I spent this evening at our Year 7 parents forum, sharing information with parents, and getting feedback on a range of issues. I was there talking about the way we’re using technology to help communication between parents and us, and getting some ideas about how we can move forward.
Things we’re already doing:
- Parents information page on the school website
- Latest news put on the news blog, with a ticker for latest news on the front page
- A space for current announcements on the front page of the site
- A school Twitter account
- Key Stage level email addresses for parents to report absences and direct general inquiries to
In the pipeline
- Online newsletters emailed once a month (?) to questions
- Copies of letters emailed home (eventually replacing paper copies)
Suggested last night
EBI button – I LOVE this idea. EBI stands for ‘Even Better If’ and is used across the school (along with ‘What Went Well’) as a tool for students to evaluate. One parent came up to me over coffee and said ‘Why don’t you have an ebi button on your website’? Parents would be able to give little bits of feedback, either positive, or suggestions, either via an email or form online. Will be implimented very soon!
Staff photots – A few parents felt this would be useful, especially in advance of parents evenings. I don’t think it’ll go down well with all staff, but worth pursuing none the less
A list of school clubs – These would include finishing time, and a few parents were keen on some kind of message going out if a club was cancelled. We’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but the current lists are in publisher and will need copying over. I’ve bumped it up the priority list!
Emailing letters – It was in the pipeline anyway, but we’re going to jump this to the top of the priority list after comments from parents.
We also got to talking about how we can use online surveys to get repsonses like this generally, and there was general agreement that some kind of parents area, with login access and a forum for discussions would be a positive move in the longer term.
Overall, it was an excellent night, and very useful. Attendance wasn’t brilliant, given the numbers in year 7, but those that there made up for the quantity with the quality of their responces.