Carlton Institute plots growth following research into students' needs

Beauty training school group The Carlton Institute will open more schools nationwide and distance itself from brand partnerships following research into what beauty therapy students want from training. 

Mark Mathias, who bought the majority share in Carlton Institute a year ago and became director this summer following the departure of former managing director Suki Kalirai, surveyed current and former students about what they want from a training school. 

“The research found students are interested in quality and location above everything else, including cost” he said. “So we plan to expand our footprint.” 

He said Carlton Institute, which specialises in fast-track courses, would like to open six new schools next year in regions where it is not represented, including key cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh and London, and that these would be run as franchise partnerships. “Seven of our 11 schools are run by partners, but it needs to be the right people who share the same values,” he said, adding that salons, distributors and pure training business could all be suitable partners. 

Another priority raised in the research was the need for non-brand-specific training, coupled with concern about the cost of product kits. In answer, Carlton will no longer require students to buy from specific brands, with all equipment instead provided by the school. 

Other changes will include refurbs of the schools and the introduction of practice days to help students complete their NVQ portfolios. 

Carlton Institute’s website is also being relaunched, with a mobile version available, a new logo and removal of the online trade shop.