“I first encountered Mungo Dunnett on a webinar and was deeply impressed – to the extent that I’ve borrowed several of his words of wisdom for use in conversation with my colleagues (always attributed, of course.) Subsequently MDA have conducted some extensive research amongst our parent community which Mungo debriefed. He was concise, clear and brutally to the point. The effect was salutary and has re-prioritised our planning, in a very positive way. A lot of research and consultancy is a bit beige. This certainly wasn’t.”

Tim Lindsay, Chair of Governors, Kingswood School, Bath

“Mungo and his team provided a level of insight into our parent body’s views that we could not have hoped to achieve otherwise. In doing so, they have shone a bright light on key areas for development and have helped us prioritise them. This is clearly invaluable as a new Head. Throughout the process, I have been reassured by the personal level of attention that Mungo has provided our parents and governors and impressed at the depth of detail in his research. It has certainly been an investment into the future of the school that was worth making.”

Will Chuter, Headmaster, Kimbolton School

“We want to believe we have our ear to the ground, but inevitably we could never have unearthed the candid, qualitative information the approach taken by Mungo and his team has yielded. Coupled with rigorous, in-depth analysis and insight, generously presented in writing and in person, we have been extremely well-served and are equipped with extensive, authentic information with which to inform and determine our strategic priorities and direction. It has also been a genuine pleasure working with Mungo and I would not hesitate to do so again.”

Jayne Adams, Chair of Governors, Walthamstow Hall School

“Mungo is an excellent addition to any senior leadership toolkit. His ability to get a school, its culture, and to share his understanding widely, clearly, fearlessly to different stakeholders is impressive indeed. His work is insightful, his judgement strong and his powers of communication second to none. He is also other things one needs in a consultant: he is organised, diligent, clear and affordable. Every Head should have Mungo on speed dial.”

Jenny Brown, Headmistress, City of London School for Girls

“Incredibly thorough and insightful.”

Christian Saenger, Headmaster, Dumpton Prep School

“I have used Mungo to understand two separate Schools’ operating contexts – the return shopper! Objective and evidence based, the reports surgically identified our strengths and weaknesses. Delivered succinctly, honestly, and balanced, with an unparalleled understanding of the sector, Mungo was able to provide both qualitative and quantitative analysis nailed to relevant datum. His insights provided penetrating context on which to build both strategic and operational plans.”

Barry McMaster, Bursar, Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools

“I can thoroughly recommend Mungo and his team. Mungo helped us understand a complex and changing parent body as well as draw out some key areas of success and areas that we need to concentrate on strategically. Parental feedback about the process was very strong with parents saying that Mungo and his team were warm, knowledgeable and skilled in allowing them to talk. The detailed report and presentation to our Board was invaluable and has aided us with strategic development and longer term planning. Mungo’s uncanny knack of wading through masses of data to pick out two or three key points is invaluable to busy school leaders and his sector knowledge allows him to filter out noise and deliver invaluable insights. Thank you.”

Matthew Williams, Head, Geneva English School

“I challenged Mungo to tell me things that I didn’t know about the school I love, which is both my work and home, and Mungo delivered. In fact, he exceeded my high expectations! Not only did he offer frank and insightful feedback from parents, but he helped me to understand the different groups of parents in our community, and their different priorities. The most valuable insights he offered were about concerns or worries that I did not know existed, and he also offered some reflections on how we might start to address these challenges. I have used Mungo in two different headships at two different schools, and his insight has been invaluable on both occasions. Don’t dither – just book him in.”

Jesse Elzinga, Headmaster, Sevenoaks School

“Mungo and his team provided the most insightful analysis of our Schools we could have asked for. Value for money and sprinkled with gold dust.”

Simon Chamberlain, Chair, Wakefield Grammar Schools Foundation

“Mungo’s catchment analysis allowed us to get to the heart of how our local market operates. It provided an excellent balance between the quantitative data (demographics, financials and travel times) with the qualitative data (interviews with feeder prep School Heads). It was this qualitative data, gathered by Mungo himself, which was the real jewel which gave our Governors an important comprehension; gaining the insight of those Heads was invaluable for our strategic considerations.”

