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How to measure effective communication in a school

Wednesday, 12 June 2024 by Weduc

Unlocking success: How to measure the effectiveness of your school’s communications

Communication is a vital element of a well running school. This is because, to run smoothly, schools rely on a complex, dynamic system of communication that ensures all relevant stakeholders, from school leadership to parents and children, can get their needs met.

Effective communication in school therefore requires openness and transparency, so that every stakeholder has the opportunity to listen and be heard. When these elements are lost, a school’s communication begins to break down.

However, in our recent school communications survey, we found that:

  • Only 13% of schools say they regularly reach over 90% of parents. 
  • 32% of school reach less than 70% of their parents. 
  • 54% of schools typically reach between 70% and 90% of parents. 

So, how can schools ensure that their communication strategy is doing what it needs to? Keep reading to find out.

 

Why is measuring effective school communication important?

​The relationship between parental engagement and pupil outcomes is both simple and effective: the more engaged parents are, the more it benefits their child’s educational, social and emotional outcomes. So, in an effort to improve parental engagement over the years, schools have started to really pay attention to different methods of engagement.

As a result, school communications have become increasingly complex. With more communication channels and school communications software systems available than ever before, schools have an abundance of options.

But with all this choice available, schools need a way to identify if the choices they’re making are having the impact they intend them to have. As a result, finding ways to measure your school’s communications can enable you to gain an objective perspective over them. Because we can all only ever see things from our own perspective. And if we think things are going well, we assume they’re going well for everyone.

However, our survey results paint a different picture.

 

Our survey results: Overburdened schools and overwhelmed parents

So, where are schools going wrong? That’s what we wanted to find out in our recent school communications survey analysis.

Intriguingly, we found that the number of channels schools are using to communicate with parents is only increasing, despite the fact that this increases workload for the school and complexity for parents. In fact, many schools were seeming to opt for a ‘let’s try everything’ approach, in the hope that at least one communication channel would reach parents.

On the surface, it seems that these additional choices have only had a positive impact. For example, in a recent survey, we found that 94% of schools rate their school communications as ’good’ or better. Yet, on the other hand, parents are feeling increasingly disengaged.

Additionally, while there was a general trend to suggest that parents who receive more communications feel more engaged, most of those who said they feel disengaged said that the communications they receive aren’t always relevant. Whereas, of the parents who do feel engaged, 79% said the communications they receive are always or mostly relevant.

This indicates that more isn’t always better. In fact, lots of communications in lots of different places may only increase confusion and make it difficult for parents to know where to find the information they need on their child’s education.

As a result, communicating more strategically and using one communication channel (such as in-app messaging), rather than lots of different ones, can be far more effective at helping parents to feel engaged.

 

Discover how to get school communications “just right”

Want to discover the results school communications survey and find out which trends to look out for in 2024?

Download the full report here.

 

How often should you review your school’s communications?

So, how can you know which camp your school falls into? Are your communications serving their purpose or just adding complexity to parents’ lives?

The easiest way to find out is to regularly measure the effectiveness of your school’s communication strategy. By doing so, you can get continuous feedback that allows you to abandon strategies that aren’t working and continue those that are.

However, this doesn’t need to be a complicated process. In fact, good quality software communications systems, like ReachMoreParents, should help to do this for you. However, you can also do this manually. Keep reading to find out how you can go about measuring the effectiveness of your school’s communications.

 

How to measure effective communication in a school

  • Take a survey – set up a simple, anonymous survey that is automatically sent out each term. You won’t always get a 100% response rate, but hopefully the responses you do get will be illuminating enough that this won’t matter. This is because, by making it anonymous, you can ensure you get honest answers and find out if the strategy you think is working really is working.
  • Measure changes - as a school, there may well be something specific that you’re trying to achieve with your communication strategy. Maybe you want parents and teachers to develop more of a bond or maybe you want to see grades improve. These are both outcomes that you can measure to see if your strategy is having the desired effect. However, you can also gain real, quantitative information by measuring things like:
    • the percentage of parents registered with your communications system,
    • the percentage of parents engaging with messages by other means,
    • the percentage of messages being opened by parents in comparison to the number of messages being sent each week.
  • Ask your staff – other than parents themselves, the people who are most likely to know if a strategy is having the desired effect are the staff who work directly with the children and parents in your school. They are the ones on the front lines every day, speaking to both pupils and parents. So, ask them if they think something is working or not, and if not, why not.
  • Use school communications software – the ReachMoreParents platform can be used to take an automatic assessment of your school communications on a regular basis. This means you don’t even have to think about measuring the effectiveness of your school’s communications, you can just wait for regular reports to come in from your communications system.

 

How can ReachMoreParents by Weduc help?

By far one of the easiest ways to improve your school communications is to unify it in one place, such as a school branded app, making it easy for all your stakeholders to check messages and find the information they need. However, at Weduc we know that parental engagement is about more than just messages back and forth.

In fact, we’ve developed a whole range of products that integrate seamlessly with the Reach More Parents platform and are designed to tackle the problems unique to schools like yours. Including our Parent App, Attendance Tracking App, Homework App, Parents’ Evening System, and custom branded apps for schools.

To find out more about how to improve your schools communications strategy, including implementing an internal review process using the ReachMoreParents platform, click here to book a discovery call at a time that suits you or drop us a line via our enquiry form.

Otherwise, catch the full results of our school communications survey here.

Start reaching more parents today