We recently caught up with Fiona Safrany, Business Manager at Dawley Brook Primary School to find out all the great benefits they have seen since switching to SchoolPing. Having previously used an expensive texting service and paper based communications, they have seen increased engagement from their parent community as well as financial savings of up to £3,000 every year.
How did you previously communicate with your parents and what products were you using (if any)?
Paper copy letters and forms, a text messaging service, telephone and occasional emails
What was your main reason for choosing SchoolPing?
To streamline our communications with parents and move to digital communication. Our text messaging service was very limited in terms of message length. The Integrated payments system was also a factor in choosing SchoolPing.
How much do you estimate you have saved on printing and texting costs using SchoolPing?
£2,000 – £3,000 per year.
How has SchoolPing helped the office team?
The ability to send parents detailed messages, with attachments and active hyperlinks has made our communications with parents so much easier, particularly given what has been going on this last year. Being able to track engagement with messages has also been extremely useful, especially with monitoring engagement with some of our hard-to-reach families. You can see what was accessed, when and how (laptop, phone etc). Even down to seeing if multiple attachments on a message were opened. We are also finding that hard to reach staff, such as our cleaners and MDSAs are also engaging more with whole-school staff communication. Again, this has been really useful when consulting on and rolling out policies, lateral flow testing, risk assessments and return plans for staff.
How has your parent community reacted to SchoolPing?
Our parents are engaging with our communications much more than when we were using paper copies. It is more than just a way to send out letters and media though. We used the Parents’ Evening function in the Autumn term, which was a revelation to both admin and teaching staff in terms of reducing the admin time associated with organising and running the event. We have also received comments from estranged parents that they have felt much more included with school communication because it negates the need for them to go through a former partner. They have said they feel more able to discuss what is happening in school with their children.
What has been the biggest benefit to your school since implementing SchoolPing?
Saves time, both in terms of paper-sorting consents, photocopying, chasing consents & replies and general administration as well as reducing the number of telephone and “on the door” enquiries from parents.
What do you use the SchoolPing ‘Forms’ system for?
Annual consent forms & GDPR compliance; health screening participation; sign up and consent for activities; questionnaires and surveys both for staff and parents.
How has the parents evening booking feature streamlined this process for you?
Reduced admin time, easier for parents to book times that suit. Better information for staff about how the sessions run, better parental engagement.
How have you been using SchoolPing to help manage communications throughout the pandemic?
We have used it extensively to support remote learning and manage our emergency childcare provision, building and using return forms to quickly gather information from parents and guardians, such as key worker status and the need for access to emergency childcare. It has been really useful for keeping parents up to date with latest guidance as well as being able to target and tailor messages for specific groups (ie remote learning & emergency provision).