8 ways school apps can help your primary school
If you’re a school business manager and you’re sat in your office right now thinking about how tedious all the paperwork is — and that creating, proofreading, printing and sending paper school communications to parents is never-ending. Then we might have a cost-effective solution to your mountainous paperwork problem.
A school app replaces outdated and ineffective communication processes; it saves admin time and helps you move one step closer to becoming a greener school — all while building better relationships with parents.
So, how can an app specifically help your primary school? Here are eight ways.
P.S. Intrigued to find out how much a school app could save you? Check out our free calculator tool.
1. Assign homework tasks easily
With everyone a little savvier with online learning since the pandemic, schools can take this opportunity to continue with a digital focus. Assigning homework via a digital platform such as a school app can mean parents better understand what is expected of their child; no homework task is forgotten about or left at the bottom of a school bag.
Teachers can upload subject-based curriculum homework tasks for parents to download and re-upload once completed. The homework hub allows parents to live chat with their child’s teacher to help bridge any knowledge gaps or answer questions about the tasks set. Also within the hub sits a chat translation tool to help non-English speaking parents or guardians understand all homework assignments clearly, again ensuring no parent feels isolated or confused.
2. No parent gets left behind
It’s tricky to get every parent engaged, but with a large number of parents having access to a smartphone, a school app makes it easier than ever to engage even the most resistant parents. The app is free and easy to download and install — just like you would do with any app. A school app doesn’t just improve internal school processes; it also improves the parental experience. No longer do parents need to pay for class trips or school meals with cash; they can pay through the app easily, quickly and securely.
“What about parents who haven’t downloaded the app?” — this is a common question. But just because a parent doesn’t have the app doesn’t mean you can’t contact them. You can still send SMS messages or emails to all parents or send push notifications through the app — you’ve got a choice. You also don’t have to call and chase parents who are yet to respond. Simply resend the message to those select group of parents and you’ll see once they’ve opened it.
All these features help improve parental engagement while gifting your school admin team precious time back in their day.
3. Encourage open communication with parents
In their developmental years, it’s important children get supported both at school and at home where possible. And it’s not always easy to create clear and consistent communication channels with parents, particularly with primary school class sizes averaging at around 30 children. Teachers are tight on time and can’t dedicate considerable time with each parent or caregiver — and that’s how a school app can help.
A school communication app can help you break down the barriers to effective parental communication. With the immediacy of an app, you don’t have to wait until school ends to address parental concerns. Parents can message teachers directly, asking about homework tasks and raising any concerns they have through one channel.
Encouraging parents to contact your school through one channel can help reduce phone calls to your school office and keep everyone (including parents, non-teaching staff and teaching staff) all on the same page. This means communication becomes easier to manage.
4. Keep parents informed from the very beginning
When a new parent joins your school, they might find it a little overwhelming to get their head around processes unique to your school. With a school app, you can update parents on all the important school stuff, so they’ll never be without it — it’ll be kept safe in the free app for them to access whenever they need a refresh. They no longer have to rely on their organisation as there’s no paperwork to worry about, no letters or consent forms they have to sign and share with the school.
“A means of regular communication and we’ve been able to gather views or information from parents by designing surveys and forms. The fact that you can send out letters etc is a great help and it has helped us to stay in touch with parents and carers very efficiently.”
- Kay Goodwin, Headteacher at Hallwood Park Primary School and Nursery
All consent forms, surveys, school term dates, and more are all accessible through the app. Not only is this new paperless format more eco-friendly, but it’s also easier for school administrators to manage, and it removes unnecessary worry and anxiety for parents.
5. Pinpoint the inactive parents and do something about it
We’ve already touched on the fact you can resend messages to those parents who haven’t yet responded. But what about the parents who are still refusing to cooperate through your app? Our dashboard helps you pinpoint the inactive, the active, and the invited parents easily with a colour-coded system — red, green, and amber.
Just knowing how many inactive parents you have doesn’t mean anything. But having the ability to filter the inactive parents means you can build a comms strategy to reach out and understand their reasons for not taking part in the app communication.
For parent accounts that say ‘invited’, this means they haven’t yet accepted your invitation to join the app. Again, you can reach out to them to make sure they haven’t missed the invitation.
Knowledge of how many parents are inactive and who those parents are can massively help improve parental engagement instead of those parents being missed or not consistently being communicated with.
6. Arrange a stress-free parents evening
Ok, maybe not completely stress-free, but a digital parents’ evening booking system sure sounds a lot smoother than the archaic paper-based slips reliant on children delivering them safely home. Parents and teachers are busy people, so simply selecting their preferred parents’ evening slot without the need to write it on the calendar is a pretty big positive to having a school comms app.
7. Your primary school will always be GDPR-compliant
School data is sensitive and needs to be kept in a secure platform — a school app offers this safe space. A safe space that can be securely accessed from any remote location (which came in handy throughout our many lockdowns). Teachers and other school staff can access the platform through their smartphone, making communicating with parents even more straightforward. The confines of your school premises do not limit you.
GDPR compliance is something we take very seriously here at Parentapps, so you can rest assured that your data is safe with us.
Additionally, if you get your school website built and designed by us, we ensure it complies with all Ofsted school website guidance without sacrificing great design. Check out our school website portfolio.
8. Access unlimited support
At Parentapps, we want you to get the most out of your school website and app, and that’s why we provide thorough onboarding training so your staff members are confident they know how to navigate the dashboard. On top of this training, we provide unparalleled customer support. Ring our support team whenever you have any questions or need help with the platform, regardless of how small you think it is — we’re here to help you and your parents.
Getting used to new software can be daunting, but our dashboard is designed to be user-intuitive, and users can access our support hub which includes a complete guide, knowledge based articles and video tutorials. These can help walk you through all kinds of features, from how to send a message and how to access message delivery reports to removing and deactivating users.
Here at Parentapps, our aim is to make parental engagement effortless; that’s why our development team is constantly working to develop new and exciting features to support your school. Book a demo of our school app.