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Introducing new secure messaging for Looked After Call

Posted: 18/11/19

Looked After Call is designed to support virtual schools and stakeholders in the care and protection of looked after children. With the help of our customers, we’re keen to adapt and develop the platform to continue meeting your needs. Staying up to date with the latest challenges facing virtual schools ensures we are well placed […]

Contact Group set to help organisations look forward with certainty at IRIS World

Posted: 08/10/19

IRIS Software Group is today launching IRIS World and IRIS Customer Awards 2020. Set to take place on Tuesday 11th February at The ICC Birmingham, school leaders will hear about the latest advances in EdTech from industry-leading teams, including experts from from Contact Group.  For the first time, IRIS World will bring together esteemed customers from education, as well […]

Introducing Head of Looked After Call, Ruth Davies

Posted: 30/09/19

Our innovative platform is designed to co-ordinate interventions, protect student data and streamline processes. We’re proud to deliver tailor-made solutions to meet the needs of stakeholders responsible for the care and wellbeing of looked after children.  With over 20 years experience in the education sector, Head of Looked After Call, Ruth Davies, understands the vital roles of […]

The hidden issue of school refusal

Posted: 27/08/19

Ah, the school run. No matter how early the alarm is set or how much we prepare the night before, it usually culminates in a mad dash out the front door. For some parents, however, encouraging children out of bed and into school uniform serves as an impossible task. A rising number of children and […]

Off-rolling and looked-after children

Posted: 24/06/19

In light of new research for Ofsted, the concerning issue of off-rolling in schools is a hot topic in the news and in schools across the country. Off-rolling is the term used for when a child is removed from their school for the school’s benefit, rather than in the child’s best interests. Schools may off-roll […]

Combatting the cycle of exclusion for Looked After Children

Posted: 02/05/19

Children interacting with social services are 20 times more likely to be expelled than their peers. At a time when they would likely benefit from more attention and support, vulnerable children are turned away from the school gates, often permanently. While protocol states that exclusion should be carried out as a last resort, the number […]

Looking out for looked after children

Posted: 23/04/19

With just 6% of care leavers  aged between 19 and 21 progressing to higher education, it’s time we saw action to provide better opportunities for looked after children. Earlier this month, ministers called on universities across the country to do more to encourage those leaving care to remain in higher education – from providing personal […]

Roadmap to attendance success

Posted: 25/02/19

Schools across the country are trying all sorts of motivational methods to encourage students to get to school on time. Guaranteeing full classrooms by the time the bell rings isn’t easy and a one-size fits all solution simply doesn’t exist! Instead, research suggests that a mix of strategies for improving attendance and punctuality is often […]

We need to talk about… school absence

Posted: 04/01/19

According to the Department for Education, the overall absence rate has increased from 4.5% to 4.7% in the past two years, with one in 10 absent school children classed as persistently absent. With absence rates on the rise, the subject of attendance remains a hot topic on parents’ evening, in the school office and during […]

Modern technology to support Looked After Children

Posted: 12/12/18

The number of children entering care is increasing, with 90 young people entering the system every day. We know that children in care face greater risks than their counterparts. Looked after children are vulnerable to mental health issues, exploitation and homelessness; they are also more likely to miss out on vital education. It is up […]

Tackling truancy

Posted: 28/11/18

Last month, a Manchester based Co-op school hit the BBC News headlines for its radical transformation from struggling school, with one of the worst truancy records in the UK, to a school in the top 1% for attendance. The principal, Steve Brice, stated a radical improvement on attendance was a key part of turning the […]

Why Looked After Children Deserve A Better Deal

Posted: 19/09/18

With over 70,000 children in care in England alone, it is shocking to see in a recent Social Market Foundation report1 that a staggering 63% of local authorities have been reported as “inadequate” and “require improvement” on the services they provide for looked after children. Within these statistics, 13,790 children are under care services which […]

Back to School – Why Attendance Matters

Posted: 23/08/18

Truancy is a significant problem in British schools with a growing number of pupils partially attending or completely missing lessons at a vital stage of their educational development. This widespread issue was brought into greater scrutiny when recent reports suggested that truancy levels are rising and capable of ‘holding back’ the performance of UK schools […]

Mobile Phones: Should they be banned from schools or just the classroom?

