AgentBee spoke with Martyn Birchall, Chairman at Fredel Education.
Describe Fredel Education in a few sentences.
Fredel Education is the market leader in advising international families wishing to send their child to a British private school.
We also advise families on Swiss, US, Canadian and Australian schools but it is British schools that are consistently voted “Best in the World’ and attract students from all round the world. These schools are long established with amazing facilities and have strong teaching faculties and incredibly powerful alumni groups.
The leading British schools want international students to join their school as they know that a truly outstanding education requires that students study in a multi-cultural environment. Brexit will not have a negative effect on British schools but rather will increase the trend for British schools to recruit an ever more diverse range of international students.
Interest from international families in a British education for their child is growing rapidly and the market for our services is increasing by more than 60% per annum. For aspirational parents, sending their child to a leading British private school is a sign of great achievement, a real status symbol.
How does Fredel Education help students?
We have been working with families for more than twenty years and we know that it is key that we really work to understand the family and their child. Hence our team of experienced Placement Consultants work to get a thorough understanding of the child, their personality, and their educational history to date. From this review we can develop a portfolio of schools that are best suited to that child.
There are near 2,000 private schools in Britain and by no means does “one size fit all”. Schools in Britain vary greatly and include single sex, mixed (Co-Ed), very academically demanding, sports or music/drama focused schools and include those that specialise helping children with Special Educational Needs. Fredel Education is the market leader in advising families whose children have special needs (eg. autism, dyslexia ) and there are some truly incredible schools focused towards these children and which produce outstanding results.
Trying to navigate the British schools community is a challenge and can be time consuming and stressful for parents…..with so many great schools to choose from and with each having their own character and unique admissions process. We monitor closely more than 250 schools and we help the student and their family draw up a portfolio of 5-10 schools that are best suited to the student’s particular needs and then we work with the family to prepare and submit the applications and “prep” the student ahead of any interview or test.
The amount of work preparing the applications should not be underestimated and we streamline the process for the family. When the student receives offers from the portfolio of selected schools we help the student and their family to review these offers and to make the right decision.
We help to organise visits to the schools for the student and their family. These can be before or after they apply. If the family cannot visit a school, then we use our unrivalled relationships with the schools to create online meetings so that the family can get a real sense of the particular school and go beyond what is offered on the website or in a brochure.
Once a family has decided upon a particular school, we work with the student to prepare them for entry to that school. This includes helping with additional academic work if this is required (we have an extensive portfolio of tutors and specialists to assist students) and we give the student clear guidance on the style and nature of British schools and the UK approach to education. If the student is going to board at their school then we offer advice to help prepare the student for this process. Our service continues after the students join their British school as we offer a continuing advice service which includes advice through to and including university selection. These services are of great value as there will always be questions and issues that need to be addressed as a student progresses through their school life.
In addition, we have a dedicated Summer Camps team who help students select the right Summer Camp. These Summer Camps are a great way for a student to enjoy a valuable experience in a British school and to have a fun and rewarding summer in Britain….and improve their English language skills.
What role do agent partners / sub-agents play in your business strategy?
An absolutely key role. We have the expertise and market leader position in terms of advising families on British private schools (for students from ages 8 through 18 years of age) and these skills are in demand across the world as more and more parents appreciate the value of giving their child the very best education available. After all, after their health a child’s education is the most important aspect of your child’s life.
But our expertise is with schools and hence we need partners and sub-agents who can develop clients in a country or territory they know well. It is a natural partnership and we know from experience, that it works best when we at Fredel Education give the extra 10% to really “make it happen`’ …..and this we always strive to do. Over many years of cooperating with partners and sub-agents we know the importance of recognising and accommodating cultural and other influences that each country or territory has.
To capitalise on the rapid growth in the numbers of international students applying to leading British private schools we need to build a truly effective partner and sub-agent network. To make this work we offer the best service and support, the widest range of products and services and we offer market leading rates of commission to our partners and sub-agents.
The commissions we pay our partner agents and sub-agents are high by industry standards and we work continuously to offer increased support to our partner and agent groups. To date Fredel Education has worked with partners and sub-agents in more than 20 countries.
What are the benefits for agents who work with Fredel Education as a partner / sub-agent?
Access to the very best advice and support. No company in the industry knows the market as well as the Fredel Education team nor has as much experience working with partners and sub-agents.
We offer the widest range of products and services to our partners and sub-agents. These range from our consulting services (‘Find Your Future”, where we offer paid consulting advice to students from as young as 6 years of age). Our services go on through a student’s life until they enter university and at each stage or circumstance we offer our partners and sub-agents the chance to earn commissions.
An amazing feature of our industry is that a client naturally leads to further referrals and leads as a child is a very visible part of a family and when they move to Britain for schooling friends and colleagues are aware of this and ask “How did you make the move to Britain?” In our experience an individual client leads, over a 12 month period, to at least 3 referrals and on average 1 to 2 confirmed fee-paying clients. Hence our partners and sub-agents are building a “book of business” as they develop each client and in a year or so they are managing a very strong level of inquiry generated from their existing client relationships.
Do not forget our partners and sub-agents earn fees from services offered to clients through the entire school career of the student. Hence the cost to a partner or sub-agent of marketing our products is low and the returns high.
As the market leader we organise an unprecedented range of events (webinars, school visits and access to the prestigious alumni groups). The school visit programme Fredel Education operates is unprecedented with programmes (group or custom) for families to British schools (where we find the buildings and the faculties blow parents and students away).
We also organise visits by British schools to countries…in 2019 we organised visits by leading British schools to 14 countries. These visits, and the calls and webinars that further support the process, offer our partners and sub-agents a very effective way of “focusing” families on the British school opportunity and help to close many deals.
What are you looking for in a new agent partner / sub-agent?
As I have mentioned, we have the understanding of the British schools market. This market is seeing incredible growth in interest from international families, and British schools are enrolling ever increasing number of international students and from an increasing range of countries.
What we need are agent partners and sub-agents who know their country or territory from a perspective relevant to our target customer profile. Partner agents and sub-agents need not be already in the education business but rather each needs to be able to make links with families who have the financial means (British school fees range from US$20,000 pa to $60,000 pa) and the mindset to consider a British education for their child. The British private schools are a gateway to the leading universities in the world and ensure their students join some of the most elite alumni groups in the world. If a partner agent or sub-agent can reach such families then they are the right folks for us to work with.
Simply put : Work with Fredel Education. We offer the best support and advice in one of the fastest growing and most lucrative markets in global education.