Toby Lester
3 minutes length
Posted: 7th July 2015

Schools improve parent responses to forms and surveys

Many schools recognise that using technology to improve communications with parents not only saves time and money, but makes life easier for parents. Though many schools use email and text to communicate to parents, many still send forms, permission slips or surveys home requiring information or a signature back from parents home via pupil post.

With ParentMail’s latest application, Forms, Permissions and Surveys, parents can complete school forms, give consent and complete surveys all from their mobile phone, tablet or computer – which means it’s easier for parents to reply, and schools get a better response.

School Trips

St Paulinus RC Primary School had been used to just a few per cent of parents replying to questions and surveys they sent out so were staggered when 85% quickly replied to an online form they sent using ParentMail’s Forms, Permissions and Surveys App.

The first form that Lynne Green, Business Manager for the school, sent was to find out how many parents were interested in sending their child on a school trip. In the past, receiving the forms back from parents could take some time, and on one occasion there were no responses at all. But, with the online forms app, Lynne received 60% of responses overnight – meaning she could book the trip the next day. “With parents able to complete forms on their computers, tablets or mobile phones, it’s very easy for them to respond.”

Questionnaires

The first questionnaire Halterworth Primary School sent about holiday childcare received a 60% response – with paper copies, School Admin Officer Alison Tanner explained, “We would have had a very low response rate.”

Their next survey did even better. Alison told us, “Within 10 minutes of sending our second questionnaire on free school meals for infant children, I had 20 completed responses and it wasn’t long before 80% of parents had replied. We certainly wouldn’t have received any that quickly before, it simply wouldn’t have happened with paper copies!”

Parents have reacted well to the online questionnaires, and many have contacted the school to say it would be useful to also collect permissions for trips and other information needed by the school. “Our parents are extremely busy but also very supportive,” says Alison, “having forms and surveys online not only saves the school a lot of time but also the parents.”

Dinner Booking Forms

With the free school meal initiative coming into force late last year, Quainton Primary School were worried about how they would keep on top of all the extra work. Luckily, they found the perfect solution with the new Forms Application.

School Bursar Sarah Collier told us, “Previously we had to manually count meal choices on every form sent, which as you can imagine, was very time consuming. Within an hour of sending out a form through ParentMail, 50% of parents had replied. We’ve really noticed an increase in the responses we’re getting back from parents now they can complete them online, which means we don’t have to spend time chasing!”

With ParentMail’s Forms, Permissions and Survey’s application there’s no limit to the type of form or survey that can be created by schools, from injury forms to consent, collecting parent/guardian details to trips and more. Working as a standalone application or in conjunction with ParentMail’s other applications; schools can make substantial cost and time savings. Book a free demonstration today to see how it works and how it could benefit your school.