“We chose to repeat the MDA parental satisfaction survey that we had originally commissioned three years ago. The level of detail from the calls, the excellent analysis of the report and the way that Mungo can put this into the context of his extensive knowledge of the sector makes this an invaluable tool for looking at our operation and developing our future plans.”

Nick Weaver, Headmaster, Ipswich School

“I unhesitatingly recommend Mungo and his team. Their analysis is forthright and immensely useful. They have assisted us in gaining a deep insight into parental perceptions, which has been invaluable in shaping our strategic development. The feedback sessions to senior staff and the governing body were crisp and professional, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the school. Most impressive.”

Simon Everson, Head Master, Merchant Taylors’ School

“The understanding of a school’s potential market that resulted from Mungo Dunnett’s comprehensive and detailed report for Ampleforth College has proved to be invaluable in development planning, including marketing strategy. His knowledge of the sector, combined with a perceptive analysis of the information arising from the interviews, enabled an effective discussion and setting of priorities for action. I would have no hesitation in recommending Mungo Dunnett to other schools.”

Fr Wulstan Peterburs, Headmaster, Ampleforth College

“If you want to know what the world really thinks about your school, Mungo Dunnett and his team are the ‘go to’ people in the independent school world. His grasp of context, nuance, and reliance on qualitative data – forensically gathered and presented – sets MDA’s work apart. The power of honestly representing how things are catalyses a collective motivation for improvement by all stakeholders in the school.”

Richard Maloney, Headmaster, Uppingham

“St Mary’s Ascot engaged MDA to undertake an extensive survey of parents in November 2016. From the very beginning of the process, Mungo was incisive, helpful and clear. He followed our brief exactly and his timeline was adhered to precisely. The report itself is one of the best executive summaries I have read. When it came to feedback to the Board of Governors, Mungo spoke for over an hour, detailing the summary and taking questions – all without notes! We all felt that he really understood the school, and it was clear, too, that he liked it. I would recommend MDA to any school without hesitation.”

Mary Breen, Headmistress, St Mary’s Ascot

“Mungo’s knowledge of the independent school sector is forensic and therefore the foundation on which he can base his research creates an invaluable context. Mungo is the ‘go to’ market researcher for the independent schools’ sector as he has such an insight into the schools, the staff and our target markets.”

Emma Goldsmith, Headmistress, Winchester House Preparatory School

“Mungo Dunnett was commissioned to do a project for St Edward’s College on sixth form recruitment and retention. This was executed very professionally, and a detailed report presented which was both insightful into the detail and also strategic in offering an overview of the key issues for the College to consider. Mungo’s professionalism in presenting his conclusions verbally to the Leadership Team impressed us all, and although there were some challenging messages his ability to contextualise these and offer a humorous perspective helped us to see our way forward. I highly recommend him.”

Stephen Morris, Principal, St Edward’s College Liverpool (Catholic Academy)

“Having engaged Mungo Dunnett Associates for research projects in two schools now, I recommend them wholeheartedly. Not for the faint of heart (!), MDA will identify, with unerring accuracy, the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation. Their thoughtful approach and attention to detail means that every aspect of the school is critically examined and evaluated. Their findings have enabled me to really move the organisation forward – thank you! unreservedly.”

Rachel Owens, Headmistress, St George’s Weybridge

“Mungo is an impressive speaker, in public and more private forums. He offers an enormous amount of credibility based on extensive research, knowledge and a keen understanding of the independent schools’ market. Mungo and his team delivered exactly what he said they would, when he said they would and in a very timely fashion. In a world where the goalposts shift too often it was satisfying and reassuring to get exactly what was promised. The result was a very real, honest and virtuous assessment of our position at this moment in time based on an extensive range of parental views. It was gratifying to be able to recognise our school, its successes and, to Mungo’s credit, our development points. We plan to use Mungo’s services again and would recommend that everyone go through this process at least once. I hope not everyone will as he’ll become too booked up to see us again!”

Stephen Lehec, Headmaster, Kingston Grammar School

“I was very impressed with the thorough and detailed nature of the report produced by Mungo Dunnett. He quickly understood the nature of our school and contacted the parents with great tact and diplomacy. The report that we received has given us clear direction and focus and I will certainly be in contact with him again should the need arise.”

Clare Sherwood, Head, Cathedral School Llandaff

“Mungo and his team worked closely with us at every step, and the quality of the research was exceptionally good, particularly in MDA’s ability to contextualise it within the market. Their emphasis on conversations rather than tick-boxes meant that we could be confident the right questions had been asked in order to get beneath the surface of how we are perceived. Mungo’s presentation to Governors was unanswerable in its professionalism and grasp of detail: they were very impressed.”

