How to solve parental engagement challenges

parent receiving a message from school
By Anthony Wolny | 19th January 2022 | 3 min read

The importance of forging strong relationships has never been more critical for student wellbeing.

But we know how tough communication with your pupils’ parents is at the moment, with face-to-face contact being almost completely replaced by online parents’ evenings and socially distanced school pick-ups.

This continued lack of face-to-face communications means the need for better engagement is even more of a priority for the year ahead than previously.

To support, this article looks at five ways parental and staff engagement can be improved. 

1) Utilise a parent engagement platform

The Department for Education and Skills found that 72% of all surveyed parents agreed that they wanted more involvement in their child’s school life.

However, the survey also discovered that parents face barriers like work commitments, demands of other children and a lack of time, making it incredibly difficult to be as involved as they wanted to be.

Parent engagement platforms help bridge the gap between school and home in the simplest way, enabling parents to access everything from school reports to attendance monitoring.

Additionally, parent engagement platforms save teachers under immense pressure one of their most important commodities – time – ensuring parents receive critical information and day-to-day updates in the clearest and quickest way possible. 

2) Provide accessible information

In a review of best practice in parental engagement by the Department for Education, they reported that a Becta study found only 25% of parents received information about their child’s learning via online tools.

That same study also uncovered that 84% of parents believe they received little to no resources to help with learning at home.

Ultimately, if parents are feeling disengaged and disconnected, how can we expect pupils to be?

To improve the outcomes of pupils, schools must supply parents with helpful online resources that are easy to access.  

But technology, time constraints and language barriers are all potential blockers you need to tackle when looking to improve parental engagement.  

By using a system that allows teachers to communicate more effectively and is accessible to all parents thanks to translation features, these barriers are eliminated.

3) Communicate early

A few late marks or missed lunches against a pupil’s name could be a sign that something isn’t right. 

The earlier these warning signs are spotted and communicated to parents, the sooner interventions can be made, which will have a positive impact on student outcomes.

With a cloud-based system, parents can access real-time updates on every aspect of their child’s educational experience, no matter how big or small.

The real-time updates help parents feel in control and enables them to quickly work with teachers to solve problems and prevent further issues before they arise. 

For more information on how real-time data can assist with student issues, click here.

4) Keep it simple

Schools and MATs must consider multiple factors when looking for ways to build better connections between educators, teachers, parents and pupils.

One of the most important factors in choosing the right communications platform is finding one that’s simple enough for every parent to use.

That’s why a single platform communications system based in the cloud and accessible via a handy app creates a win-win scenario for educators and parents.

No more excessive emails, letters, texts and calls to navigate from different sources at different times – just one simple, streamlined system.

5) Improve data accuracy

Data accuracy causes major headaches for schools, especially when multiple systems are being used simultaneously.

These disparate systems can make it difficult to keep parents updated when any student information or data changes, running the risk of them potentially being kept in the dark.

Smarter school engagement software can alleviate data concerns to reassure all parties that data will always be accurate and available – even when things change unexpectedly.

Start improving your parent engagement with IRIS Education

At IRIS Education, we’ve already helped over a third of schools manage their parental engagement more efficiently.

Our experts understand the complex challenges schools and MATs face in maintaining consistent communication and improving parental engagement.

That’s why we’ve created a suite of software solutions to combat and overcome these challenges in primary and secondary settings, all designed to create smarter, more positive outcomes for pupils.

Visit our engagement suite page to find out more.

For further information on our engagement solutions, and to see how they’ll work in a real school setting, sign up for our upcoming webinar.