Posted: 18/07/18

In September 2018, school children in France will no longer be able to take a mobile phone into school.  The ban on mobile phones, which was originally proposed in 2017, will allow children to bring a mobile phone to school but not to use it during the day, a rule which also extends to lunch […]

Looked After Call’s NEW online PEP – Coming Soon!

Posted: 12/07/18

Safeguard and progress your Looked After Children’s PEP with our new Online PEP.   Looked After Call’s objective is to ensure that all Looked After Children are safe, cared for and achieving to the best of their abilities.  We’ve been monitoring attendance and assessment results for Looked After Children for 18 years.  Our software sits in […]

Stand Up to Bullying 2018

Posted: 12/06/18

Stand Up to Bullying Day is happening on Wednesday 13th June, with organisations, schools and members of the public across the UK once again, coming together to take a collective stand against bullying – whwther in school, the workplace or elsewhere. Bullying happens. And it hurts. Despite many anti-bullying policies, school assemblies, PHSE lessons, leaflets, drama […]

Call Parents: Important Information for Users

Posted: 11/06/18

Important Information for Call Parents Users:   We are no longer selling Call Parents as a new product for Schools.  However, if you still use Call Parents for your messaging service, you can continue to log in via the link below (we suggest you bookmark this page for future reference): Log-in to  Call Parents   Migrating to […]

Is Fining Parents the Answer to Schools Absence?

Posted: 05/06/18

Schools absence is a big issue.  In 2017, it was revealed that the overall pupil absence rate in the UK was 4.5%.  One in ten of these pupils were classed as ‘persistently absent’, with students citing anxiety and depression amongst the reasons why they skip lessons.  Whilst it could be said that the child’s education […]

Taking the stress out of GDPR for Schools

Posted: 21/05/18

Do the four letters G-D-P-R fill you with dread? Are you worried whether your school will be compliant by 25th May? Contact Group has teamed up with GDPR.co.uk to help schools with their journey to GDPR compliance. As a school, you’re likely be hearing an increasing amount about the new Data Protection legislation due to come […]

DfE Publishes GDPR Toolkit for Schools

Posted: 24/04/18

If you work in a school and have not heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); you must have been living on another planet! Yesterday the DfE published a GDPR Toolkit for Schools – guidance which will help schools to develop policies and processes in preparation for the GDPR coming into force. The new GDPR […]

Attendance in Schools… Whose job is it anyway?

Posted: 18/04/18

Good attendance at school helps children succeed, and raises attainment. When just a small incident of lateness or absence is accumulated across an academic year, it paints a stark picture, and has a negative impact on that young person’s achievement. 10 minutes late to school every day =  32 hours a year of lost education  1 […]

IRIS Software Group Acquires Contact Group

Posted: 05/04/18

IRIS Software Group acquires Contact Group   IRIS Software Group, the UK’s business critical software provider is today announcing the acquisition of Contact Group, a leading provider of parental engagement and truancy management software to UK schools. The acquisition extends IRIS’ education portfolio providing solutions to manage all aspects of school finance, including income, assets […]

Looked After Children more likely to be excluded from school

Posted: 29/03/18

The Department for Education recently released some figures that may or may not surprise you.  According to their statistics, looked after children are five times more likely to be temporarily excluded from school than pupils overall. The statistics show that 11.44% of looked after children had at least one fixed exclusion in 2016, compared with […]

School Attendance hitting the Headlines across the UK

Posted: 28/03/18

This week alone, there have been multiple headlines in the media about school attendance in London, Cornwall, Bath, Warrington and Birmingham; with Yorkshire topping the table in England for all the wrong reasons.  With attendance figures in many authorities having been calculated; the best and worst performing schools (regarding attendance) have been released. School attendance has has been a […]

Spotlight on: Customer Engagement Manager

Posted: 28/03/18

Our business is all about providing schools with communications apps and systems which are IT-based and ‘virtual’ in that sense. But it is important that as a company, our schools feel like their service from us is provided by real people!  So, in a new blog series, we’re going to be throwing the spotlight on […]

Communicating with Club Members with OurSchoolsApp

Posted: 21/03/18

5 tips for communicating with Club Members Mislaid leaflets, delayed information, missing calendar dates or out of date contact information? If this sounds like your club, then you need to overhaul how you are communicating with your members. In any organisation, whether a school, a club, or society, communication is often an overlooked function. Whether […]