Sarah Kerr-Dineen, Head, Oundle School

“I was hugely impressed by the detail, methodology and content of the report – thank you. It is as brutally honest as we had hoped it would be (is there ever any point in being otherwise?!) and while it held no real surprises as such, it has helped enormously to elaborate, focus and clarify our thinking in a number of key areas. In short, all that was said – good and ill – rang true and will ensure much more informed practical and strategic discussions going forward.”

Paul Taylor, Headmaster, Framlingham College

“We were very, very pleased with your detailed, comprehensive report on King’s. From the direct feedback on the process we have received, it is plain that the interviews were carried out professionally and that our parents were ‘heard’ in the very best way. The report, too, is extremely well-presented. Thank you for doing such an excellent job.”

Alistair Macnaughton, Headmaster, The King’s School Gloucester

“Having engaged Mungo to conduct a number of surveys at my previous school, I had no hesitation in asking him to undertake a similar exercise when I was appointed to Sherborne. The quality of his research is outstanding and, whilst he conducts his surveys with great professionalism and sensitivity, I have always found his oral feedback and written reports to be extremely candid. He is quick to point out the positives but does not shrink from reporting back the more difficult messages and conclusions. It is largely because of this that his research is so valuable, giving clear, honest and unbiased indications of how the school is perceived and what it could and should do better. That Mungo has now undertaken a very large number of independent school surveys also enables him to put school-specific findings into the broader, sector-wide context. Consequently, when he presented his findings to governors, it was clear that they had confidence not only in his research and conclusions but also his deep and well-informed understanding of the independent school sector. I would recommend him to any Head or governing body keen to get an evidence-based appraisal of how their school is regarded.”

Dr Dominic Luckett, Headmaster, Sherborne School

“Mungo Dunnett undertook detailed, in-depth research on our parent and ex-parent body. Not only was he a pleasure to work with but provided us with invaluable insight and recommendations for change. His knowledge of the schools’ market, parent profiles and where we fit in the prep school arena is spot on. Every member of staff could glean something from this research”

Richard Foster, Headmaster, Windlesham House School

“Having worked with Mungo and his team in two different schools and in very different contexts, I remain totally convinced of the value he brings to an institution. His knowledge of the independent sector in addition to the work he does with parents and prep schools provide teachers and management teams with hugely valuable evidence to plan strategy and drive standards. He inspires debate and creative thinking, aiding schools at any stage of their institutional journey”

Sally-Anne Huang, Headmistress, JAGS

“We engaged Mungo Dunnett Associates to undertake an extremely in-depth body of research for us. In addition to the interviews conducted with 150 sets of parents, we also asked for interviews with five local school Heads (independent and maintained) and had Mungo come and deliver a detailed feedback to Governors and then to the whole Staff body on an INSET day at the start of the Summer Term. The Governors and Staff were very impressed with Mungo’s grasp of our locality and also his and his team’s understanding of the peculiarities, strengths and areas needing improving within our school. Such a report is much more helpful than an inspection report which is so sanitised these days. As a Head I now have much verbatim comment to use as encouragement with individual members of staff as well as some comments from parents which will aid reflection and review as we seek to make our school even better and also equipped to face the changing world of independent education – not least the varying types of parents who aspire to access our school”

Alastair Reid, Headmaster, Ballard School

“I very much enjoyed working with Mungo. He is clear on the process and pulls no punches with his feedback. That is exactly what I wanted as there is no point hiding facts and perceptions when developing strategy. We now have a very clear idea of what we do well and what needs attention. A very worthwhile process”

Lee Glaser, Headmaster, Taunton School

“When I started as Head of Woodbridge we conducted a parent questionnaire which, with the benefit of hindsight, was not terribly useful and raised as many questions as it provided answers. The difference with Mungo Dunnett’s approach to research is that it really gets under the skin of the parent body and gives you a detailed picture of the positives and the areas of perceived weakness. I really cannot recommend the process highly enough”

Neil Tetley, Headmaster, Woodbridge School

“Mungo Dunnett has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience of the independent education sector which ensures that the report he compiles is set in its proper context and is highly informative. His sensitive and intelligent approach to market research encourages very detailed feedback from those interviewed so you are left in no doubt as to the prevailing perceptions about your school. We were impressed with the highly professional yet deeply personal service provided by Mungo. The in-depth report and Mungo’s feedback to senior staff and Governors has helped us with our own strategic planning for the future. I recommend Mungo Dunnett Associates in the highest possible terms”

