Digital parent engagement in the next normal: Driving connections and connectivity across school communities

IRIS Education Engagement Insight Paper Max Quality 1 | Digital parent engagement in the next normal: Driving connections and connectivity across school communities
By Toby Lester | 6th August 2020 | 2 min read

We recently surveyed over 400 UK schools and MATs to investigate the impact of lockdown on parent engagement and integral operations. 

It appears schools across the country have seized the opportunity to progress their digital strategies – and to great success! 

Every school leader understands the importance of parent engagement. Before email, mobile apps and social media, paper newsletters served to bridge the home/school gap. However, most schools acknowledge the difficulties in engaging with every family, every day.  

With over eight million students impacted by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown, school life changed overnight – and so did the role of parent engagement. Allowing any family to slip through the net simply wasn’t an option. 

“Schools across the country have been dealing with closures in different ways; every leadership team has found their own solutions, sought out ideas and powered on as best they can. It’s all about sharing ideas; every school wants the best for their children and while the future is still a little unclear, we need to pull together to do what we can to support them.” Lorraine Reeves, Administrator, Langstone Junior Academy 

Leading to the question: does the pandemic see a change for the better when it comes to home/school partnerships? 

In our free insight guide, we explore the future of parent engagement, the impact on school communities and the role of digital in ensuring efficiency and transparency in a post-lockdown world. 

“Closures have given us a great understanding as to how the digital strategy could work as the trust grows. Similarly to businesses and organisations in the private sector, I think in my team, at least, we’ve rapidly developed our practices to ensure we don’t need to be based at our desks. Looking forward, this is the level of flexibility we want.” IT Director at Durrington MAT, Alex Robbins 

How are school and MAT leaders preparing for post-lockdown school life? Our findings: 

  • More than half of schools and MATs are preparing for future short-term closures 
  • Over 90% believe the ability to access student, finance and asset data remotely will be vital from September 
  • 40% are planning additional teacher training to aid remote working and learning 
  • Over 85% believe the ability for children to learn remotely will be key for student progression 
  • Nearly 70% believe paper-free classrooms and offices will be vital in ensuring the health and safety of students and staff 

Read our free insight guide to investigate how schools across the country are thriving in the new normal and how your school can get ahead of the game with a fresh approach to digital parent engagement. 

Download the guide