Truancy Call now writes back to Progresso MIS

Posted: 13/03/18

Does your school use Progresso?  Then here’s some good news! Truancy Call – our flagship attendance monitoring platform now writes back to Progresso Management Information System.  Truancy Call will send automatic text messages and/or calls to chase the whereabouts of an absent or late child, and when the parent replies via the system this automatically comes back […]

Wonder: An uplifting tear-jerker with a serious anti-bullying theme

Posted: 13/03/18

Millions of children the world over will have enjoyed reading RJ Palacio’s novel ‘Wonder‘ either on their school curriculum, or for pleasure.  The blockbuster film was released  in Autumn 2017 and is due for DVD release at the end of March. The main character is Auggie, a 10-year-old born with a rare genetic condition that […]

New Feature Releases on OurSchoolsApp

Posted: 08/03/18

Latest Feature Releases in OurSchoolsApp – March 18 Our flagship product OurSchoolsApp (OSA) which is increasing parental engagement in over a thousand schools in UK, now includes a number of newly-released features including: – RSS Feed – Document Upload   RSS Feed: OSA can now pull any external RSS news feed into the app (e.g. […]

Customer Services – Meet the engine room!

Posted: 07/03/18

Keeping customers happy is our priority, and we pride ourselves on excellent customer service.  We want schools who use our products to have the best possible experience from Contact Group, not just when they join us, but for the duration of their time with us. Our dedicated Customer Services team based in our Widnes office, […]

‘The worst schools disruption in a generation…’

Posted: 05/03/18

How did your school deal with the most widespread snow disruption in a generation?   Ask any child who was off school last week on a snow day and they’ll tell you it was ‘fantastic fun!’  As many of us return to school and work today, we do so with a lot of catching up […]

Reading isn’t ‘just an indulgent pleasure… it is an invaluable life skill’

Posted: 01/03/18

Ahead of World Book Day 2018, the Duchess of Cornwall, is urging parents to read to children daily and “lead them on a voyage of discovery”.  She says that a day dedicated to books may seem “a bit old-fashioned” in a world “that sometimes feels dominated by too many screens and too much information”; but it […]

Proud to be an Associated Member of Anti-Bullying Alliance

Posted: 28/02/18

  We’re delighted to have renewed our membership of the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) – a united group of organisations and individuals whose vision it is to stop bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn. ABA’s objectives: – To raise the profile of bullying and the effect it has […]

We’re looking for the best…

Posted: 21/02/18

We’re looking for enthusiastic and driven Telesales Executives, who are great on the phone, to join our growing team in our Widnes office.  The sales floor is a vibrant and energetic part of the business and we need proven sales agents to sell our range products into the Education sector. This is what some of […]

Valentines Offer 2018

Posted: 13/02/18

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, we’re offering Call Parents (our mass messaging system) for 14 months for the price of 12 when bought between 14th Feb – end of Feb 2018! Call Parents sends either an SMS or email – direct from your school to parents. You can compose your message in seconds, and send it […]

5 Top Tips: How to increase downloads of OSA in your school

Posted: 13/02/18

To make OurSchoolsApp a success in your school, you need to give it a big initial launch, and then regularly, and consistently push it – to engage parents and drive downloads.   Some of our schools are benefiting from over 100% downloads of the app – but we want all our schools to be reaping the […]

The text message is 25 years old!

Posted: 06/02/18

What were you doing in Dec 1992?  It might be the year Whitney Houston’s ‘I will always love you’ topped the UK charts for weeks on end, and the year Prince Andrew and Fergie split; but a lesser known fact is that just over 25 years ago, in Dec 1992 the humble text was created!  […]

Call for schools to improve checks on pupils who do not turn up…

Posted: 01/02/18

The tragic story of the sudden death of a father whose daughters spent almost 24 hours with his body, hit headline BBC News this week.  Their bereaved mother is now calling for schools to make extra checks on pupils who do not turn up. Helen Daykin, who says “there’s no reason why this couldn’t happen again…”, is campaigning for […]

Parents love OurSchoolsApp as much as schools do…

Posted: 31/01/18

Ever been that parent who walks through the school gates, only to see all the other children in their own clothes…and your child ISN’T?!!  No one wants to be that parent…! Parents have enough to juggle and navigate with work, packed lunches, after school activities, birthday parties and the million other things in the week.  […]

