Toby Lester
3 minutes length
Posted: 15th August 2018

What's up with WhatsApp?

Last month a Mumsnet thread hit the headlines when a post referring to the different types of mum found in ‘every’ school WhatsApp group struck a chord with parents across the country.

Ranging from ‘the wind-up merchant’ to ‘the informer’ to ‘the school can do no wrong brigade’, the mum invited others to add their own characters that she may have missed; and other mums were quick to follow up with their own suggestions!

It seems the school WhatsApp group is a source of information and frustration in equal measure for many parents. Parents are quick to state that the WhatsApp group created at the beginning of the school year is a handy way of staying up to date with the latest classroom news. However, the sheer quantity of messages sent by the 20+ parents all part of the same group can be quite overwhelming and ‘fear of missing out’ often warrants us incapable of turning notifications to silent.

For schools, the parent WhatsApp group can result in inaccurate information circulated quickly to a large number of parents. Classroom politics leak through the school gates and into the digital world where staff have little to no control over the content shared. For those teachers who use WhatsApp to communicate with parents, there can be serious privacy issues (i.e. messages intended for one parent mistakenly sent to another or to a group).

Of course, WhatsApp groups are a particularly handy source of news and information for those parents unable to socialise with fellow mums and dads in the school playground. However, it is easy to forget those parents without access to new technology. These are the parents who miss out on the news and information that many parents take for granted.

Social inclusivity has been at the heart of ParentMail’s technology since we started up over 17 years ago. We recognise the benefits of modern technology for schools, however, we ensure those parents who prefer a traditional method of communication have the same access to school news and information as those parents using our free App. No parent is forgotten or left out because we believe every parent deserves to be kept up to date with their child’s education.

With ParentMail, schools can send news and information without fear of privacy breaches, knowing their data is up to date and protected. Digital communications warrant loose pieces of paper and hardcopy consent forms redundant; online forms and responses are easily received, analysed, managed and stored.

And, of course, schools have total control over the information circulated. No fear of Chinese whispers interfering or editing important school-related messages. Whether it’s term dates, school closures, after-school-club cancellations or trip payments, the information is wholly in the hands of school staff, ensuring parents receive only accurate information and can respond appropriately.

When it comes to parental engagement, ParentMail ensures quality, consistent and reliable school communications that both schools and parents can rely on. Let’s keep WhatsApp groups for birthday parties and leave school communications to the experts!

To find out more about how ParentMail can improve parental engagement at your school, call us on 01733 595959 or email enquire@parentmail.co.uk for more information.