17 benefits of a school communication app
If you’re considering investing in a school communication app, or you’re researching alternatives to the school app you have now, you’re in the right place. School apps can save your school money, time — all while improving parental engagement, you’ve landed in the right place.
In this blog, we discuss 17 benefits a school app can offer your multi-academy trust. Read about each benefit below.

1. Send FREE app notifications

Everyone has a smartphone now, so being able to push notifications out to their phone directly, for free, has got to be a winning benefit, right? You can send as many notifications to parents as you want through a school communication app — they’re unlimited. Pushing these notifications out means you’re more likely to get in touch with those harder to reach parents.

After you’ve sent the message, you can track who’s opened/not opened it and who has yet to respond (if necessary) to your notification. This means you can re-send to only those parents who haven’t opened the message — making your communication more deliberate and targeted. (It also means you’re not annoying those parents who’ve already opened your message!)

2. Integrated email & SMS

You need to be able to reach parents and guardians wherever they are; that’s why having a multi-channel approach to communication is essential. School apps mean you are able to integrate email and SMS means communication becomes less arduous for both teachers and support staff alike. You can keep tabs on all communication sent at the touch of a button.

3. Communicate with parents (and multiple family members)

Not only can you communicate effortlessly with parents through a school app, but you can also communicate with multiple family members. We understand that it’s not always the same parent you need to contact — or sometimes, not a parent at all. That’s why our software makes communicating with multiple family members easy. Get in touch with the person you need without having to phone around to find their details.

4. School MIS Integration

Sometimes, getting used to new software can be daunting, but our app integrates seamlessly with your school management information system. So you don’t need to worry about manually transferring data. The two systems talk to each other,  making managing all elements of parental communication clearer and easier. We integrate with all major MIS platforms, including Arbor, schoolpad, cmis, SIMS, ScholarPack, and more.

5. Term dates and events

Keep parents and carers in the know with instant (and 24-hour access!) to all your school events and term dates. Parents no longer have to rely on memory or handwritten notes about important school events — they can open their school app and find their answer instantly. Uploading events this way can also save your school admin team time dispersing important information to each parent. Instead, they can add and amend dates whenever and send out a push notification to notify parents of any changes. Simple.

6. Newsletters and parent letters

Paper letters are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Not only are they expensive, but creating the letters, printing them out, and distributing them to children or parents is time-consuming. It’s also not very planet-friendly, so making your way to becoming a paperless school can help you take steps towards becoming greener.

With a school communication app, multi-academy trusts can decrease their carbon footprint while cutting down on unnecessary admin tasks (and save money!)

See how much you could be saving by using our free savings calculator.

7. Photo galleries

Parents can access secure photo galleries of their children and their class. Teachers can upload photos whenever they want to to keep parents updated with their child’s school activities. Having access to a secure photo gallery can increase engagement amongst parents — who doesn’t want to see what their children are getting up to in school?

8. Dedicated support team

At Parentapps, we pride ourselves on our dedicated support team. We’re here to help you whenever you need it — no matter how small the issue, we’re available to call, web chat, or email. When we’ve set your school app up, your staff will receive training to help them navigate the dashboard and ensure they properly use all features available.

 We’re here to help your multi-academy trust thrive, and that means supporting you as you deliver uncompromised parental engagement.

9. Private and secure (GDPR-compliant)

Our apps are secure, so you can rest assured that your data is safe with us. We know how important security and privacy is, particularly when it comes to school data. All our apps and websites are GDPR compliant, and we make sure all apps and websites adhere to the Ofsted guidelines.

When it comes to working remotely, staff can securely access the platform from their mobile phones, home computers, or tablets — wherever they’re working from — they can still competently manage school-parent communication.

10. Online payments

Being able to offer parents the facility to pay electronically means you remove difficulties for many parents when it comes to paying for school meals, trips, or clubs. In a post-covid world, taking online payments is most hygienic — and also easier for the school office, with less cash to sift through. Taking online payments is almost expected in other sectors such as hospitality and retail. So your multi-academy trust can deliver on expectations by offering online payments. It means you’re appealing to more parents.

11. Consent forms and surveys

Our consent forms and surveys have proved very popular with multi-academy trusts over the pandemic period. Being able to create and send surveys and consent forms en masse has meant teachers and support staff have been able to focus on other more important aspects of school management and education delivery.

12. Website integration

To make the entire parental journey and back-office support work seamlessly, your website can be integrated into your school app — the two can work together to deliver the best parental communication solution for your multi-academy trust. Easily add or remove websites to access through the dashboard; you have complete control over what your parents can and cannot access through the app.

13. Update contact details

Parental contact details can be managed and updated through the app, and updating information is straightforward. Through the platform, you can see how many parents are inactive, giving you complete visibility over all parental engagement. And with our multi-channel approach to messaging, you’ll always be able to contact parents, whether via SMS or email.

14. Parents’ evening and club booking system

The ability to book parents’ evening and clubs online means parents don’t waste precious time phoning and booking slots. These systems make booking effortless for parents, which, in turn, means fewer phone calls and admin support from your school office team — they can focus their attention on other, more pressing matters.

15. Absence reporting

Teachers and back-office support can quickly view which children have been reported absent through the school app. Remember, this doesn’t replace your MIS; it compliments it. You can set up notifications to keep track of absences as they come in, and parents can upload attachments to the report through the app. This is particularly useful during coronavirus or any illness; parents can notify the school efficiently if their child is self-isolating.

With parents reporting absences this way, it ensures there’s one clear channel to report them through, reducing phone calls to the office regarding absences.

16. Social media integration

Integrating all elements of your parental engagement strategy means your parents don’t have to log into different social platforms to keep up to date with your social posts. With a school app, there’s functionality to integrate your social media channels, pulling in most recent tweets and Facebook posts, so parents can easily stay connected with your school online. With social media integration, your parents will never miss any kind of school communication.

17. Contact the school directly

Parents can contact your school directly through your school communication app. This can help to reduce unnecessary phone calls, which means fewer distractions for school staff. Making it easier to contact your school means parents have to jump through fewer hoops to get the answers they need, which improves their relationship with your school.

We’re an award-winning education technology company, and our focus is on improving parental engagement through our innovative school communication app and website services. Why not

book your demo now to see how we can help your school.

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