Peter Goodyer, Headmaster, Bede’s School

“We could not speak more highly of Mungo or the work which MDA completed for Wellington College. The detailed, nuanced and distinctive picture which their qualitative research uncovered of who our parents are, what motivates them, and what their perceptions of the College are, was truly first-rate. As a relatively new Head, I have found Mungo’s insights and reflections invaluable in helping me and our Governors plan for the next decade and beyond, and I would recommend MDA whole-heartedly and without reservation to anyone in the sector.”

James Dahl, Master, Wellington College

“Mungo’s reputation as the leading analyst in the sector went before him, and the realities of working with him for the first time in a school context only served to cement that view. Mungo and his team were able to understand the school and what makes it tick to an extraordinary degree, underpinned by the quality of the research and feedback, and rooted in an exceptional knowledge of the context of the sector as a whole, and our place within it. Both his written report and oral feedback to SLT and the board of governors were insightful, illuminating and, above all, honest.”

Sue Woodroofe, Principal, The Grammar School at Leeds

“Your ability to get under the skin of the School and to distill the views of the parents with such clarity is tremendously helpful.”

Dr Huw Williams, Headmaster, Yarm School

“I have been fortunate to work with Mungo over the last 8 years at two different schools. Mungo’s input through various research projects has been invaluable due to his unique insight into independent schools coupled with an in-depth understanding of the changing market place and school finances. Through Mungo’s work and support, we were able to gain important feedback from parents and instigate changes and improvements to our school practices and provision. Mungo provides excellent follow-up support and guidance through meetings with governors, the leadership team and whole staff groups to explain his findings and how the school can move forward. This ensures all stakeholders are reassured, confident and excited about the future.


I cannot recommend Mungo’s support, either through research projects or his masterclasses more highly. As a Head, they have provided me with the evidence and understanding needed to make significant and successful changes which have been transformational for my schools.”

Ben Evans, Headmaster, Windlesham House Prep School


“I have attended many of Mungo’s courses and conferences and his insight into the Prep School marketplace, the parent clientele and the future of the independent sector, is unrivalled. Mungo is knowledgeable, coherent and insightful in both his ability to support Governors in devising strategic direction and when working anonymously with parent bodies to gauge the perception of the school and its potential successes and failures.”

Alexia Bolton, Headmistress, Pennthorpe Prep School


“Mungo’s ability to provide rich and detailed information in advance of my start at Wellington was invaluable to both me and the Board in shaping the School’s next steps. His comprehensive reports ensured that I started in my new role with an excellent understanding of Wellington’s strengths as well as those areas in need of attention. They also provided me with the data I needed to support senior leaders in driving their areas of responsibility forward. Mungo was always available to speak over the phone whenever needed and his insights were invaluable. It was a pleasure working with Mungo and I am grateful to him for his hard work and counsel.”

Eugene Du Toit, Headmaster, Wellington School

“I had not worked with Mungo before but was well aware of his reputation for highly perceptive and often challenging sector-wide analysis. Mungo and his team developed a detailed insight into our school and its reputation through sensitive and carefully-managed conversations with parents and feeder school heads. Mungo’s brilliance is his ability to contextualise this within the wider marketplace of schools and to present his report with vigour and authority to a range of audiences, including governors and staff. I am very grateful for the support that he has given us and can warmly recommend him to other schools!”

James Priory, Headmaster, Tonbridge School

“Having heard Mungo Dunnett speak at several conferences and meetings, I am in no doubt that his insight into the trends and patterns of the independent sector is unrivalled. This opinion was confirmed when we asked him to carry out some research on our behalf which involved an extensive survey of parents. He followed up with a forensic report and feedback session which has proved invaluable as we consider our future strategic planning. Throughout the progress Mungo was totally professional, brilliantly perceptive and, importantly, he completely ‘got’ the school. I recommend him very highly.”

