The benefits of a school communication app for parents
You might already be aware of the benefits a school app has for primary schools, but what about your parents, specifically? How can a school app benefit them?
A school communication app can help you engage every parent, regardless of whether they download the app or not. It’s a central platform where parents can access everything they need to know about your school – from booking parents’ evening slots and after school activities to communicating with class teachers and accessing homework tasks.
In this piece, we’re talking you through 12 of the best app features that will help and support your parents – ultimately making communication easier and more effective for everyone!
Let’s dive in.
#1 Direct communication with the class teacher
For parents, getting hold of their child’s teacher has never been easier with a 24/7 communication app.
Parents can log into the dashboard and start an open dialogue with the teacher. They can ask for clarification about homework, class trips – anything they need, your teachers can log in and support them whenever they’re free to do so.
#2 The homework hub makes life simpler
Keeping track of which homework tasks are due for which child can be confusing, particularly when you have more than one child. Confusion is removed from the equation with the presence of a homework hub.
Teachers upload and assign tasks by class, and parents can immediately access each task and download the homework for completion. Once the homework has been completed, parents can upload each task ready for marking.
Delivering homework tasks like this means there’s less need for parents to print homework tasks, and digitally uploading each one means less faff.
#3 Digital parents’ evening booking form
Historically, every child has been given one piece of paper and entrusted to book suitable time slots for each teacher, which aligned perfectly with their parents’ working hours. Or, for younger children, parents had to ring and book in their desired time slot. But not anymore.
With a built-in parents’ evening booking system, parents can log in to the app via mobile, desktop, or tablet to book convenient slots with their child’s teacher.
There’s no need to make a note of each time slot either, as parents can log in whenever to remind themselves of their saved times.
#4 Parents receive regular communication from your school
It’s no longer necessary for parents to wait around for paper letters to come home with their child or have them handed out on the school playground at home time.
A school communication app provides school and parents with an instant communication channel. The school office can send out notifications and school updates immediately, either as a push notification through the app or as an SMS message.
And if a parent misses a notification or email? The admin team can see who hasn’t read or opened the message and resend the communication to those parents only.
#5 GDPR compliance means parent data is safe
GDPR compliance is important to parents, and why wouldn’t it be? It’s important to everyone. According to data from Statista, 35.5% are more concerned about their online privacy than they were a year ago in 2020.
It’s a legal requirement for any organisation to store and process data in line with the GDPR guidelines, so it’s essential your parents feel their data is safe in your school’s hands.
Parents’ security worries can be quashed with a school communication app because data is stored and accessed securely in the cloud. For parents to sign up to the app, they’re first sent an invitation email with a custom link from the school, so no emails are sent in error.
#6 The app allows for admin to add other family members
It’s not always the same parent picking the child up from school, so you must be able to keep other family members in the loop with what’s going on at school.
The school app allows for additional family members, which means you don’t have to double-up on communication; simply send the same message to every parent at the same time. Communicating with all parents has never been easier.
#7 Online payments make life easier
Life is easier with online payment functionality – not just for the parents but also for your admin team. Having to count and handle cash wastes time and resources that could be redistributed elsewhere in the office.
So what can parents pay for online? They can pay for school dinners, class trips, and after school activities all through one school app. Instant payment options mean parents are more likely to pay on time, and you’re checking off another ‘to-do’ list item from their busy schedule.
Offering online payment options is almost expected nowadays; in fact, 33% of British consumers feel confident trying new types of online payment methods when paying for products or services online. So you might be surprised at the uptake of this feature amongst parents.
#8 Parents can easily report absence without picking up the phone
Admin lines can get clogged with parents phoning in their child’s absence, but instead, with a school communication app, parents can log on and report their child’s absence, leaving notes and even attaching doctor’s letters.
By offering this feature to your parents, you’re ensuring the communication channel for each matter is clear. This way, you can stop parents from getting in touch with your school through a variety of channels. By reporting it through just one channel, your teaching staff can coherently see which children are off sick and why.
#9 Parents can view pictures of their child safely
There’s nothing nicer than receiving pictures of your child and their classmates at school, particularly while you’re slogging it in a 9-5! With access to the photo gallery, all parents can view photos your school uploads of the children quickly and easily through the app.
The photos are only accessible through the app, which means they are securely stored.
#10 Parents can book breakfast or after school clubs
Parents can scroll through all after school clubs you offer and book with a touch of a button. Parents are busy people, so even something as simple as booking these kinds of events through an app instead of ringing the school or trying to speak with the correct person on the playground makes their life that little bit easier.
The beauty of having all parental communication in one app means that if a club or activity can’t go ahead for whatever reason, you can just quickly ping an app notification or SMS message to notify all parents of the changes.
You don’t have to draw up a letter and print it off; instead, you can just write and proofread your message and send it straight out.
#11 Instantly access social media feeds
You can integrate your social media profiles into the app, which means parents don’t have to log into separate social profiles to view all your posts. All they need is one login for the app to unlock access to all your communication channels.
This makes it easier to engage different parents, with some preferring Twitter over Facebook; they can all view both feeds effortlessly through the app, never missing an update again.
#12 Quick access to your school website
The app is a central portal for everything school-related; this includes accessing the school website. Parents can view blog posts, read up on the curriculum, read about pupil premium and Ofsted results. Basically, anything on your website that your parents might want to know, they can access it all easily through your school communication app.
#13 Parents Evening Booking System can be set up in less than 10 minutes
With an in-app booking system, parents evenings are easy to manage. Parents can book slots, edit appointments and sync them with their calendar. The export feature means you are able to export a list of bookings with all the relevant information that you need. MIS integration automatically connects teachers with their respective parents and you are able to add appointment lengths with the ability to add breaks. Most importantly, it’s all very easy for your staff to set up and should take a matter of minutes!
Hopefully, you’ve gained an insight into the benefits a school app offers parents. If you take away anything from this blog, let it be:
- A school app is the best way to promote clear communication channels between your school and its parents
- Parents are busy people; a school app means they don’t have to waste time ringing in their child’s absence, booking parents’ evening slots or scheduling time to chat to the class teacher
- All parents are contactable via the school app, even if they don’t have it downloaded. This means no one misses out and feels isolated.
If you’re enjoying reading our content, sign up to receive our newsletter below.