Bullying in schools is still rife

Posted: 29/01/18

According to this recent Guardian article, bullying in schools in the UK is still rife. Bullying happens.  And it hurts.  Despite many anti-bullying policies, school assemblies, PHSE lessons, leaflets, drama presentations, and a host of well-meaning interventions at a local level, the sad fact remains that bullying is still a common problem in many UK schools […]

When Nurseries use Call Parents for Safeguarding

Posted: 23/01/18

If you’re a nursery or childcare provider, how do you quickly ascertain why a child is absent from nursery?   In recent months, many Local Authorities have issued guidance to EYFS providers, on the back of harrowing safeguarding cases around monitoring attendance of children in their care. This is vital from a health and safety, safeguarding […]

How the Education Trends of 2018 might impact your School

Posted: 18/01/18

We’re all firmly back in the swing of the working week now, with the New Year celebrations a distant memory but this doesn’t mean we can’t expect changes ahead.  2018 is shaping up to be a very interesting year in Education and with technology evolving, comes a changing need for the systems and programmes that […]

Christmas Arrangements 2017

Posted: 19/12/17

We’d like to wish all our schools a very Happy Christmas and a fantastic New Year from all of us at Contact Group! Please note the following opening times over the Christmas break: Friday 22nd Dec – Open Monday 25th Dec – Christmas Day (Closed) Tuesday 26th Dec – Boxing Day (Closed) Wednesday 27th Dec […]

What use is a paper letter on a snow day?

Posted: 11/12/17

Love it or loathe it, snow can be part and parcel of life in the UK during Winter months.  Children love it and long for snow days off school to go sledging with friends.  Parents generally could do without it as it can disrupt life and routines!  Wherever you sit on the ‘loving snow’ scale, […]

5 Top Tips for a Great Parents’ Evening

Posted: 06/12/17

When you’ve got books to mark and lessons to plan, thinking about an upcoming parents’ evening can be stressful. That’s why planning ahead and making sure you’re organised is key to a smooth-running event that doesn’t leave you tearing your hair out. At Contact Group, we recognise that there are certain things that can help […]

Using chocolate as an incentive!

Posted: 04/12/17

Stella Maris Catholic Primary School in Kent certainly are bursting with enthusiasm in their efforts to get parents and families to download OurSchoolsApp. Recognising that the App will be most effective, and reap the greatest rewards the more people who have it; they have gone all out to find fun and motivating ways to encourage […]

Parents’ Evening Booking – Launching January ’18!

Posted: 30/11/17

Revolutionise Parents’ Evening Bookings at your school… We are delighted to announce that online Parents’ Evening Bookings will be available within our Call Parents platform from the new year. Easier for schools: Integrated as an unlock-able feature within Call Parents, the system promises to remove the administrative headache that parents evening bookings can bring, by […]

School Trips: Challenging but Necessary

Posted: 09/11/17

A well-rounded education has long been heralded by parents and teachers as the best recipe for learning and school trips are certainly an important part of this.  Whether it is indoors or outdoors, around the corner or overseas, for one day or a week, a school trip is something that supports children in their overall […]

Council’s Controversial Attendance Campaign Causes a Stir

Posted: 08/11/17

‘Good reasons for missing school – there are none’   East Sussex County Council is facing a huge backlash to its recent campaign to parents.  Its ‘Get a Grip’ campaign, aimed at boosting school attendance sent leaflets to parents, urging them to ‘get a grip’ because their child had missed as little as three days […]

When teachers spend more time planning than teaching…

Posted: 02/11/17

According to today’s TES article, written by a former Headteacher, ‘When teachers spend more time on planning than the teaching, we know we have a problem’.  About teachers’ curriculum planning, the article cites that ‘we plan more for it to be analysed by management, rather than the needs of the pupils themselves. This means that we lose teacher […]

Reporting Bullying in schools – who do young people confide in?

Posted: 16/10/17

Facebook announced this week that it is offering every UK high school an Anti-Bullying Ambassador as part of its anti-bullying strategy.  Up to 4,500 schools could benefit from the programme, with thousands of teenagers trained as ambassadors.  “These students [ambassadors] in schools will help give their peers the tools they need to stay safe and tackle issues such […]

OurSchoolsApp has had a facelift!

