Building effective communication strategies between staff, pupils and parents is one of the cornerstones that sets a good school apart from some of its less well run neighbours. We are far busier than we were perhaps twenty years ago and there seems to be a lot more things to juggle especially where many families have two parents working.
It has always been important that schools get parents involved as much as possible and many are trying to do this. Gone are the days when the only time mum or dad would see their child’s teacher was at a parent evening. There is much more opportunity for engagement nowadays and this has a number of benefits, including:
- Improving the performance of pupils.
- Giving parents a vested interest in the running and organisation of their children’s education.
- Parental involvement builds relationships with teachers and helps boost the overall morale of the school.
- Working together can find new ways to fit school life around busy schedules more effectively.
The great news is that the latest technology is helping us all to communicate much better. Gone are the days of sending out mass letters, using up valuable admin time, and having to wait days for a parent to respond. With most of us carrying smartphones and tablets it’s easy for parents to download a dedicated school app that keeps them informed of everything that’s going on and allows them to respond.
They don’t have to wait until Sammy gets home with a letter from the school to learn about the next field trip or sports event, they can access the details when they want with online calendars. With technology such as push notification and Wi-Fi, parents can get important updates so that they can better organise their time. Not only does it make communication and engagement so much easier, it helps to reduce the carbon footprint of the school.
It’s easier to get parents involved in school activities if you have a hot line to them. Most schools that have included an app for parents have found that engagement increases naturally because there is a constant reminder nearby. It’s created a change in the dynamic between parents and teachers which means there can be a lot more collaboration.
With developments such as HTML5 designing schools can get greater and easier access across devices – that means parents can see the same information whether they are on a desktop pc, tablet or iPhone.
In fact, if they really want to stay in touch, an app can be downloaded onto several devices and synched to work together. With so many of us now organising our lives on smartphones, it makes sense to help improve school and parent engagement by using this valuable technology. Schools can also get a bespoke solution to their particular needs with the opportunity to customise their app, include the school logo and it doesn’t have to come with an exorbitant price tag.
Image courtesy of Pixabay accessed via Creative Commons