An independent, experienced view:

Support for strategic initiatives

Working with you and your team to identify, research and develop opportunities for new or adapted products, services or markets.


  • Content workflow audits
  • Landscape, acquisition and partnership research
  • Management information
  • Market scans, reviews and competitor analysis
  • Market sizing, analysis and segmentation
  • Needs analysis and value propositions
  • New product concepts
  • Scenario plans
  • Strategy workshops and processes
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“Oriel Square is so solidly in the education space, and their understanding of the commercial side in education is really good.”

Head of Education Programme

how we work

Our approach to strategic planning is founded on a structured process, to deliver clear and practical recommendations. You can expect us to challenge assumptions and help develop focused business plans and winning strategies. Our report will typically provide insight under three headings:

  1. Diagnosis: develop a shared understanding of your specific context and needs
  2. Guiding policy: build and test a series of hypotheses for success
  3. Action planning: outline a clear and executable plan
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“The value in the report is that it’s a working document for us, not something we did 8 months ago and has stayed in a dusty cupboard. We refer to it, speak about it, use it during board meetings and that shows the value we place on it.”

Director

British Council exam mapping research and communications

Exam mapping research and communications to support the marketing and delivery of the British Council’s Secondary Plus course.

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research and communications

British Council exam mapping research and communications

We worked with the British Council to support the marketing and delivery of their Secondary Plus course and provided recommendations to inform work on subsequent editions.  

The British Council wanted to map the course to national and international examinations to help market the current edition and to support teachers in helping students prepare for these exams.

This included research to map the course content to exams in the British Council’s top markets, alongside international assessments; a report summarising the findings; exam advice added to the teaching guides for each of the 120 modules; and two marketing decks to communicate the work.

What worked well on this project was having multiple people in the Oreil Square team working on different phases depending on their area of expertise. When I came in towards the end of the project to work on the marketing materials, I had a really clear brief and objective, and I was able to speak to others in the team to collate the information I needed and develop that into something suitable for the target audiences.” – Keira Moulding, Communications Manager

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King's College, Cambridge

HP Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech Fellowship for The Gulf

Developing and delivering an academic fellowship for EdTech leadership in the Gulf on behalf of Cambridge Partnership for Education, sponsored by HP.

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HP Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech Fellowship for The Gulf

We worked with CPE to develop the teaching curriculum and then deliver it by inviting guest speakers and expert trainers to engage with the Fellows.

Cambridge was looking to communicate expertise in EdTech to cohorts globally by bringing expert voices into the room so that our Fellows could hear from a range of experiences from major interventions in all parts of the globe. It was also looking to build a genuine fellowship so that the alumni would stay in touch for the rest of their careers to exchange ideas.

We were able to deliver those outcomes by developing the teaching curriculum and then working with experts in EdTech – be that academics or political leadership from Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa – to deliver the learning outcomes.

The calibre of the Fellows has meant that there has been a great desire to learn and we have a cohort who can apply their learning and the experience of others immediately in the work they’re doing.

We have successfully set up an environment where people can discuss their experiences and concerns while navigating these difficult waters. We succeeded in building a fellowship where people will continue sharing ideas and experiences for years to come.

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King's College, Cambridge
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Corporate strategy facilitation

A review of strategic priorities for a major educational publisher in the wake of the pandemic.

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Corporate strategy facilitation

We worked with the senior team within a major educational publisher to review their strategic priorities in the wake of the pandemic. This involved planning and delivering a hybrid workshop for the global team and, subsequently, producing a strategy report which offered a clear, practical action plan.

Our approach to strategy follows the framework laid out by Richard Rumelt in Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters (2011), which is notable for its lack of jargon and insistence on clarity and coherence in action planning. After delivering an interactive, tailored workshop, our report included a diagnosis of the publisher’s competitive position as well as a guiding policy statement to inform the final action plan.

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RM inclusion workshop

Oriel Square’s Five Aspects of Representation in Education workshop helps participants to understand the different aspects of representation and learn how to use them to prioritise intersectionality and transform their approach to diversity and inclusion initiatives.

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training

RM inclusion workshop

Our diversity and inclusion Subject Champion, Imaan Munir, leads our inclusion training offering. Oriel Square’s Five Aspects of Representation in Education workshop helps participants to understand the different aspects of representation and learn how to use them to prioritise intersectionality and transform their approach to diversity and inclusion initiatives. This diversity and inclusion workshop for RM focused on representation in educational content.

All of our training can be tailored to meet specific needs. For RM, we delivered an in-person diversity and inclusion workshop to help the team gain a better understanding of how to assess and adapt specific resources to make them more inclusive. We used Oriel Square’s Five Aspects ‘Specs’ of Representation to approach intersectionality through the lens of race, gender, class, neurodiversity and disability. 

The RM team is working hard to achieve its goal of making its resources inclusive for all as they seek out new ideas and best practices to develop their understanding.

Our training is continually updated and is informed by leading industry events and research with organisations working to make the education sector more inclusive. Read our blog about why representation matters or click below to find out more about our diversity and inclusion training. 

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FFT’s The Apex Project report

Oriel Square produced a research report for FFT looking at the elimination of avoidable early literacy failure.

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FFT’s The Apex Project report

Oriel Square produced a research report for FFT looking at the elimination of avoidable early literacy failure. FFT wanted support from Oriel Square to launch their findings on early literacy failure and promote The Apex Project as a possible solution. 

Improving early literacy is key to transforming education outcomes. This project examined the effects of early literacy failure (where students are significantly behind where they are expected to be by the end of KS1) on attainment outcomes for students across England.  Intended for ministers, special advisors and key stakeholders, the aim of the report was  to raise the profile of early literacy failure as an issue and The Apex Project as an effective solution. The report outlines the aims of The Apex Project, its key findings so far, and its plans for the future. 

We ran a workshop with key internal stakeholders at FFT to fully understand their purpose and ambitions, and grow ideas about the campaign. From this, we created a guiding policy and set of recommendations for the campaign, which included the launch of a report. For this, we: 

– worked collaboratively with the FFT team to develop their manuscript and highlight how the report’s findings are supported by the government’s own research and other case studies;

– created a newly branded design for the report, which has since been used in other related FFT reports;

– took the finalised manuscript though editorial stages and typesetting.

We’re proud that our work on this project has supported FFT to improve early literacy outcomes. 

“FFT has worked with Oriel Square on several projects to support the foundation’s work. We’ve been impressed by the range of services they offer and the consistently high-quality output. … They helped our team to deliver compelling thought leadership content to raise FFT’s profile and credibility through a research report looking at early literacy failure as part of The Apex Project.” — Paul Charman, Managing Director, FFT

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Strategic planning

Working with you and your team to identify, research and develop opportunities for new or adapted products, services or markets.

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communications

Providing market and educational insight that answers your questions, communicates your impact and supports your customers.

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implementation

Creating the best educational products and services to deliver transformation through education.

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