Let everyone know when school is closed.

Perhaps most helpful in times of poor weather, OpenCheck is a free service for all UK schools that allows them to quickly and easily let parents, pupils and staff know if school has had to close in the event of an emergency or unexpected circumstance.

The morning after a night of heavy snowfall, for example, might result in a flock of calls to the school office (which may not be staffed) or a flurry of hits to the school website, which may not be able to handle the sudden, increased traffic.

With OpenCheck these are not problems.

Via the OpenCheck website, nominated contacts from a school can update the school’s status from a list of templates, or create their own. For example:

‘The school has had to close due to icy weather conditions. Please look out for further updates’

Authorised staff can update this status without having to be in school, at the OpenCheck website or with their smartphone using the free ParentComms: Mobile app.

The school’s OpenCheck status is then published in three ways:

  1. As an automated phone answer message that can be listened to by calling the OpenCheck number – 020 8408 7508, and entering your school’s 7 digit DfE code (available here).
  1. On the OpenCheck website and/or as an update to an RSS feed on your website.
  1. As a free push notification to the smartphones of those who have downloaded the ParentComms: Mobile app and registered for OpenCheck updates from school.

Authorised staff using Unified Sign On (USO) can log in at and start using OpenCheck right away. If you are a member of staff at a school not using USO, simply follow the instructions here on how to get set up.

Best wishes,

The Team at Atomwide

Get your message across with our WordPress plugin

Atomwide have developed a WordPress plugin that can be used by any school running their own hosted WordPress site, whether hosted with LGfL or another provider.

The plugin integrates with information from OpenCheck and allows you to send updates posted on your site to every member of school staff via the ParentComms app. You can also choose to send blog posts to every parent that subscribes to your school’s status feed from OpenCheck using the ParentComms:Mobile app.

The FREE plugin, called WP ParentComms Connect, can be downloaded from the WordPress repository and installed into your WordPress site. It must be activated by your school via a code that can be obtained via a dedicated page in the OpenCheck website, accessible only to Nominated Contacts and others with OpenCheck permissions.

Once the plugin is installed and configured, new content can be sent to parents and/or staff as soon as it is published, keeping everyone up-to-date on important school events and announcements, completely free of charge.

To fully benefit from this offering, schools should encourage parents and staff members download the free ParentComms app which is available for iOS and Android, with a Windows Mobile version to be released soon.

iPhone app now available

The ParentComms:Mobile app is now available for iOS and can be downloaded from iTunes.

Parents using the app will be able to subscribe to receive status notifications from all the schools which their children attend. hero-hardware-iosSchools simply need to be actively using the FREE OpenCheck service for automatic updates to be sent out. Notifications of emergency closures will be sent out immediately while notifications of scheduled closures will be sent out the day before. All updates are sent to mobile app users free of charge.

School staff members will also be able to update their school status directly from the app itself if they log into the app and have the correct permissions. School staff can also subscribe to status notifications from any of the school(s) which their children attend so long as the school is using the OpenCheck service.

For more details regarding both the Android and iOS app please visit our website.

Free OpenCheck upgrade and mobile app!


We are excited to announce the launch of the upgraded OpenCheck service located at The new website allows parents to check the status of their children’s schools or view the schools’ scheduled closures for holidays and inset days.

For schools, the site offers a self-contained web application where open and closed information can be entered directly into the built-in administration interface by any users with the OpenCheck updater permission.

A new mobile app, ParentComms:Mobile has been released in conjunction with the launch of the new OpenCheck service. This app is designed to be used by both parents and school staff.

Parents who install the app will automatically receive notifications of school status so they can stay informed effortlandroid appessly in case of emergency closure, especially with severe weather being predicted in the coming weeks.

School staff can also be notified of school status changes. Authorised staff will, for the first time, be able to update status of their school(s) directly from the app.

Nominated Contacts will be able to monitor their network usage, receive alerts regarding connectivity issues, and much more.

The app is currently available for Android devices with the iOS version to be released shortly.

Please click here to download the app or go to Google Play and search for ParentComms, USO, or Atomwide.


Would you like to be a Beta tester?

Atomwide is about to relaunch the OpenCheck service as a new standalone, self-contained website with built-in administration features. OpenCheck enables schools to enter their status online so that parents can easily find out about school closure either by visiting the website, calling a telephone number, or receiving updates through a specially created smartphone app. This is a free service to any school using USO.

The improved service will come with a fully integrated mobile phone app that will allow parents to be notified of any updates made by your school and allow you to post updates via the mobile app.

We are currently looking for people to join the Beta programme to test our Android app. Anyone interested in taking part should email Please provide your USO account username as well as the Gmail address used to register your Android device.

An iPhone app is also currently in development and we will be asking for iPhone users to volunteer in due course. Please keep an eye on our blog if you are interested.

New feature in OpenCheck

School OpenCheck status can now be updated by text.

Schools that subscribe to AutoText and have message credits available can now update their OpenCheck status by text message.

The person making the change needs to have a mobile phone registered to their USO account and must also have the appropriate permissions enabled in their account profile. Users that meet these criteria can then simply text the school’s status message to the specified number. If the status change is successful, a confirmation message gets sent to the sender’s mobile. This costs one credit. If the status change fails no charge is made.

Full details of how this works can be found here.

More additions to OpenCheck

We now have a profile bit that can be allocated to any USO account that will allow the person to modify the state of Open Check for their school.

This profile bit can be allocated by any person from ITcontact and above and takes immediate effect.

Further details of the options available can be found in the help manual here.

Changes to OpenCheck

Over the past 10 days we have made a number of changes to the OpenCheck system. It’s now possible for users with the profile bit ‘Site Managers’ to update the status of OpenCheck for schools.

The front end of the web site has been changed to encouridge users to select from two drop down lists for the LA and the school which then tells the user the state of the school. After this the user may click to draw the map usign Google technology.

We have made this change to reduce the overall load on the systems so as to ensure consisitant delivery of the service in times of great demand.

OpenCheck accepts free form text messages

OpenCheck will now allow for free text messages to be configured by each school in your LA.

The system still allows for the selection for a standard set of messages which now include a number that cover holidays and weekends.

In addition Head Teachers, Deputy Heads, Bursars and IT contacts can now set the status of schools.

Configure your schools settings in the support site at

Home : Resources : School OpenCheck

Yet another tweak to OpenCheck

We have added another slight tweak to the way OpenCheck works as a response to end user requests.

If you select a school from the pull down list in the map report page you will see that the selected school is highlighted by a flashing icon rather than a solid one.

Here is an example page for a London LA

Select a school from the drop down menu on the left to see the effect.

Swine Flu outbreak & OpenCheck

OpenCheck status options
OpenCheck status options

Since the World Health Organisation recently raised the Epidemic Alert to Level 5, signalling a belief that a pandemic is imminent, and urged countries to implement their pandemic plans we have made a small modification to the school OpenCheck service which is part of Atomwide’s USO service.


A wider range of options for the school status has been provided to the system allowing school ITmanagers to select the date at which the school will re-open from a pull down list.

Configuration of your schools status is made in the support site at

Home:Resources:School OpenCheck

This service is available to schools and LA that have purchased full versions of USO

The service can be accessed here

School OpenCheck

OpenCheck LA view
OpenCheck service is now available allowing you to publish the status of your school to the Internet.

The service can be accessed here

Details of how to embed the data into your own web site can be found here

Configuration of your schools status is made in the support site at

Home:Resources:School OpenCheck

This service is available to schools and LA that have purchased full versions of USO