Today, schools want to give parents as much information as possible to keep them included and engaged, and ultimately help them support their child. But with so many pulls on teacher’s time, what’s the best way to do this without impacting on teacher workload?
The issue is that, while we all know the valuable role parents can play in their children’s education, making it actually happen can be extremely challenging. I think embracing technology, in particular mobile technology, could be the key.
Many schools across the UK are now using mobile technology to make parental communications easier, by sending information straight into the hands of parents via their mobile phone or tablet via an app. Some schools just send newsletters and homework reminders, whereas other schools are publishing a whole host of communications from timetables, achievements and attendance, through to school reports and events.
When schools embrace push technology though, that is when the real magic happens. Schools are used to proactively using notifications to let parents know about an after-school club cancellation, or a late bus. But what about alerts related to achievements, grades and progress on a weekly or even daily basis.
Parents like being truly engaged in their child’s schooling so they can tackle any issues straight away. A parent can immediately see if their child is late for school, has not handed in their homework, or is struggling with a maths test.
Most importantly, an aware parent is one that can then support their child with additional help at home for a topic they are finding tricky, or help them with homework reminders to ensure that they stay on track. When they’ve had a great day a parent can praise them for coming first in running or getting all their spellings correct.
For teachers, the improved home-school communications help to start conversations, particularly with parents who previously were less involved.
The impact on workload
We need to be mindful, however that improving parental communications should not increase teachers’ workload. It’s incredibly important to get the balance right.
The beauty is that teachers are recording most of this information in their management information system (MIS) anyway, so by keeping parents in the loop using mobile technology like the SIMS Parent app there is very little impact on teacher workload, and yet it makes the home-school relationship much easier.
Schools and parents fully synced
Engaging parents in their child’s education is not only about face-to-face meetings. Yes these are still hugely important, but they are now part of a bigger picture which sees a synchronised approach through a variety of communications to get parents involved on a daily basis without impacting on workload.
With technology moving at such a fast pace, apps and mobile technology are changing every day. Parents can now, without much effort, be fully synced with the school. And the technology can take the strain for schools.
To find out more about SIMS apps for schools including our revolutionary SIMS Parent app, just take a look here.