2022 Participation Invitation Email


Allan Engelhardt


19 June 2023


On behalf of ISBA we are delighted to invite SCHOOL to participate in the Data Navigator for Schools initiative announced at the May conference and developed in collaboration with Barnett Waddingham (BW). If you missed the conference, please visit the dedicated support website for screenshots and more information, or drop us a line and we can set up a call and a demo.

The essential Financial Performance Analysis and Benchmarking tool

David Woodgate, CEO of ISBA, says:

As the business environment and trading conditions for independent schools become more and more challenging, owing to the continuing cost of living crisis, pressures on operating costs, the threat to the taxation position, and pressures exerted by the need to accommodate investment in artificial intelligence and ecological sustainability, schools need to be able to review regularly their financial performance and measure this against schools of a similar type both locally and nationally.

The tool developed in collaboration by ISBA and BW gives schools this ability with the capability of looking at both high level and detailed aspects of your school’s financial performance and to benchmark in an anonymised way again your chosen peer group.

Data Navigator provides a dynamic data dashboard with updated information available whenever it is required and not merely on an annual or termly basis. Displayed graphically, the data is easy to understand to inform decision making and support sensitivity analysis and scenario planning.

In launching this product, ISBA sees it as an essential tool when it comes to accurate predictions for future performance, analysis of past performance, and data-driven and well-informed decision making.

How does it work?

The process is:

  1. We invite all ISBA member schools to complete a confidential and secure survey. (This email.)
  2. Once we have enough responses to ensure anonymity and commercial confidence, we process the survey responses to enable benchmarking.
  3. We send a link to the BW ISBA free benchmarking interactive data analysis tool Data Navigator for Schools to every school who has completed the survey. The link is unique to the school and the tool is accessed through our secure portal.
  4. As more responses come in, we will update the benchmark data and give those schools their access to the tool.
  5. This is the 2022 survey1 which stays open until December when we invite you to the 2023 survey. We will run the survey every year from December.
  6. The SURVEYLINK takes you to a secure site where you can complete the benchmark for SCHOOL.
  • 1 For clarification: The “2022 survey” is the survey to provide data for the school year ended summer 2022. This was, unfortunately, called the “2023 survey” in the original email invitation and has been changed here. We apologise for the confusion. The year of the survey is the year of the data, which we think makes more sense.

  • We are with you all the way. If you have any questions, issues, concerns, or suggestions, then please contact us through the dedicated support website which also hosts a growing list of guides and frequently asked questions, or by email for personal support and we are happy to set up a call if that is easier.

    The core benchmarking features of the tool are all free and will remain free. There is an entirely optional upgrade option which enables additional scenario planning capabilities and some features which require third-party paid-for data or services, or which are computationally expensive. Upgrades for the full year from December will be priced at around £1,250 per year, as announced and amended each year, for the school. For this first release where there is limited functionality and no historic data, the upgrade is £300, as described in the Data Navigator Terms.

    Important note for bursars with responsibility for several schools

    This email goes to all bursars that are listed in the ISBA membership directory. For bursars that have responsibility for more than one school, please note that this invite is only for one school which in your case is SCHOOL.

    If you are listed as primary contact for more than one school, then we will send you a separate email from my account with the additional links. For technical reasons, our survey tool can only manage one school for each unique email.

    Don’t worry: the link is unique to that school so you can still complete it as normal. Just get the recipient to forward the email to you.

    We will try to remove this limitation for the next survey.

    Take the survey Follow this link to the Survey: SURVEYLINK

    Or copy and paste the URL below into your Internet browser: SURVEYLINK


    Visit the support website

    Privacy, data protection, and optout

    The survey is hosted and managed by Qualtrics, an industry-standard tool. You can read more about their security here.

    You can read the Barnett Waddingham privacy policy here (PDF). Full terms are available from the start of the survey by following SURVEYLINK.

    Follow the link to opt out of future emails: OPTOUTLINK