A better way to manage absence reporting through coronavirus

The nationwide lockdown is back again, and although it’s not as restricted as the previous one (and it’s hopefully much shorter than the first), it’s still going to be tough for many of us. 

This time around, schools, universities and colleges are allowed to stay open due to reportedly low virus transmission among young people and the extensive educational disruption already witnessed for 2020.

As a direct result of the pandemic, anxiety has risen to the surface for parents, children and staff, which is understandable as the guidance hasn’t always been clear. This ambiguity has led to an increase in questions around school outbreaks and how they should communicate with their child’s school.


Is it one rule for each school?


Parents still have a lot of questions about school safety and the rules around self-isolation – mainly wondering what the policy is for sending children home if an outbreak occurs.

Councils have published guidance for schools surrounding self-isolation and how best to contain a school virus outbreak.

The guide covers all kinds of scenarios including what to do if a child has coronavirus symptoms, if they’ve tested positive for the virus,k or if the NHS test and trace have identified the child has been in ‘close contact’ with somebody who has the virus.

The guide lists the action needed and a timescale for returning to school.

Procedures surrounding self-isolating entire classes or just select pupils varies from school to school. As a school, if you haven’t already, you could consider sharing the council leaflet with your parents and carers to keep them informed about school procedures. This could help alleviate anxiety surrounding managing a school outbreak.


Managing absence reporting with Parentapps


The team here at Parentapps strive to develop new and helpful features within our school communication app. And we know that our absence reporting feature will add value to your school processes, particularly during coronavirus.

Our absence reporting feature compliments your current SIMS system; it doesn’t replace it. It’s a great way to view all absences submitted by parents each morning; they’re all in the same place pre-collated for you. You don’t have to note down each individual absence.

You can set up notifications so you can keep track of absences as and when they come in, and parents can upload attachments to the report directly from the app. So if someone has to self-isolate with virus symptoms, they can notify your school efficiently.

This feature reduces phone calls made to your office team daily. Giving parents one clear channel to report absences can help cut down unnecessary administrative tasks currently draining your office resources.


Do you need a school app?


Communication between your school and your parents could be much easier. Imagine if you could track who opens your messages so you can resend to just those few? Or the admin time you’d save by shifting your communication to digital platforms?

A school app is a cost-effective way to increase parental engagement. The benefits don’t just stop at your school; your parents receive every communication you send; they don’t have to rely on letters coming home with their children. Parents can relax knowing they can get important information instantly from the app – significant school updates, parents’ evening bookings, absence reporting – they can even talk directly to their child’s teacher.

You could be saving a lot of time, effort and money. Don’t believe us? Work out how much you could save with our Parentapps savings calculator.