Case study: The Stour Academy Trust

Wednesday, 24 May 2023 by Weduc

Elevating parent-school ties for The Stour Academy Trust 

Discover how Reach More Parents has helped The Stour Academy Trust achieve its goals. The platform has fuelled an impactful communication strategy, elevating parent engagement, fostering a connected educational community, and enhancing the appeal of each school. 

Turning connections into recommendations  

In a rapidly evolving tech landscape, The Stour Academy Trust adapts education to prepare children for the 21st Century. This forward-thinking approach is mirrored in its attitude to parent engagement across its eight schools. The Trust’s goal is to elevate parents' experiences, inspiring recommendations for its schools amid growing competition. 

Only when the Trust adopted the ReachMoreParents platform, did their engagement ambitions become feasible. Its prior technology, outdated and incapable of underpinning a cohesive strategy, fell short of propelling parent engagement. 

Inconsistent and ineffective communication

For years, The Stour Academy Trust grappled with a patchwork communication system, banking on postal newsletters and text reminders. But this fractured approach was a bottleneck, dampening the effectiveness of parent engagement.

Recognising that today's parents are digital natives, the Trust needed to adapt to the smartphone era. An investment was needed in a modern platform that could bring all of its communications together, creating a more streamlined, effortless touchpoint. One that would inspire parents to interact more with their schools, stay informed and feel increasingly positive about the school community as a whole.

A clear winner for parent engagement

For the Trust, ReachMoreParents distinguished itself from other platforms with its unique Newsfeed feature. This allowed school staff to share engaging, visual content with parents, a tool that wasn’t being offered by other communication and engagement platforms at the time. The platform also offered control over comments in the Newsfeed, enabling reactions while maintaining a managed environment.

What’s more, the Trust's marketing team saw the potential to capitalise on the great classroom moments shared on the platform. This authentic content could be repurposed for social media and other promotional activities, removing the need for separate content collection and saving the team valuable time.


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Effective integration of ReachMoreParents

ReachMoreParents was meticulously integrated by The Stour Academy Trust, highlighting its benefits and ensuring parent participation from the onset. Their message was clear - this platform was the lifeline for crucial school updates.

Promoting ReachMoreParents, The Stour Academy Trust distributed leaflets and emphasised the platform in admission forms. They also designed a guide for schools to maximise the platform’s usage, including maintaining an engaging Newsfeed with regular weekly posts to keep parents interested. 

Creating content involved staff capturing event snippets to share on Teams. Headteachers took the helm to review and upload content, delivering alignment with the Trust’s ethical guidelines. 

Throughout the platform’s integration, the ReachMoreParents team stood ready to deliver rapid technical support, be it over a phone call or through online chat. This created a seamless experience, enabling the Trust to implement and fine-tune its communication plan without any disruptions. 

Keeping parents informed, engaged and happy

ReachMoreParents has transformed how The Stour Academy Trust connects with parents. 

The Newsfeed feature won over the Trust, but it was the platform’s additional features that solidified their long-term partnership.

The Messaging feature streamlined absence reporting and erased uncertainty by tracking read receipts. And the Noticeboard delivered a new level of convenience with its scheduling and reminder features, allowing staff to plan communications in advance and guarantee timely delivery. 

It also became easier to focus on specific year groups within the platform. Staff could set up events in the Calendar that only certain parents could access, making communication more efficient. And the Hub? It became the main place for all school-related info. It took over from the school's website for current parents, letting the website focus on drawing in new ones.

These elements, which complemented each other, amplified the quality of parent-school communication, making this platform indispensable to the Trust.

90% of families use ReachMoreParents regularly

Boosted by a strong communication plan, ReachMoreParents has elevated parent engagement across The Stour Academy Trust. A recent survey revealed:

  • All the schools now have at least 90% of parents using the platform regularly, with most having more than 94%
  • 70% of parents think the platform is good or even better for communicating with the school
  • 82% of parents read the Newsfeed, 84% use the Calendar, 64% view the Noticeboard and 58% use the Hub 

Notably, a school within the Trust that has high social deprivation and has traditionally struggled with parent engagement experienced a big increase in active user rates: from 74% in 2020 to 90% in 2023. Highlighting the transformative effect of ReachMoreParents on elevating school-parent communication.

A word from the Stour Academy Trust

ReachMoreParents has made a huge difference to our communication with families. If your goal is to boost parent engagement, make them feel connected and improve communication, then the platform is one of the best ways to do it. It's not a magic wand; you need a solid strategy, just as we did. But with that in place, the platform acts as a powerful catalyst. It fuels your mission to enhance engagement, lifting the communication bar higher.
It should be every school's aspiration to keep parents as involved as possible, and for us, ReachMoreParents has been instrumental in achieving that."

If you want to find out more about how ReachMoreParents can help your school, call us on 01509 221 349. Or send us a query here. You can also take a look at our web pages to see what we can do for primarysecondary, independent schools, and trusts.

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