Posted: 11/10/17

OurSchoolsApp has had a facelift! A new version of OurSchoolsApp  is now available via automatic update from Apple App Store or Google Play Store.   The latest update includes a new layout, featuring clean new icons for your news, information,  calendar and contacts – with backgrounds that match your school or nursery’s branding. Your parents […]

How OurSchoolsApp can help fundraising for your school

Posted: 10/10/17

Recent news reports have highlighted the funding issues faced by schools and colleges across the United Kingdom and the significance that additional ‘self-financing’ plays for modern day educational facilities. This worrying state of affairs means that successful fundraising is more important than ever in helping to maintain the satisfactory running of schools. But fundraising events […]

Is PE in schools ‘in tatters’ after the London Olympics?

Posted: 06/10/17

Pupils now spend less time participating in sport and PE in schools than in 2012   According to yesterday’s TES news article ‘Pupils now spend less time participating in sport and PE in schools than pupils did back in 2012, according to the Youth Sport Trust. It’s hardly the legacy the London Olympics was aiming for’. […]

Fastest Fingers First: Autumn 2017 Launch

Posted: 25/09/17

‘Fastest Finger First‘ is back!  And this time, in a new twist, we’re drawing a winner each month – rather than each term – so schools are in with a better chance of winning £100 for their coffers!  From October 1st, each month a new winner will be announced. Fastest Fingers First is a great […]

GDPR – Are you Prepared?

Posted: 20/09/17

What is GDPR?   General Data Protection Regulation, (GDPR) is a set of new regulations due to come into force in May next year, which will replace the Data Protection Act (1998). Designed to further improve security around the way data is obtained, handled and shared, organisations will need to review and adjust their processes […]

Are you Ready to Make your School Cashless?

Posted: 07/09/17

As technology advances, the move towards a cashless society is becoming ever more real. With children now being given their pocket money electronically through cashless cards and apps, and an increasing number of adults using contactless payments, the onus is on organisations like schools to provide stress-free, easy options when it comes to paying for […]

Improving Communication at your Nursery

Posted: 09/08/17

We talk a lot about the ways in which our products can support schools to improve communications and engage more efficiently with parents, staff and students, but there are also huge benefits to be reaped by nurseries. Nursery schools provide vital early years care, that if not available would mean many parents could not return […]

How our products Benefit Schools…

Posted: 03/08/17

These are the benefits schools and nurseries enjoy by having our products. Call the team on 03333 13 14 15 to see how you could also benefit…

“The Best Place I’ve Ever Worked…”

Posted: 01/08/17

“Best place I have ever worked with great people and the bosses ain’t bad either!” “I couldn’t think of a better place, I normally flick from job to job but here I don’t want to leave!” “It’s a great place to work and the people are the best and yes even the managers, it’s a […]

School’s Almost Out for the Summer. Are you sorted?

Posted: 13/07/17

It’s those last few manic weeks of term in schools.  Teachers are celebrating reports being out and eagerly anticipating the break…whilst parents are struggling to juggle all the necessary end of year dates and appointments, and stressing looking for original ‘Thank you teacher’ gifts.  Pupils…well there’s only one thing on their mind – SIX weeks […]

Call Parents – ‘It’s the Total Package’

Posted: 22/06/17

‘My staff love it, my parents love it, I love it’…It’s just worked brilliantly so far’ Listen to what a Headteacher from a primary school in Birmingham has to say about our Call Parents messaging system.  Mr Porter, from SS Peter & Paul Catholic Primary talks about how Call Parents has significantly improved communication with […]

Contact Group Team running for Alder Hey!

Posted: 15/06/17

This lovely bunch (and some others) from Contact Group are braving the heat and the paint to do the Manchester Colour Run on 1st July, in aid of our chosen charity Alder Hey! Please dig deep and make a donation as it’s a fantastic cause, close to many of our hearts. You can sponsor the team […]

How Parent-School Communications are Changing

Posted: 08/06/17

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 […]

School Payment System now available within Call Parents

Posted: 15/05/17

We are delighted to announce that our Call Parents communication product now features a facility for online payments. This enables you to move to a safer, cashless school payment system where you can easily keep track of what is owed and by whom. From the Call Parents parental engagement platform, you can easily send requests […]

School letters getting lost at the bottom of bags?

