business.

Here’s what’ll be happening in schools over summer 2021:

Summer schools and catch-up programmes

The government has invested £200 million to help secondary schools run 1 or 2-week summer schools, offering a blend of academic education and enrichment activities. They’ll help students catch up on lost learning, provide wider benefits to families and vulnerable children, support pupil mental health, and improve engagement and transitions.

Running a large-scale summer programme is new for many schools. They’ll need extra help from teachers, support workers and outside providers.

Research by the Department for Education (DfE) estimates that in the first half-term of autumn 2020, pupils in:

  • Years 3 to 9 were on average around 1.6 to 2 months behind on their reading.
  • Years 3 to 7 were around 3.2 months behind on their maths.

Schools are being encouraged to focus on primary school leavers to support lost key stage 2 learning and the transition to secondary school. They will be keen to try new resources, providers or outside sessions that’ll enhance their teaching and boost their pupil’s learning and progression.

If you can help with any of these things, you should let schools know now. 

Holiday activities and food provision

The government has made £220 million available to all local authorities in England to coordinate free holiday programmes. This is for children from disadvantaged families who receive benefits-related free school meals. The activities will focus on healthy eating, active lifestyles, social enrichment, and wellbeing.

Schools are preparing to run holiday programmes that help children, young people and their families to:

  • Eat healthier and develop a better knowledge of health, nutrition and food budgeting.
  • Enjoy a more active lifestyle. 
  • Take part in enriching activities.
  • Benefit from increased social interaction. 
  • Become more engaged with school, education and learning.

Some local authorities and schools will coordinate the holiday programme themselves, and others will look to outside organisations to manage it for them.

If you can offer sessions or provisions to support the overall aims of the programme, it’s important to let schools and local authorities know how you can help them.

Planning and development

We already know that 83% of teachers work during the school holidays, and this year will be no different. If you can help teachers with any of their planning and preparation, let them know now. 


  • Schools and teachers use the summer break to plan for the new academic year.
  • Most teachers spend time in school over the summer preparing their classrooms, making lesson plans and refreshing their knowledge through training.
  • Senior leaders use this time to review their school-wide development and spending plans.

Maintenance and larger scale developments

  • With fewer staff and pupils around, summer is the ideal time for general school maintenance and refurbishments, as well as larger-scale developments to start.
  • 75% of schools put spending plans on hold because of the pandemic.  They’ll be busy this summer catching up on development work, upgrades to facilities and refurbishments.

Technology upgrades

  • Many schools plan to continue using technology more in day-to-day school life because of the increased use during the pandemic. The summer is a great time for them to research and invest in any new technology.  

Health and safety measures

  • Schools introduced new procedures during the 2020-21 academic year to keep children and staff safe during the pandemic.
  • They’ll be looking for advice about what is expected of them when pupils return in September.
  • It’s likely that schools will continue with certain measures to maintain the safety of their school community, such as improved hygiene practices.
  • Over the summer, they’ll review the current systems, look to upgrade or implement new long-term solutions, as well as refresh their health, safety and medical training.

Results days

A Level results day will be on Tuesday 10th August 2021 and GCSE results will be on Thursday 12th August 2021.

The big difference this year though is that there have been no GCSE, AS and A Level exams.

Instead, students will receive grades determined by their teachers. This is so they can progress to the next stages of their education or careers and not be disadvantaged by the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Autumn exams will be available for any pupils who want to use the opportunity to improve on their teacher assessed grade.

Like all results days, both pupils and teachers will need a variety of external support.

Students will need advice from teachers and experts on future study or career paths, as well as guidance about their options and advice if their results don’t meet their expectations. 

Let schools and teachers know in advance if you can help them and their pupils on this important day.

And if you’re thinking about your marketing for the 2021-22 academic year, results days are a great day to get started. All teachers are in school on those days, so you’re guaranteed an active audience.

Funding opportunities

The government has made a range of new funding available to schools this year to support recovery and further developments.

As schools start to plan how to use the funding, there are huge opportunities for businesses from all sectors to introduce new products and services to the education sector and expand their customer base to include all UK schools. 

  • Mental health grants
    The DfE reports that the mental health of children has suffered from having periods of lockdown and isolation during the pandemic. Training grants will be available from autumn 2021 to help every state school and college develop a senior mental health lead.
  • National tutoring revolution
    Schools can access an additional £1.4 billion for up to 100 million hours of free tuition to help children and young people catch up on lost learning.
  • Buildings and facilities improvement
    There will be a £483 million investment to improve school buildings and facilities in 1,199 schools. The North-East and North-West will receive the largest allocation of funding across all the English regions.
  • Sports premium
    The £320 million PE and Sport Premium will help schools prioritise physical activity. It’ll encourage children to play more sports, increase their social skills and improve their physical activity after lockdown.

What next?

We often find that businesses put their marketing on hold over the summer and lose out on this vital time for school planning and developments. So let summer 2021 be different, especially with everything that’ll be happening in schools throughout the summer.  

Don’t forget, we’re currently running our popular free resend offer. Book and send an email campaign to schools in July and get a free resend in September.

Sending an eye-catching email marketing campaign now will:

  • Let schools know how you can support their summer school and holiday provision.
  • Maintain your brand awareness for when they plan for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • Get great engagement rates. In July and August 2020, there was an overall average engagement rate of 31%.

Get in touch now to book your summer marketing campaign.
You can call us on 01257 460036 or email

All the information provided has been sourced from the Buzz Education 2021 Schools Surveys and official government information: