Achieve top marks for communicationTopic: Education
It’s widely recognised that the more actively involved parents are in their child’s education, the better the pupil will perform at school. Educational institutions have an obligation to their pupils, faculty, parents, and surrounding communities to communicate effectively.
A report by Becta, revealed 82% of parents want schools to communicate more about their child’s progress and activity, showing that there is a real appetite for active participation and greater engagement.
In the past, messages passed between the school to home relied heavily upon the pupil carrying the message home, which isn’t particularly reliable when it’s bad news. Nowadays, technology has been beginning to play an increasingly bigger role in school communications. And that’s where schools and colleges have been harnessing the power of technology to open up simple, more effective channels of communication.
One example of schools going digital with notifications is exemplified in how some Somerset schools have been able to send SMS alerts to parents for important communications directly from their in-house management system detailing information such as school closures, parents evenings, school trips and reminders.
According to a survey conducted by Motorola over 25 percent of schools believe their existing communication system needs to be improved to enable better handling of emergencies when incidents such as injuries and accidents, external threats, weather events and natural disasters, occur.
Although rare in most of the UK, strong winds and heavy snow can lead to school closures, traffic chaos and a number of other unexpected disruptions. At these times, speed and efficiency are vital as parents and students prefer to know about any closures before setting off. For these moments, SMS is an instant way of sending emergency alerts to parents and students and making sure they get read.
Improving attendance rate
Truancy is a continuing concern. The overall pupil absence rate currently stands at 4.5% with 1 in 10 of these being repeatedly absent. This could explain why a number of schools are utilising SMS to alert parents when their child has not attended school.
Somerset schools found that by using SMS to communicate with parents when their child was reported absent, fewer children began to report late. Another case also found that truancies decreased by 27% following the implementation of text notifications.
On a lighter note, one thing that’s crucial when using SMS is spelling. A typo could have some amusing results as this one school in Derby found out.
Schools want to have a good relationship with parents and families and those that are exploring more accessible methods will ensure they remain top of the class.