Posted: 10/05/17

Given that 7 in 10 adults say they use apps, and apps account for 89% of mobile media time, for schools, a parental app is the way forward. Headteacher Mrs Jones from Ysgol Llansteffan in South Wales, who has recently bought OurSchoolsApp couldn’t agree more…  OurSchoolsApp – Our personalised app is a fantastic one-stop shop for schools, […]

‘Fastest Fingers First’ – Summer Term Launch

Posted: 19/04/17

Each school term, we will be running a ‘Fastest Fingers First’ prize draw for schools who accept a quote from us.  It’s an excellent opportunity for us to give back, and to give schools and academies an opportunity to win money to use on something specifically for their school. An unexpected £250 could go a long way […]

A Million Missed Lessons: How to Reduce Unauthorised Absence

Posted: 11/04/17

If you like to keep up on the latest news and current affairs, then the recent press for term time holidays and truancy will probably not have escaped you.  Schools are under increasing pressure to produce results, yet one of their biggest problems is getting children to school in the first place. According to government […]

Proud of our latest Award…

Posted: 30/03/17

We are so pleased to have received a prestigious award today via Linking the Locks, in recognition of our commitment to the creation of Apprenticeship opportunities, having placed two apprentices within our Widnes office during the past year. ‘Linking the Locks’ is a joint initiative delivered by Warrington & C0. – Warrington’s partnership for growth, on behalf of Warrington […]

Alder Hey Children’s Charity Announced as Charity of the Year 2017

Posted: 22/03/17

Contact Group is delighted to announce that our chosen charity for support in 2017 is Alder Hey Children’s Charity. The hospital which has recently been rebuilt, was previously an old Victorian building, serving young children from the whole of the North West. However, thanks to the support of the charity, the new ‘Alder Hey In […]

Parents Want More Say So Improve Your School Comms

Posted: 09/02/17

Parents are not being considered enough when it comes to their children’s education.  That is the message from the recent PTA UK survey, which questioned parents about their involvement with their youngsters’ schools. Eight out of ten parents wanted to be consulted more, with bullying and the cost of school trips topping the list of […]

Contact Group Prepare Young People for the World of Work

Posted: 19/01/17

Contact Group are delighted to be involved in a local enterprise project to inspire and prepare young people for their future employment. Customer Engagement Manager, Paul Hoinville, is one of a national network of Enterprise Advisers volunteering their time and expertise to make it easier for schools to connect with local employers. Advisers involved in […]

Contact Group Shortlisted for The Bett Awards 2017

Posted: 08/12/16

We are delighted to announce that Contact Group has been shortlisted for The Bett Awards 2017, in the ICT Company of the Year category. Recognised as one of the industry’s leading accolades, winning a Bett Award is high on the wish list of all companies promoting innovative educational tools and resources.   Each year, the awards […]

Our Widnes Open Day is a Huge Success

Posted: 08/11/16

We were excited to mark the one year anniversary of our new Widnes office last week by holding a celebratory Open Day. We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to meet us and find out what we do whilst at the same time raising some funds for a cause close to all our hearts – […]

Your Own Schools App: What are the Benefits to Parents?

Posted: 11/10/16

We all lead busy lives and this is certainly true of school – age children too. Fortunately, keeping on top of everything that is going on in our lives and those closest to us has never been easier. Technology really has come to our rescue as we no longer have to rely on diaries, Filofaxes […]

UK Market Leading Communication Technology Provider Announces New Contract with Thurrock Council

Posted: 10/10/16

The Contact Group, one of the UK’s market leaders in communication technology and data services have recently secured a new contract with Thurrock Council. Based in Birmingham and Cheshire, The Contact Group supply a number of technology solutions to education institutions and local authorities throughout the UK and Ireland. Their range of products include Looked […]

Celebrating 2016 with our Widnes Open day

Posted: 16/09/16

Next month, following on from our sponsored Sky Dive, we’ll be celebrating our first year at the Widnes office with a very special Open Day. On Friday October 28th our staff will be opening the doors to you between 11 am and 1pm. We have lots of exciting things planned for the event and a […]

Why and How Should We Monitor School Children in Care?

