Case study: Lady Jane Grey Academy
Improving parental engagement whilst reducing admin burden
Trusted parent and school charity, Parentkind says that ‘A positive and mutually respectful collaboration between home and school is the optimal environment for children to have the best educational experience.’ Research from their influential Parent Voice survey 2021 states that ‘85% of parents want to play an active role in their child’s education’. Achieving this relies on effective, timely and relevant two-way communication between schools and parents.
"Research from their Parentkind’s Parent Voice Survey 2021 states that ‘85% of parents want to play an active role in their child’s education"
But how can chronically under-resourced and busy school teams ensure the right level of communication and engagement is achieved between equally pressured parents to ensure the best outcomes for all pupils?
This was a challenge that Ofsted Outstanding Lady Jane Grey Academy School faced. For years they struggled with poor parental engagement, slow, lost, and duplicated responses, challenges with regulation compliance when storing past data and an overburdened administration team, due to parent communication being primarily paper-based. It was a situation that could not continue.
Finding a solution
Fortunately, the school prided itself on not standing still and embracing change.
After a competitive tendering process, ReachMoreParents was the chosen supplier to provide the modern and strategic communication solution the school needed. This was found in our custom branded apps for schools and the accompanying integrated website.
"We were blown away by ReachMoreParents as soon as we started using it!"
Sam Boulter, School Business Manager explains why Lady Jane Grey Academy chose Weduc’s solutions above all others.
"We were impressed with ReachMoreParents as soon as we started using it. The portal offered a way for us to communicate everything in one place, from non-school uniform days to exam reminders, to away days to charity events. Plus, as a cashless school, we needed a way for parents to pay for things, which the app seamlessly provided. It was a straightforward and easy-to-use one-stop-shop solution for us to reach parents and vice versa.
Internally the impact was phenomenal and instant, we saw an instant reduction of 85-90% in back-office tasks due to time-saving structures, templates, and features. Parents could find out the information they needed easily, which meant they did not need to phone the office for clarification and could respond quickly and easily, even for multiple siblings."
We were also determined to find a way to increase our level of parent engagement and we were delighted to achieve it through this app. Now we can send a message out to parents and within one minute due to the push notification over 70% of all the parents have seen it. In addition, the newsfeed option linking to Twitter and Facebook cuts posting for social media purposes down to one click, with one post able to be shared across a wide range of platforms quickly.
But as we all know good communication is always two-way and the solution offers a convenient and efficient way for parents to stay in touch with the school too. It helps our parents massively; they can send a message at 2 am when their child is poorly meaning if they manage to sleep at 8:30 am, they do not have to ring to tell us they will not be in.
The school felt the ReachMoreParents UK-based team were by far the most responsive and friendly and the school team felt valued and listened to, no question was ever silly.
The system was found to be extremely easy to use, and the onboarding and training process was praised as engaging and prompt. Which alongside the intuitive dashboards, meant that the school support staff, teachers and parents were all confidently using it almost immediately. In fact, it took the Academy only around a few months to have 98% of their families engaged and using the app and teacher feedback was also unanimously positive.
“It took the Academy only around a few months to have 98% of their families engaged and using the app.”
The school cites that one of the favourite features of the software was the calendar. The system allowed parents to easily see not only the details of the upcoming events but also any communications that had been circulated about the event too. For example, parents could see that Year 3s were going to the park on a class trip on Wednesday, but even more importantly the letters and emails that had been sent home reminding parents that students would need wellies. Therefore, reducing the number of phone calls to the main office to ask if wellies are required.
The need for primary schools to embrace efficient communication systems makes good business sense, our solutions save you time and money, but as importantly research speaks to parent participation being a fundamental competent in achievement and retention results
Another favourite feature was the newsfeed, which was praised as a safe and relevant method of sharing positive news with parents, as they only received information that was relevant to their children.
The need for primary schools to embrace efficient communication systems makes good business sense, our solutions save you time and money, but as importantly research speaks to parent participation being a fundamental component in achievement and retention results. John Hattie’s seminal 2008 study, Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement found that “The effect of parental engagement over a student’s school career is equivalent to adding two or three years to that student’s education”
If you want to find out more about how ReachMoreParents can help your school, call us on 01509 221 349. Or book an online chat here or send us a query here. You can also take a look at our web pages to see what we can do for primary, secondary, independent schools, and trusts.