Susan Kay: opportunities not challenges

The Pocklington School Foundation oversees the financial and day-to-day management of both Pocklington Prep School and Pocklington School. The Foundation also manages the Tom Stoppard Theatre and supports the activities of the Old Pocklingtonians (a society for former pupils).

Susan Kay, Development Officer at the Foundation, offers her thoughts on the challenges of working in development, the changes the sector is likely to see in the near future and the role CASE can play in supporting Pocklington, and other schools, as they advance.

What stage of development is your school currently at?
We are at the early stage and I have been in post for three months, tasked with setting up the development office and creating a development office plan, in conjunction with my alumni relations colleague. As well as the two of us we also have some part time administrative assistance.

What are your challenges?
I like to think of them as opportunities rather than challenges! The main one however will be prioritising what we do first when there are so many things we want to do. I am fortunate to have a joined a great team across the whole of the Pocklington School Foundation and I am sure that, given time, we will be able to make the development office a success.

Which of CASE’s member benefits are you most looking forward to using?
The newsletters will be great for keeping up to date with industry news and trends, plus access to top level training will also be useful across a range of subjects. I have attended one of these to date, hosted by the Grammar School at Leeds, which was great for sharing best practice and networking. 
What do you think will be the growth areas in development the next three to five years?
As an ex-marketing/PR consultant, I think the overall quality of development communications will improve. I also think that we will have to work harder to successfully engage with our different communities, which will mean personalising and being creative in what we offer them.

At the centre of it all however must sit human relationships, and the emotional connection they have with the organisation. So, as well as having a brilliant database to capture all the information, plus creative, highly targeted comms to connect with each individual, having people in your team who are good communicators in person will remain a key success factor.

What are you looking forward to working on in 2016?
I’ve joined half way through the Pocklington campaign for a new art and design technology centre, so I am looking forward to working on that and helping make the campaign a success.

What are you reading at the moment? 
I’m not reading any books! I find enough to learn from and inspire me on LinkedIn, in the CASE updates and website, other online resources and in various magazines.

The Pocklington School Foundation is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Find out more about CASE at

Susan Kay is the Development Officer at the Pocklington School Foundation, UK.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.