About Barnett Waddingham

Our track record of supporting the education sector spans over 20 years


#Data Navigator for Schools is brought to you by Barnett Waddingham, a leading independent UK professional services consultancy, in collaboration with ISBA, the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association.

Our track record of supporting the education sector spans over 20 years. Outside the Data Navigator for Schools proposition of this site, we support over 80 organisations, including:

Some of Barnett Waddingham’s services for independent schools

Read more in the sections below.

Data Navigator for Schools

Barnett Waddingham and ISBA’s sophisticated yet simple tool allows school business teams and governors to analyse business performance in comparison to an absolute standard and with other similar schools.

You are currently reading the support site for Data Navigator. You can also read more here.

David Woodgate, the CEO of ISBA, calls it the essential tool for independent schools:

“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 s 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.”

Browse this site

Prospects Navigator for Schools

Independent day schools are keenly attuned to the communities in their catchment area. Locating and attracting the right future students is an ongoing challenge that is at the forefront of the marketing and admissions teams.

The Prospects Navigator for Schools is the tool that gives the school’s leadership team detailed insights into the current and changing demographics around the school at a granular level of electoral wards (of which there are over 8,500 in the UK, each typically containing around 5,500 people).

The tool combines information including:

  • postcode-level segmentation data,
  • population changes, including age distribution,
  • change in wealth, including income and house prices,
  • and more,

to produce measures of interestingness to guide the leadership team to areas that are currently good catchments and areas that are likely to soon become good catchment areas.

Example local heatmap of “interestingness” from Prospects Navigator

The score is backed up with detailed description and understanding of the population and their drivers for considering independent education from the segmentation and additional data. It is presented visually overlaid with information about the school, competitors, and transportation, including:

  • Current students’ homes
  • Feeder schools
  • Competitor schools
  • School bus routes
  • Public transport

This is the essential tool for the Head of Marketing at any independent day school to inform the school’s current and future strategy and tactics for attracting the right future families.

Contact Allan Engelhardt for more information.

Risk Navigator and Risk Portal

Business risk management is critical in the education sector, given increasing challenges from benefit costs to legal responsibilities, as well as political interference and time consuming compliance regulations. Schools, colleges and universities will need to consider a wide range of risks and opportunities from the strategic to the operational, covering people, finance, reputation and a myriad of other issues to ensure their organisations are as well managed as possible.

We are uniquely placed to assist organisations in their risk management requirements thanks to our combined risk and actuarial expertise. Our cross-sector, multi-disciplined team have supported and developed an award-winning methodology and toolkit to help organisations to enhance their level of risk maturity.

For more on our general risk services, please see here.

Contact Allan Engelhardt for more information.

Sustainability Navigator

Sustainability is top of the agenda for many organisations. Whilst regulatory disclosure requirements are ever-increasing, importantly many education bodies want to go beyond statutory sustainability reporting and give a genuine commitment to making a real difference. Teachers and staff, parents, pupils and alumni also have increasing expectations to see credible plans to net zero.

Barnett Waddingham has collaborated with a number of independent schools to create the Sustainability Navigator for Schools. This professional tool allows each school to pull together emissions from all its activities and compare them like-for-like to give a complete view of the school’s environmental impact. No detail is lost and intuitive and interactive drill-downs are available at each level. Key actions are automatically presented with calculated impact to give a starting point for the school when developing its own sustainability plans.

The implementation is simple, the output is powerful. Every school is different and will engage in different carbon emitting activities, this will result in a unique sustainability navigator for your school to allow focus on the specific carbon emitting activities that are particular to you.

This offering isn’t just for leaders; it can be used to engage the whole school community including students. It will deliver, in most cases for the first time, a great starting point for schools to start owning and controlling their emissions stories. By measuring and actively tracking emissions it will be a great way to educate and create realistic targets for schools to help schools reduce their carbon emissions

Contact Allan Engelhardt for more information.

See at a glance which emissions are material

Energy usage by month, school year, and drill down by building where available

Understand pupil and staff commutes better by analysing individual routes in context of school busses and local transport


Evidence shows a holistic wellbeing offering, proactively enabling staff to look after their health and wellbeing, leads to increased levels of happiness and productivity.

We use proven and award-winning analytical tools to help truly understand the wellbeing issues faced by education sector staff, to target interventions and improve wellbeing and happiness.

More on wellbeing

Benefits platform

The streamline version of our award-winning benefits platform, 4me, has been built specifically for the education sector and independent schools in particular. It helps educate and engage staff and seamlessly facilitate complex choices, removing manual work and reducing the risk of costly errors.

An integrated Total Reward statement, voluntary benefits, pension choices and wellbeing matters can all be addressed on our single, easy-to-use platform.

The platform can be varied across staff populations meaning an organisation can offer 4me to all of its staff as a single common tool to help with consistency across the workforce.

More on 4me

4me benefits platform

4me benefits platform

Benefits consultancy

Within the education sector in particular, it is vitally important to have a well-considered benefit strategy covering administration, communications and the range of benefits to be offered.

Helping schools get the right benefits offerings and helping staff understand them will be critical to help with recruitment and retention and ensuring the right work/life balance for staff.

Our consultancy experience combined with our powerful survey and analytics tool can help organisations truly understand the opinions, concerns and needs of their staff to build an informed benefit strategy. From our experience, a staff survey is an important first step in the process of engaging with staff.

More on flexible benefits

Pensions consultancy

Pensions are a valuable benefit for teachers and support staff and are an excellent recruitment and retention tool, but there are risks. These risks of participation are dependant on the arrangement(s) which the organisation participates in, such as:

We are one of the UK’s largest pension experts and our independence means we don’t come in with any preconceived ideas or “products to sell”. We often find that pension reviews highlight opportunities to refresh and update some staff pensions (say, introducing flexibilities that may be being introduced for teachers to support staff). We can also provide governance services such as checking the appropriateness of DC arrangements and topical issue updates to key members of the senior leadership team and governors.

More on TPS

Charity investments

Many independent schools, colleges and universities have charitable operations at their core and careful use of the charity’s assets can be fundamental to the long-term success and security of the organisation. Charities can have very different investment needs to other investors, particularly in terms of the certainty, size and nature of their future income and expenditure.

We work with some of the largest charities in the UK on management of their charitable assets. Our goal as investment consultants is to turn your needs into an efficient, cost-effective and pragmatic investment strategy that will help the education body meet its long term commitments. Our depth of resources allow our consultants to focus their time on putting forward solutions to best meet your needs.

More on investments