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Schoolzine: The Importance of Parental Engagement

“It is globally accepted that when a school engages the parents, in their child’s life at school, it ultimately leads to a better educational outcome for that student.” Phil Reardon, Founder and CEO Schoolzine.

Parents today are incredibly busy, meaning that trying to get them involved and engaged in what their children are doing at school is becoming an increasingly difficult challenge.  The facts are firstly, that children who have parents that are engaged in their school life achieve more at school than those who don’t. Secondly, engaged, happy parents are a great marketing tool for your school!  So, what can you do to increase your current level of parental engagement?

With more and more parents working full-time the window of opportunity to engage them can be small.  In today’s modern world, where 95% of parents own a smart-phone, it is vital for schools to embrace multi-media technology and fully utilize this as a form of communication.  If you want proof just look out of the window at school pick-up time and you will see the familiar sight of parents scrolling through something on their phone whilst waiting for their child to come out.  Play it right and it could be your school newsletter they are scrolling through!

Parents want more than a text message nowadays.  They want real-time alerts that come through an app straight to their screens.  One extra incentive for schools to switch to using an app and push notifications is the cost; you can usually make a direct switch in terms of budget from your previous text messaging system to using our complete communication platform.

“The effectiveness of the school’s engagement with parents and carers is one of the eight judgments under ‘leadership and management” (Ofsted).

So important is effective parental engagement it forms part of Ofsted’s inspection criteria, meaning for schools to achieve an outstanding rating certain attainments must be met.  Firstly parents and carers must be exceptionally well informed about all aspects of their children’s achievement, well-being and development; secondly, all groups of parents and carers must be able to communicate with the school through a wide range of media and must receive up-to-date, accurate and timely information; lastly parents and carers must be heavily involved in decision-making on key matters.

Schoolzine is here to help your school achieve all that and more.  With unlimited, interactive, media rich and mobile responsive content in your newsletters you can ensure that every parent can access up-to-date information about their child’s school day at the touch of a button.

In many newsletters that go home to parents there is only limited space available to showcase school achievements, meaning that, usually, only children who do exceptionally well in something are likely to feature.  Imagine a newsletter that had unlimited, media-rich content.  Schools could include photos of every child’s artwork, or a photo of every child competing in sports day.  Imagine how many more parents would actively seek out reading the school newsletter if they knew there was going to be a picture of their child in it. 

Nowhere is parental engagement a higher priority than in a special needs school, where children might not be able to go home and share stories of their school day with their parents. For parents to be able to see their children are happy, developing and enjoying school is a valuable resource to have.  Again, we can help every type of school develop and successfully use an engaging newsletter to capture parent’s attention.

Schoolzine is proud of its app, SZapp, as well and parents often tell us how much they love having alerts, specific to their child, coming through straight to their phones.  With a dynamic calendar, that can sync directly to a parent’s phone, parent’s can also filter events and meetings into specific years, so they only see what is relevant to their children.

If you are interested in speaking to Schoolzine more about parental engagement please come and visit them on stand 441.  It’s their favourite topic!

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