Completely paperless parental engagement

By Toby Lester | 13th June 2016 | 2 min read

Many schools recognise how technology is improving not just the learning experience in the classroom but also parental engagement. Having evolved from paper communications to email and text and now to smartphone Apps, gone are the days of mislaid letters and forms which never make it home. Now, information is delivered straight into the hands of parents.

Forward-thinking schools have realised the unnecessary costs spent on paper, printing and photocopying which quickly amounts to thousands of pounds each year – and have gone completely paperless.

Now, many schools go beyond sending newsletters and school letters home digitally and instead send all their communications, including forms, permission slips and surveys, in the exact same way.

Not only do these schools save the cost of endless printing and distributing of important school forms, they’re also guaranteed that this information is delivered straight into the hands of parents, which means it’s far more likely for them to respond.

With a free mobile app, parents can receive instant notifications as soon as forms are sent and can complete and return them in minutes with just a few simple clicks. This is also a fantastic way to reach parents who may not have easy access to a computer; “Because low-income families use mobile devices as the primary gateway to online life, this holds tremendous potential for directly engaging and educating families. Apps can provide parents with critical information, reminders, and feedback that they might not otherwise receive.” (Khalil, 2016)

By sending forms and permission slips home electronically, these schools engage parents with what’s going on at school, delivering important information in the way parents are used to consuming it – through their smartphone.

ParentMail is the only UK-based parental engagement software where schools can collect form submissions, permissions and survey parents online. This offers huge benefits for schools, by massively reducing workload, boosting responses from parents and further saving paper and copying costs.

Ings Farm Primary School always found it difficult to get parents to complete and return permission forms and requests for information, with often only small numbers of parents responding.  Administration Officer, Heather Duffy said, “With the online Forms application, we now know for sure that forms are being delivered straight into the hands of parents, rather than sitting in book bags. Parents can complete them straight away in a matter of seconds, which means responses coming in have increased dramatically.”

Lynne Green, Business Manager at St Paulinus RC Primary School said, “It’s the child’s responsibility to give letters and forms to parents and often we find this doesn’t happen. With the online form going straight to parents, and with parents able to complete them on their mobile phones, nearly all of them respond.”

Would you like to go completely paperless and try an online form collection system? Find out how you can go paperless and fully engage the parents of your pupils with Parentmail.