As the new school year is well underway, many heads will be looking at ways to improve communication between staff, students and parents. This is one area where technology has changed dramatically over the last few years and is really making a huge difference.
It’s now cheaper to develop a variety of online communication tools that make a real difference whether someone is trying to find information on a web browser or their mobile phone or tablet.
Schools can also tailor their digital strategy much better to meet their needs as well as those of other stakeholders, including parents and pupils.
Here we take a look at how developing a new website and including a dedicated school app in your communication strategy are key in transforming the way you reach out and connect. And the great news is it’s not only cheaper to do than ever before, it’s easier too.
The Benefits of a New School Website
The technology for creating websites has developed a lot over the last few years. With brilliant new, responsive and mobile-ready designs, there are a lot of great things you can do online. If your current site is more than a few years old, you may want to think about how you update it and create a much better experience for parents.
Ofsted, of course, is focused on improving communication for schools and it’s important to find as many ways as possible to reach out to parents and students. The cost of developing a brand-new website for your school has come down over the last decade and it’s possible to get a bespoke site that really suits your current needs.
A new school website will deliver several immediate benefits:
- It will be fully fit for purpose in preparation for your next Ofsted assessment.
- It allows you to focus on how you communicate with parents and pupils on your site and what information, resources and features you provide.
- It reduces cost in administration by providing a one-stop resource of what parents are looking for. For example, it can help reduce the number of enquiries you get by phone.
- It helps you stand out in your local area and sets you apart as a school that is at the forefront of the latest technology.
- An impressive website means you can market better to local parents.
- Older sites often have information added to them over time which means they can become a little difficult to navigate and cluttered. A redesign essentially makes sure parents and pupils can find all the information they are looking for quickly and easily.
At Parentapps, our team works with you to find out what you want from a great school website. Once we’ve done that, we’ll produce a working prototype that you can then view to see what a difference a responsive website is going to make to your school.
What to Include On Your New School Website?
There are a lot of options available when it comes to designing a brand-new school website. There may be features that you have not considered before like including a regular blog on your site. Of course, you’ll want all the standard information such as term dates, timetables after school clubs and meal menus. But you may also want to include important documentation and details of exciting events you’ve got coming up. The important thing is that your site is responsive, Ofsted compliant and fit for purpose.
Why Adding a School App Can Make Such a Difference
More and more institutions nowadays are complementing their website with a dedicated school app. These are proving to be very effective in further improving communication and taking the pressure off busy admin staff.
The reason for the success of school apps is our increasing use of mobile devices such as smartphones. Most of us have several apps downloaded, putting everything from social media to productivity at work and shopping just a screen tap away.
The great thing about a school app is that it is always present on someone’s device. We carry our phones and tablets with us everywhere, after all. That means parents just need to tap on the app to get the information they need.
Not only that, you can send instant notifications, emails and texts if you need to get hold of someone or tell a group of parents what is happening in school.
You’ll be able to communicate with multiple parents in the same family, send out consent forms and surveys, even take online payments for school trips and handle sickness and absence reporting. With full school MIS integration, you’ll quickly improve your communication management and reduce time spent by administrators from the moment the app goes live.
The real benefits to developing an app for your school include:
- Saving time and money.
- Improving communication with parents and other stakeholders.
- Reducing paper waste due to less administration.
- Producing reports on engagement and app performance.
If you’ve been thinking about introducing a school app to improve communication, the good news is that Parentapps now offer a free 30-day trial so you can test it out and see if it works for your school.
Why You Should Choose Parentapps to Design Your School App and Website
Finding the right partner when it comes to school app and website design is important. Parentapps have a growing track record of delivering high-quality products for schools that really make a difference.
Our focus is purely on improving communication between parents and schools and we back that up with a high level of support and innovation that we believe is second to none in the industry.
If you would like to find out how Parentapps can make a difference to your school, contact our expert team today to find out more.