Communication systems: counter-productive to parental engagement?

By Toby Lester | 4th January 2017 | 2 min read

There’s now a platform for almost every type of communication schools would want to send to parents and over time they have increasingly bought in to several different systems to meet their requirements and improve parent teacher communication.

However, the problem with multiple systems is, with several logins, passwords and websites to use and remember, life quickly becomes time consuming and complicated for parents - and this can be further compounded if they also have children at other schools. The danger is, parents can stop using systems and schools may find themselves having to revert to traditional methods in order to reach their parents.

Communication technology has quickly become popular in schools because it has streamlined many daily tasks and helps reduce costs. For parents, searching for change or the cheque book, remembering to sign forms, having to come into the school office to book parents’ evening appointments or trusting your children to do it, are just a few examples of some headaches technology has removed.

So what’s the solution?

Schools need to think carefully about their communication strategy – not just about the benefit to the school but about parents too. A simple solution is to look at consolidation of software - multiple services that can be provided from a single platform.

By making processes simpler for parents, schools then see a quicker and more thorough response, meaning they can spend less administration time chasing parents for the information they need.

Thames View Infants, The Brent Primary School and Astor College are just a few of the schools who have decided to consolidate their systems and do everything through ParentMail, where they can communicate, collect payments, record student absences, organise parents evening and collect online forms.

“Initially, we were looking solely at online payments systems, as we already had a system in place for sending emails and another for sending texts” The Brent Primary School’s Business Manager Dan Baker told us. “It was clunky, but it worked”.

We went from using separate systems for emails and texts, collecting payments physically and continuing to send letters and forms home, to a “one stop shop” doing it all through ParentMail – and parents and staff love it.”

Many schools are using several systems as a result of purchasing software to meet one requirement at that time, and now find they’re using two, three, four or more systems to communicate with their parents, students and staff.

If, like other schools, you’re keen to simplify processes for parents and for school administration staff, consider consolidating your communications software into one – get in touch today for a free demonstration to see just how simple it could be. Reach us on 01733 595959, email or leave a comment below.