The ultimate guide to improving communication with parents

Amy Underdown - 1 March, 2022

Category : Blog

The ultimate guide to improving communication with parents

Why is communicating with parents so important? Having good communication between parents and schools can make a big difference to a child’s education. When parents are more involved, students are often better-behaved, have higher attendance rates and a lower risk of exclusion. In turn, this leads to better results.   Having this extra line of support

Why is communicating with parents so important?

Having good communication between parents and schools can make a big difference to a child’s education. When parents are more involved, students are often better-behaved, have higher attendance rates and a lower risk of exclusion. In turn, this leads to better results.  

Having this extra line of support has become even more important given the impact of Covid on schools. With students across the country attending school virtually during lockdown, communication with parents needed to be more consistent than ever to make sure that no students were left behind. 

The introduction of Ofsted’s ‘Parent View’ questionnaire and similar inspection tools is further proof of the importance of involving parents in their children’s education. 

Why do some schools struggle with a two-way communication approach?

Many things can get in the way of effective communication between parents and schools.  It can also be challenging for schools when they don’t have a system in place that allows parents to communicate back to them easily. 

Top tips for improving parent interaction using your MIS

1. Go paperless!

It’s time to say goodbye to paper slips and letters. With a cloud-based MIS, you can send emails, SMS messages or in-app messages to parents in bulk, or to certain groups. This not only saves time – and the environment! – but also means parents are notified of any new comms on-the-go and on their mobile phones, which encourages quicker responses and supports two-way interaction. 

With Arbor, you can send out messages to parents in bulk, to certain groups or to individuals. For example, you can text all the parents whose children are late on a specific day, which doesn’t just make life easier for office staff, but helps your team sort out any issues more quickly and effectively.

And it works the other way, too. Parents can also ask questions on the Arbor App (if your school has enabled this setting) or the Arbor Parent Portal, without needing to have received a message from the school first. This means parents and guardians have a place where they can have open communication with the school, and feel listened to. 

2. Give parents the information they want

Helping parents to feel involved in their child’s education can feel tricky, as you don’t want to overload guardians with information, or not be able to keep track of who has been sent what. The Parent Portal keeps everything in one place, so parents can check in on their child’s attendance, behaviour and academic progress, as well as accessing past and current report cards. 

Giving parents this visibility over their child means they can become more involved where needed, and are kept in the loop when things aren’t going as well as they should be. 

3. Make life easier for parents

As well as giving parents an overview of their child’s data, the Parent Portal is also the place where schools can ask parents to take action. This could be asking for permissions, payments or registering their child for clubs and trips. Another popular use of the app is as a guardian consultation/parents evening booking system, which makes it easy and less stressful for both the parents and the school staff. 

By having everything in one place, both parents and schools can feel more confident that everyone has access to the data they need. 

Want to learn more? 

At the heart of any good communications strategy is making sure that both parties feel listened to and have visibility over the right information. 

If you’re not already using Arbor, and want to see how it could transform how you engage with parents at your school, get in touch with our friendly team today. Call us on 0208 050 1028 or send us an email at hello@arbor-education.com to get started.

Already an Arbor customer and want to learn more about how to make the most out of your Arbor App? Read our Help Centre for more tips and tricks or join us at ArborFest. 

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