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      Effective communication with parents

      It is a well-documented fact that the more involved a parent is in a child’s education, the better they will perform at school. Research has shown that parental interest in their child’s education is the greatest predictor of attainment at age 16.

      The extent to which parents interact with the school varies hugely according to the environment, location, type of school and how open schools are to it. Some schools struggle to get parents to take and interests while others battle to keep overly-pushy parents at bay.

      One thing is certain though: for schools to establish and continue any parental interest, communication needs to be regular and reliable. Schools need to create a partnership that is effective. When parents have full access to information about a child’s interests and progress and feel fully informed about events in the school parents feel more able to help their child.

      Many schools are already on top of this and already communicate well with parents but a survey by BECTA in 2009 found that 82% of parents wished that they had more information about their child’s life. So how do schools achieve this?

      How can technology help teachers, parents and students connect and communicate?

      There are many examples of how schools can use apps and communication platforms to enhance communication methods, from apps that send parents reminders, reports and progress information to provision of information via social media.

      Individual teachers or a designated staff member could publish a blog to keep parents informed and invite comments.

      Email newsletters are also key to keeping parents up-to-date. Importantly, they are instant, private, have the potential to be two-way and can be personalised.

      Why is personalisation important?

      In the independent sector, many schools use secure web-based platforms that have been designed for use with parents, teachers and students. There is a demand for personalised information that is readily accessible by parents, so they are only reviewing information that is relevant to them.

      Personalisation isn’t new: companies like Amazon have been using it for a long time to refine the customer user experience. It has the ability to transform the way parents regard a school because they see that the school wants to treat them as an individual.

      Making the most of personalisation

      Many schools have embraced this concept and used it more widely in their efforts to attract parents in to a school in the first place and in their ongoing communications.

      They have realised that from the very first time a parent interacts with a school, that communication must leave a good impression. Many schools now use Unify for Schools to create communications that are personalised. They make sure their marketing and admission teams are gathering appropriate information and then use this information to create personalised prospectuses and other communications with families.

      Unify for Schools software can give your school an edge: it helps families see your school in a new light and that you have gone the extra mile to engage them. It does this by:

      promoting the most relevant areas of interest to future students through your prospectus

      ensuring families are reading about your best features

      displaying imagery that reflects a student’s specific interests.

      To find out more about how this technology can bring benefits to your school, read our Felsted School case study.