“It’s massively reduced costs through paper letters but also having term dates and links to the website, makes the information far more accessible and that’s reduced the number of things parents call in for.”
What challenges were you looking to address?
We were using traditional paper-based communication, and letters always ended up at the bottoms of the children’s bags. There was a real mix of engagement which caused a few problems at times.
Our biggest challenge was reaching a wider audience, and how to do so. We knew from previously using an app with another provider that 98% of our parents had a digital device, so that seemed the obvious route to take.
What features where you looking for?
We were doing a lot and dabbling in a lot of different platforms to try and communicate and get messages and things out. Parentapps gave us a one-stop-shop for how we could send letters, group messages and direct individual messages to parents, and the flexibility to choose whatever form of communication we preferred.
We also wanted to have a review of our website, so that was in the back of my mind when we launched. I used to be an ICT adviser and I’m quite technical, but for some of our staff technology was not something they were particularly familiar with. Our goal was to try and streamline our communication processes, and to a large extent, we have achieved that.
Why did you choose Parentapps?
We did look at a large number of app providers, but I think what struck us was the cost. Also, having that flexibility of approaches and features would allow us to communicate in a way that we needed to. That was the most appealing aspect of Parentapps, along with ease of use and trying to make things more efficient, and I do believe Parentapps really gave us that.
How are parents
with the app?
We had an overwhelming response after launching the app in autumn 2019. The response was positive from our parents in the playground and at the gate on a Monday morning, saying that they were pleased that we adopted this new system and that they were now able to keep up with things that were happening in the school.
I remember talking to the MD of Parentapps at the time and how impressed we were with our initial uptake. We’ve targeted parents who have not signed up since and we’re in the higher end of 90 percent for engagement.
Why did you change to a Parentapps website?
We moved to a Parentapps website in summer 2020. Again, the contact and support processes that we had were excellent. One of the issues that you have with technology when you’re working with a company is that you have a vision of what you want things to look like, then you’ve got a product with restrictions and guidelines that you have to meet.
However, I did really feel like we were listened to, and we were quite picky as well. The Parentapps team were really patient and came up with exactly what we wanted.
We love our new website, and I like that Parentapps personalised the website to achieve everything we wished for. I think that’s really important.
What impact has Parentapps had on your school?
It really has changed the way we communicate with our community. It’s streamlined processes, it has enabled staff to really quickly send out messages and reach a wider audience.
I always say this, but our school is right in the middle of this community and we’re the heart of it. What binds us together is our communication, with staff, and with each other.
At the moment, we’re using the consent forms for our staff to report our Covid tests, and I do feel as though the website has made that bond between ourselves and the community even stronger.
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It really has changed the way we communicate with our community. It’s streamlined processes, it has enabled staff to really quickly send out messages, communicate and reach a wider audience.
It’s honestly the best thing we’ve done. It’s efficient, it saves such a lot of time and it’s one central place again which for me is the most important thing.
Printing out 400 letters and distributing them around the school was time-consuming. With the app, you know the messages you send out will be seen by parents.
It’s massively reduced costs through paper letters but also having term dates and links to the website, makes the information far more accessible and that’s reduced the number of things parents call in for.
It’s immediate. We can hit many many parents, really quickly. It’s just revolutionized school. That’s all I can say, it’s just fantastic. I really really love it.