Bridging the Gap: Why Schools, Parents and Pupils need to Communicate Effectively
Schools have diverse audiences to communicate with – from parents and pupils to governors and members of the local community. All of these audiences will have different needs but by tailoring the message to each audience and keeping everyone up to date, education as a whole can progress.
Most people will agree that children perform better at school when their parents are involved in their education. Statistics and studies will generally point to an increase in performance and achievements when parents take an active role, but it is not just up to the parents to get involved but also schools to facilitate the communication process, and with all of their stakeholders.
Where things go wrong
Too much information is as bad as too little. Sometimes schools and other organisations are guilty of sending out news and information too frequently, which can be off-putting to recipients and often result in them ignoring the important messages. Parents are generally busy and won’t always have time to digest lengthy information that isn’t always directly relevant to them or their children.
Communication can also fail when we use the wrong channel, for example, attempting contact via post or landline telephone, when an individual works away from home regularly and prefers to be contacted by email. It isn’t always obvious that the messages aren’t getting through but here are just a few warning signs that you need to improve who you contact, when and why:
Signs of poor communication
– Students and parents are unsure of what behaviour is expected
– Uniform standards start slipping
– Parents vent frustration on social media at lack of information
– Students are repeatedly unsure about homework tasks
– After school/lunchtime clubs receive low attendance
Impact of modern technology
Modern technology has had a massive impact on the way we all communicate, from conversations with friends to keeping tabs on our children, so it is no surprise that communication within the world of education has taken on a more digital role.
Many parents now prefer to be contacted by SMS or email rather than the telephone as this ensures they can get important messages wherever they are and respond in a timely fashion.
Facilitating modern communications such as emails, SMS or updating an official app or Facebook page can make a school more approachable as it increases the channels of communication, allowing each party to choose the one that is most appropriate to them.
How can communication be improved?
When schools communicate effectively, students make more progress, parents and members of the community are better able to support the school and the teaching process can move forward more easily. Some simple tips to improve communication include:
– Deliver self-serve information – providing details for individuals to access when they choose to
– Make information specific – contact only those for whom the information is relevant
– Let recipients choose their preferred method of contact – such as telephone, post, email or text – that way they are more likely to respond
If you need to enhance communication in your school, why not speak to the Contact Group? Our Call Parents messaging system provides a cost effective and quick way to keep parents, students and teachers up to date by text or email. With dynamic integration into your main management information system, only one database needs updating and you can choose to message by groups of parents, teachers or students so recipients only get the information that is relevant to them.
Similarly, if you want to give parents, teachers and governors information when they need it why not consider getting an app? Our Schools App is a free app for parents, keeping them up to date with your latest news, important dates and school information. Why not request a demo and see how useful this would be for your school?
Speak to our friendly team today on 03333 131415 for more information on our products.