Rhiannon Wilkinson, Headmistress, Wycombe Abbey

“MDA reports for Rugby School have been detailed and challenging – for all the right reasons – and his work has been an invaluable resource for our development planning. He lifts the lid on the organisation and helps to set in motion an in-depth process of discernment. The process is detailed, completed in absolute confidence and the reports are unambiguous – to the point – with the right level and degree of detail”

Peter Green, Headmaster, Rugby School

“At very short notice and within a demanding timescale Mungo Dunnett produced a clearly articulated, comprehensive and extremely professional report on what our parents really perceive to be the strengths and weaknesses of the school and our overall educational offering. Mungo’s findings and his subsequent personal contribution to a Governing Body debate on strategy have been hugely helpful – if not always comfortable. If you employ MDA you will get the REAL picture, warts and all, constructively and perceptively. We considered it an excellent investment”

David Marris, Chair of Governors, Beeston Hall

“MDA provided insightful feedback and research which has given the Board considerable food for thought as they seek to prepare a strategic plan for the future. Mungo was a pleasure to work with and his presentation and facilitation on the Governors’ Awayday were exemplary. His knowledge of the market is unsurpassed and he speaks with authority and clarity, guaranteeing the respect of his audience. The investment was worthwhile and I would unhesitatingly recommend MDA to fellow Heads across the sector”

Diana Rose, Headmistress, The Royal Masonic School for Girls

“If you really want to know what your parents think about your school then Mungo Dunnett will tell you! Professional, precise and personalised to your school, he gets to the heart of the parent body and tells you exactly how it is. In terms of moving the school forwards he has identified real strengths and areas for development. It has been a very valuable process. Thank you!”

Chris Jones, Headmaster, Copthorne Preparatory School

“Today more than ever, Heads need to understand the views of their parents. Mungo Dunnett’s research gave me a picture of my parent body and the place of my school in the market that was clear and diagnostic. As a tool to confirm or challenge your assumptions, and as a piece of qualitative analysis that can be trusted, Mungo’s research was spot on. He provides a unique window into the aspirations and opinions of our parents.”

Ben Figgis, Headmaster, Ardingly College

“We wanted background research on how the Trust and its four schools were perceived by the community and potential parents, how the market might develop, and what we needed to focus on to make the most of our opportunities. Mungo and his team delivered perceptive and thought-provoking reports that clearly identified and differentiated between the views of various groups, including those who had considered our schools but gone elsewhere. It also set that in the context of how the Trust as a whole was perceived and what our potential parents and partners thought of us. The style of the work and report was not the usual, heavily data-driven version of market research. Instead, it painted a truly insightful picture of how we are perceived and what challenges we face but also where we can make progress and hence where we should focus our efforts. This kind of initiative is something we do not do very often or very effectively – seek out the views of the people who are our customers; not only the noisy complainers or supporters but the vast silent majority. We felt it gave us a picture of their real concerns, not just those prompted by ticking a box on a survey monkey questionnaire. The feedback is not warm comfort irrespective of the facts; it holds a mirror to the face of the organisation and invites you to see yourself as others see you. Often uncomfortable, sometimes reassuring, but always invaluable.”

David Russell, Chief Executive, The Harpur Trust

“As a new Head arriving at a school, Mungo Dunnett’s research was invaluable. His findings, based on robust research methods, were vital in triangulating my own impressions gathered in the first half term. That there were no major surprises was both reassuring and empowering. Comprehensive, lucid and pithy, his reports have allowed Governors and Senior Managers to forge ahead with a strategic plan with the confidence and knowledge that we are addressing the key issues. I am delighted with his work.”

Graham Hawley, Headmaster, Loretto

“We have used Mungo for an assessment of our current and potential future strategies and an in-depth piece of research amongst our parent base. We have found him to be completely professional, very responsive and to offer great insight and clarity from both his extensive experience of similar projects and his own strategic and analytical skills. We would have no hesitation in recommending him to other schools and organisations looking for similar insight and focus.”

Vice-Chairman of Governors, Birkdale School

“As one sits in one’s study weighing up the making of decisions, the direction of the school and the message to the market, it is undoubtedly a reassuring fact that one’s final call is underpinned by advice from Mungo Dunnett. Incisive, relevant, up to date and, most importantly of all, personal, Mungo’s work is essential when plotting the way forward. And, as a bonus, Mungo will present in an entertaining and no frills manner to the staff room so that one has every chance that when one ‘sets sail’, the crew will be with you.”

