However, for schools who want to make and maintain serious and long-term relationships it's definitely worth having a look at - always of course making sure you evaluate the return you get from your time on the platform.
Here are four ways you might be able to help your school...
1. To keep in touch with former students. Most schools and teachers would like to keep in touch with their former students - to know what they are doing, to find experts to come back into schools and help with careers advice and more, to help future development of the school - and eventually in many cases to send their own children to the school! An easy way to manage this process is to set up a LinkedIn Alumni group and encourage leavers and those alumni you are in contact to join it. A 'closed' group can be set up by any member of staff who has been a member of LinkedIn for at least 7 days by clicking on 'Interests' then 'Groups' then 'Create a Group'. Other members of staff can be added as administrators provided they also have LinkedIn accounts. Access to the group requires the approval of an administrator and discussions can be moderated. The Royal Grammar School, Newcastle has over 450 members of its LinkedIn Alumni association and posts regular updates on events as well as allowing alumni to start discussions and remake friendships.
2. To network with and market to parents and local business contacts who 'don't do' other social media. LinkedIn appeals to a different type of social media user to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and many people who do not have other social media accounts will be active on LinkedIn. A school can set up a Parent LinkedIn group as above, or encourage local contacts to 'follow' a 'company' page, which again is easy to set up - this time by clicking on 'Interests' then 'Companies' and 'Create a Company Page'. A good example of a school that has done this well is The Sixth Form College, Farnborough.
3. To help your students create their own online CVs and business relationships. Creating a LinkedIn profile (which can be done from the age of 13 but is usually something done post 16) is something that many schools now encourage as part of helping students prepare for the word of work. LinkedIn profiles mirror the structure of CVs and help students make the most of their work experience and qualifications as well as allowing them to follow universities, companies and industries they might want to study at or work in.
4. To help recruit new staff. A major use of LinkedIn is recruitment. With a major teacher recruitment shortage and restricted budgets, schools need to be thinking more widely than just advertising in the TES. LinkedIn gives you access to a global network of teachers and other professionals at a much lower price than other channels (and of course you can tell your followers for free!). You post jobs by clicking on 'Jobs' then 'Post A Job'. A quick search on 'teaching uk' showed over 2,000 available jobs on May 30th 2015.