Posted: 24/08/16

A ‘looked after child’ is a child who is looked after by their local authority, also known as a ‘child in care’. This could mean being placed in a children’s home, living with foster parents, with their parents under the supervision of social services or within another residential setting such as a school or secure […]

Contact Group’s Sky Dive to Raise Funds for The Who Care’s? Trust

Posted: 23/08/16

On Friday 14th October, Contact Group’s Paul Hoinville and Matt Robinson will be taking part in a sponsored sky dive in order to raise funds for our choice of company charity The Who Cares? Trust. Contact Group have been supporting the charity throughout 2016 and the sky dive coincides with the 1 year anniversary of […]

Why the Summer Term Is the Ideal Time to Demo Our Products

Posted: 06/07/16

With the summer term about to come to an end, there is no time like the present for schools to review their class communication and data services. Whilst the start of the autumn term seems a long way away, the time will soon come around so it’s essential to make sure all new communication systems […]

New Managing Director Joins Market Leading Technology and Communication Provider

Posted: 20/05/16

Contact Group, one of the UK’s leading providers of communication technology and data services has announced James Harrison as its new Managing Director. With offices in Birmingham and Widnes, Contact Group specialise in providing technology solutions for education institutions throughout the UK and Ireland, enabling them to contact parents and send messages immediately with the […]

The Great Truancy Divide and How to Reduce Absenteeism in Your School

Posted: 10/05/16

Figures released recently revealed that truancy is more prevalent in areas of Northern England than in the South, with children from some deprived northern cities missing up to 3 days of school each without permission last year.  Whilst illness accounts for the majority of authorised and unauthorised absences, lateness and religious holidays were also cited […]

Why Technology ‘Must Be Leveraged’ in Future Education

Posted: 06/04/16

There has been much recent discussion about the input of technology in future education and its advantages in the running of schools; the Global Education & Skills Forum (GESF) this year highlighted that technology is only an enabler and must be leveraged to build the capacity of teaching. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking at […]

Bridging the Gap: Why Schools, Parents and Pupils need to Communicate Effectively

Posted: 16/03/16

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 […]

Contact Group Spring Newsletter

Posted: 17/02/16

Have you read our Spring 2016 Newsletter?  If not you might have missed out on our latest news including the acquirement of new Local Authority business for our popular Looked After Call product and the announcement of our nominated charity for 2016. Stay up to date with our latest news by reading our Spring 2016 Newsletter and if […]

Modern Children Under Pressure: What can Schools Do to Help?

Posted: 03/02/16

Britain’s children are not a happy bunch.  In a recent report by the Children’s Society, ten to twelve-year-olds in the UK were ranked 14th out of 15 nations for happiness.  What is it, then, that is making our youngsters so unhappy?  Many charities and organisations put the blame down to fears and worries that simply […]

Contact Group Announce The Who Cares? Trust as their Choice of Company Charity for 2016

Posted: 13/01/16

Contact Group are delighted to announce our choice of company charity for 2016 – The Who Cares? Trust, the leading charity for making a difference to the lives and outcomes of children in care. They support and empower children in care and young care leavers through their engagement programme, including running life skills workshops for […]

How is Your School Keeping Parents Updated with Weather Conditions?

Posted: 12/01/16

According to recent news and weather forecasts, the UK could soon be facing the coldest winter in as many as 58 years, with plummeting temperatures, gales and snow predicted. With such weather expected, there is a good chance that many schools will be forced to shut over the coming months. Although shutting a school will […]

Visit us at the Bett Show this January

Posted: 07/01/16

We’re delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting at this year’s Bett Show in London. This annual event is the ideal opportunity for us to showcase our range of class communication and school data products and meet with other industry experts to discover what new technologies are just around the corner. If you are planning […]

Mobile Phones: When are they useful for Children?

Posted: 15/12/15

As we approach Christmas, many parents will be toying with the idea of buying their children a mobile phone.  This is generally considered to be a difficult decision as on the one hand parents want their children to remain safe and be able to keep in touch, but on the other, having a phone gives […]

Looked After Children.

Posted: 12/10/15

‘Education matters. You learn. It’s the key to freedom in what you want.’ Definition. Looked After : A child is looked after by a local authority if she/he is “in care” by reason of a court order, or if he is provided with accommodation for more than 24 hours by agreement with his/her parents or […]

Rochdale Borough Council

Posted: 07/10/15

We are delighted to announce Rochdale Borough Council have chosen Looked After Call to monitor the assessment and attendance of their 120 looked after children.