Jonathan Whybrow, Headmaster, Cheltenham College Prep School

“Worth School embarked on a 10 year strategic review and planning process and as part of that process we hired MDA to give us a clear sense of what people thought of us — the perceptions and the reality. It was excellent diagnostic work, well written and it gave us an excellent insight into both our strengths and our challenges; and through that we were able to be far more rigorous in our planning. MDA did not pull their punches and that is exactly what was needed.”

Nick Deeming, Deputy Chairman, Board of Governors, Worth School

“The qualitative approach which Mungo takes provides a perceptive insight that takes full account of parent and market sensitivities. Not only did he convince us that he fully understood our market, but he was able to facilitate and direct our strategic thinking to address areas which required development. Mungo’s approach is direct and at times challenging, but always wrapped in careful understanding of differing viewpoints.”

Mike Hall, Headmaster, Bedford Modern School

“MDA were asked to carry out a detailed survey of parents. In approaching this project, considerable time and forethought was invested by Mungo preparing the grounds of the survey, so that the research would prove most valuable to the School. The project was delivered on time and the report produced was detailed and hugely valuable. The research team identified the key themes that emerged for parents and prepared executive summaries which were supported by a number of verbatim comments. This lengthy report was followed up by telephone conversations with Mungo to discuss the findings in detail and a presentation to Governors, which placed the findings in context and offered insight into why certain themes might have emerged. In all of this, MDA were highly professional, offering a bespoke service to the School, rather than generating a tried and tested set of questions which might or might not suit the School. I recommend them absolutely to any School wanting to really understand the views of its parental body”

Lucy Pearson, Head, Cheadle Hulme School

“Following a rigorous selection process we chose Mungo Dunnett Associates after an impressive presentation which clearly outlined the value, principles and expertise which would be brought to bear in this crucial market research exercise. We had already received glowing references from contacts at other schools who had used MDA. The MDA emphasis on qualitative data and feedback was attractive to us as we wanted some real colour and detail in the final report but based on a substantial research sample so the information was not purely anecdotal. This would not have come through a more quantitative data focused exercise. What we received was very much a bespoke service with excellent on going interaction between ourselves and MDA, and a really hard hitting and insightful final report, both verbal and written, which has proved invaluable in helping us to form and focus our strategic planning.”

Ben Vessey, Headmaster, Canford School

“The Coventry School Foundation, made up of four independent schools, appointed Mungo and his team to carry out a strategic review of the existing and potential customer base in a difficult economic environment. The product Mungo delivered was exceptional. Focused, articulate and critical where required, his report and subsequent briefings to the Governors and school Heads was extremely comprehensive, measured and provided a 10 point marketing plan on which the foundation will now act in order to improve and develop the key areas highlighted. Highly professional with an immense knowledge of the needs of independent schools, Mungo would be an asset to any school developing their marketing strategy and plans.”

Michael Shaw, Bursar, Coventry School Foundation

“We asked MDA to conduct a survey with our current and prospective parents to ascertain our position in the market. The questions were conducted in a professional and discreet manner. The information in the report was thorough and well-balanced giving the school a clear idea of its strengths and weaknesses. It has allowed us to review our procedures in an informed manner. I would have no hesitation in recommending MDA to any school who wishes to appraise itself”

David Tidmarsh, Headmaster, St Martin’s Prep, Northwood

“Having originally worked with Mungo Dunnett through the GSA and been very impressed I asked him to carry out work on behalf of my own school. The requested report produced was very thorough, detailed, pulled no punches and was extremely pertinent to the concerns we were wishing to address. It was also compiled with great discretion giving much confidence to those involved. The analysis was similarly thorough and thought provoking. If I wished to carry out similar work again I would have no hesitation in calling upon his services”

Paul Mitchell, Headmaster, Cobham Hall

“We were extremely pleased with the professionalism, efficiency and sensitivity with which MDA conducted research for us amongst different groups of people with some form of relationship with the school. The clarity and detail within the feedback has been extremely useful in shaping the direction of our strategic thinking, and we were confident that they not only understood us, but the sector and wider landscape within which we are functioning”

Eve Jardine-Young, Principal, The Cheltenham Ladies’ College

“Mungo Dunnett’s work for us was incredibly useful: he researched the issues thoroughly, cut through the irrelevant aspects and went straight to the heart of our concerns. The clarity of his understanding and proposed solution to these concerns were hugely helpful in enabling us to take the proper path forward. I can recommend him without reservation.”

Joe Davies, Headmaster, Haileybury

“This is the best marketing money we’ve ever spent”

Jenny Dwyer, Headmistress, Sherborne Girls