Marketing to the Education Sector: Find your target audience in 4 easy steps

Topics: Education Insights
Isobel Ellis
Isobel Ellis Marketing Executive 5 January 2023

It’s important to have a good understanding of the UK education sector to plan and run successful marketing to education campaigns.

Understanding the ins and outs of the UK education sector will help you coordinate your marketing and boost your engagement rates. You’ll have a clear idea of which education establishments are most suitable to target your marketing at and why.

We’ve pulled the key facts and our inside knowledge into 4 easy steps to tell you everything you need to know to get your marketing to the UK education sector started.

1. Phase of education

Knowing what phase of education to target depends on what you’re promoting. You understand your product or service best so will know which age group will benefit most from it. But it’s always worth looking at all the different options to maximise your campaigns.

Here’s a brief rundown of the phases of education in the UK, plus how many we can help you connect with.

School PhaseNumber on our
education database
As of January 2023
Early Years – EYFS – Nurseries17,730
Primary Schools – Key Stage 1 and 221,487
Secondary Schools – Key Stage 3 and 45,145
All-Through Schools – Primary and Secondary2,491
Further Education – Sixth Forms and Colleges
Key Stage 5 (A Levels, Apprenticeships, B-Techs)
Higher Education – Universities
(Degrees, Degree Apprenticeships, or equivalent)

These education establishments are often managed in different ways, with their own financial processes, flexible curriculum decisions and varying management structures.

We recommend expanding your reach as much as possible as it will boost your campaign results. For example, if you want to promote resources for primary school age children, make sure you target all primary schools and all-through schools to boost your campaign’s potential and make sure no one misses out.

Learn more about the phases of education in our UK Education Guide.

2. Types of school

Deciding what type of school to send your marketing campaigns to is the next step. There are many different types to choose from so it’s important to learn about them all and understand their similarities and differences.

So, let’s look at them all:

School TypeNumber on our
education database
As of January 2023
Academy Schools9,492
Faith Schools7,794
Independent Schools2,478
Special Schools1,734
State Schools26,939

Each of these school types are managed differently and have distinct goals and development processes for their school. This means their spending will often be coordinated and focused differently.

Schools outside of local authority control – academies, city technology colleges and independent schools – often have more freedom when it comes to spending. This can make them great targets for your marketing.

However, all schools are good to connect with, for different reasons.

Remember, you can read more about different school types in our UK Schools Guide.

3. Education job roles

There are over 130 job roles in UK schools meaning you have a lot of options when it comes to building your mailing list.

Some staff members play a key role in school decision making; coordinating key areas such as school finances and development strategies, and others are influential in day-to-day school life, education provision and classroom management.

Getting your targets right will make sure your campaigns land in the inbox of the decision makers that are relevant to you and your product, and therefore help to achieve optimum engagement rates.

Our campaign stats show that targeted campaigns to a mix of relevant job titles perform best, so make sure you nail down who is most relevant to you and your marketing goals.

Again, it’s all about who is relevant to what you’re promoting – whether you want to reach key decision makers, spending influencers or a general mix of education or subject specific staff, there are plenty of options.

For a full list of the education staff you can target, head over to our UK Education Job Roles Guide.

4. School finances

Enhancing your knowledge of school spending can be help you create persuasive and informed marketing that will create long-term connections in the education sector.

From annual budgets to what schools spend their money on, school finances are key to what goes on in schools, and importantly, to deciding who to target in your campaigns.

The annual budget for schools for the 2023-24 financial year is £57.3 billion, which we know gets split between teaching staff, support staff, supplies, plus premises and occupation related costs.

Financial decisions are usually made by a mix of decision makers, including head teachers, business managers and subject leaders – it often depends on what the purchase is. This makes them central decision makers when it comes to school spending and key contacts to include in your mailing list.

Read up on our School Finances Snapshot for all the funding and finance info for the 2023-24 financial year.

Now you have a better understanding of the education sector, you can use this info to create your targeted marketing mailing list.

Remember, there are lots of options to choose from when it comes to marketing to the education sector, and our experience has shown us that campaigns sent to a broad, but relevant target audience get the best results.

Our team of experts are here to help every step of the way, so get in touch today as they’d love to help you get started. Give us a call on 01257 460036 or email

Or head over to our resources and blog for more all the latest marketing to education insights and news.