How Parent-School Communications are Changing
Back in the day, when many of us were enjoying our school years, the only contact parents had with teachers was at parent’s evening. This once-a-year, or bi-annual meeting would sometimes be topped up with a more casual chat at the annual school sports day, prom or concert. Whatever the occasions, the point is, that communication was limited but kept to the appropriate channels. Any parents who had concerns about their children, could write a letter to the school and it would be dealt with accordingly.
Fast forward to today’s fast-paced, social-media fuelled society and parent-school communications paint a very different picture. It is so much easier to voice your opinion nowadays, and in the era of instant customer service, we all expect a speedy reply. Combine this with the high expectations of the modern parent and you can see why some teachers are finding the parent-teacher relationship a stressful one.
Part of the reason why parents are more vocal nowadays is that schools have opened up the channels of communication and are presenting parents with far more information than they would have experienced throughout their own education. This is a fantastic improvement for the education system as a whole, as parents can expect to be kept up to date with half termly reports on their child’s progress and attendance and really get a feel for how they are performing.
Aside from schools being more open with information, parents are now more willing to stand up for their children. Inspired by the ‘have-a-go’ attitude of social media, it is very easy for parents to take to Facebook or their preferred social platform and express their views on the school and their policies. However, despite being a platform for engagement, this communication often feels very one sided as schools are hard-pushed for the time to respond to every single issue that is raised, particularly when sensitive matters are best kept confidential.
For communication to be effective it needs to be two-way, but with an understanding on both parts of what is acceptable. For example, parents cannot expect an instant response from teachers when they are busy teaching or need to speak to someone at management level to clarify the position. Equally, schools cannot expect parents to respond to their queries immediately when it is difficult for them to make contact during the working day, or when they need more time to talk things over with their children. By agreeing a clear process for communication, schools can nip any potential problems in the bud and encourage positive relationships between parents and teachers.
One such way to facilitate two-way communication is via our Call Parents system which now features Text Message In. This added service allows parents to respond to messages that have been sent via their child’s school and thus opens up the channels of communication in a controlled way.
You can find out more about Call Parents and the latest features here – or why not request a demo to see how useful this system could be to your school?