Parental engagement tools at BETT 2014

We are looking forward to this year’s BETT exhibition (22-25 January) as we will be showcasing an exciting range of services to help ease and improve parental engagement.

The recent relaunch of the free OpenCheck service is gathering momentum, with more and more schools using its automated status features to keep parents informed of any unexpected closures, particularly with current weather conditions. We are running a poster competition for pupils where the winning entry can win the school either £500 cash or £2500 worth of WiFi equipment to help improve the school’s wireless network.

To make it easy for parents to receive updates from OpenCheck, as well as other services we provide to schools, we are delighted to have introduced the free ParentComms:Mobile app, available now from Google Play and iTunes. Our app lets parents subscribe to status information from schools as well as receive messages from any other integrated ParentComms services to which the school subscribes.

Services integrating with the ParentComms:Mobile app include AutoText, ParentComms:Reporter and ParentComms:Pay+. All these send notifications directly to the app of any parent who has registered the app with their USO user account, allowing parents to have all communications from their children’s schools in a single place.

Schools using AutoText, a fully featured texting and email services designed specifically to meet school needs, can save money on parent communication by encouraging parents to use the ParentComms:Mobile app as they can then send push notifications rather than texts.

ParentComms:Reporter lets parents view information the schools holds on their children via a dedicated website. They can see details regarding unauthorised absences, any recorded behaviour-related incidents, achievements and end of term reports. The data parents see is obtained directly via a deep integration with the school’s MIS and schools can control which fields are visible to parents. Any reports uploaded into the MIS can also be exported to the website and targeted to the relevant parent or alternatively, school staff can upload reports via a simple web page. Further integration with ParentComms:Mobile is on its way and will allow parents to access some of the data via their mobile devices.

ParentComms:Pay+, our online payment system, provides a convenient, quick way for parents to pay for meals, trips, clubs and uniform online. It also saves schools time and money in income management and administration, providing a simple system that reports on payments received both online and in cash. Deep integration with the school MIS makes this system highly automated and easy to use for the school. Parents using the ParentComms:Mobile app will receive reminders about dinner money balance and new school trips directly to the app and will soon even be able to make payments from there.

We’ll be happy to offer you a demonstration of these product and more at the show –  stand F178.

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