Sid Inglis, Headmaster, Elstree Preparatory School

“Having worked with Mungo before at a previous School and attended some of his excellent seminars in London I was delighted to appoint him to undertake our parent survey at St Peter’s. The work was done sensitively and extremely thoroughly and the report produced was balanced and fair and will be a vital tool in building the schools’ next 5 year development plan. We would not hesitate to recommend him.”

Charlotte Johnston, Headmistress, St Peter’s Preparatory School

“The feedback offered by MDA was detailed and thorough, covering a great deal of ground and offering enormously helpful insight into the perceptions, values and preoccupations of our parents and feeder schools. Throughout, Mungo was helpful and responsive. Not least, our parents reported that they enjoyed and appreciated the process.”

Dr Anne Cotton, Head, Portsmouth Grammar School

“Beginning the headship of a new school, so different to my previous post, would have been much more of a challenge if we’d not made the decision to appoint MDA. Mungo’s ability to frame into succinct points the essence of how parents view the school was remarkable. Furthermore, in placing these findings into the matrix of other research, MDA delivered a highly relevant document that has informed strategy. I’d recommend MDA to any head who really wants to know what the parent body are thinking.”

Jeremy Banks, Headmaster, Caldicott School

“We were highly impressed with the work carried out by MDA.


A “warts and all” approach is the only way of finding out what stakeholders really need to see in people’s perception of their school. It is impossible to wallow in the comfort zones of good and excellent because Mungo manages to find those crevices where indifferent and bad exist. We now have a template of action points which need addressing and prioritising as we move forward. Money well spent on a project which all schools should consider if they wish to improve.”

Kevin Threlfall, Chair of Governors, Denstone College

“The report from Mungo Dunnett, and the additional oral feedback, have been the most valuable pieces of substantive and comprehensive feedback on what our school is doing. It is the rich qualitative approach to data, rather than just statistics, that have given us the most insight into what our wider community is seeing and thinking. Mungo also helped us to place this in the context of the independent school market as a whole, and this has grown SMT and governor understanding considerably. As well as the encouragement of what is going well, we have been able to feed the main themes directly into our strategic planning, and as a relatively new Head this evidence base is so useful in confirming or challenging established views in the school community.”

Alasdair Kennedy, Headmaster, Trinity School

“Having been impressed by Mungo Dunnett’s knowledge of the current Prep School market at a Seminar earlier in the year, I had no hesitation in suggesting that MDA conduct our Parental Survey. The Feedback Report from the qualitative interviews is frank and insightful, there are ‘no holds barred’! The whole exercise has been very valuable and of great help in setting our development priorities.”

Fiona Dunger, Chair of Governors, Twyford School

“You are extraordinary in your field.”

Andrew Hunter, Headmaster, Merchiston Castle School

“Since you conducted our survey I am aware of other heads / schools who have undertaken similar with you, and are as pleased as I am with the outcome. Your methodology enables high quality and insightful qualitative information to be forthcoming.  To my mind many schools are set only on receiving statistics that are judged to represent views.”

Katherine Haynes, Head, John Lyon School

“The survey was a rigorous and forensic exercise carried out with a lightness of touch and reassuring warmth. Our parents and governors actually enjoyed the opportunity and the process itself. Mungo Dunnett has a laser-like ability to get to the kernel of the issues in question and he couples great candour with informed authority. His grasp of education and the schools market is phenomenal and he is one of the most compelling speakers I have ever heard.”

Mary Robey, Chair of Governors, The Cavendish School


“As a new Head, I was very keen to understand better what our parents really think about our offer. MDA’s professional and in-depth research provided the College with insightful qualitative data which we have used to inform our strategic plans. In such a competitive local market and against the backdrop of  political uncertainty for independent schools, such detailed research and astute feedback, coupled with Mungo’s own deep knowledge of the sector, is crucial to driving standards and making sure that all stakeholders contribute effectively to our vision for the College.”

Jonathan Reddin, Headmaster, Ratcliffe College

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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 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