Parents of truants to have benefits docked

Posted: 06/10/15

“Parents in England who refuse to pay a penalty after their children play truant will have their child benefit docked, the prime minister has said. A civil penalty of up to £120 would be claimed through child benefit if the fine is not paid after 28 days. Currently, 40% of fines go unpaid. David Cameron […]

Shortlisted for the Growing Business Awards

Posted: 24/09/15

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Digital Champion category for the Growing Business Awards, in association with Lloyds Bank, supported by Real Business and the CBI. The awards dinner and winners announcement will take place on 26th November 2015. Digital Champion The “Digital Champion” award recognises UK-registered businesses that are challenging traditional industry […]

Cross & Passion College improves parental communication with Call Parents

Posted: 21/09/15

Cross & Passion College in 10 Moyle Road, Ballycastle, Co Antrim, BT54 6LA is taking a proactive approach to improving communication with parents by installing Call Parents ( www.callparents.com ), from Contact Group, the leading provider of communication systems for schools which facilitates two-way communication between schools and parents. Call Parents allows school staff to send texts, […]

PASH Conference

Posted: 18/09/15

Our Product Manager, Chris Sherwood, is exhibiting at the PASH Conference today in St. Helens. At the conference we will be showcasing the following products: Please come along to learn more about our products and how we can help with your parental communication.

North Bromsgrove High School and Sixth Form improves parental communication with Call Parents

Posted: 17/09/15

  Press release Starts.   North Bromsgrove High School and Sixth Form improves parental communication with Call Parents North Bromsgrove in School Drive, Bromsgrove is taking a proactive approach to improving communication with parents by installing Call Parents ( www.callparents.com ), from Contact Group, the leading provider of communication systems for schools which facilitates two-way communication between […]

Trafford Council

Posted: 09/09/15

We are delighted to announce another new contract for the Looked After Call (LAC) team. Trafford Council have chosen LAC to monitor the attendance and assessment progress of their 220 looked after children.

Bullying in education

Posted: 09/09/15

Bullying A bully – ‘a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker: he is a ranting, domineering bully’ Oxford Dictionary. Bullies – ‘Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something: a local man was bullied into helping them’ Oxford Dictionary. What is it […]

London to Brighton for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Posted: 08/09/15

A few members of the Contact Group Team did the gruelling London to Brighton bike ride on Sunday for Alder Hey Charity.   06:30 Clapham Common 06.09.15 Sunday morning the day started with bacon sandwiches. The hardest part was Ditchling Beacon, located 7 miles north of Brighton, it is the highest point in East Sussex. It was […]

Classroom Management

Posted: 25/08/15

Classroom Management Classroom management is term mainly used by teachers to describe the action and process of ensuring classroom lessons run smoothly regardless of disruptive behaviour. We all know that to effectively delivery authority, the message needs to be simple, precise and non-negotiable. However, there is a slight taboo these days about the subject of […]

Central Bedfordshire Council

Posted: 24/08/15

We are pleased to announce Central Bedfordshire Council have chosen Looked After Call to monitor their 180 looked after children. Another new contract for the Looked After Call Team.

Warwickshire County Council

Posted: 06/08/15

The good news continues for Looked After Call – another brand new contract. We have been selected to monitor Warwickshire County Council’s looked after children throughout the UK.

Team Building Day

Posted: 28/07/15

  Contact Group had a fantastic day at Rookery Hall Hotel with Events Organised. The day consisted of Archery and Clay Pigeon Shooting, we were put into teams and competed against each other. It was a really fun day with lots of team moral.    

London Borough of Redbridge

Posted: 27/07/15

The good news continues for Looked After Call – another brand new contract award. After a tendering process we have been selected to monitor London Borough of Redbridge’s looked after children throughout the UK. We look forward to providing the high level of service that is resulting in the incredible growth of this system.  

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Posted: 23/07/15

More great news for Looked After Call – another brand new contract award. We have been selected to monitor London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s looked after children throughout the UK. We look forward to them enjoying the high level of service that is resulting in the incredible growth of this system.  

South Gloucestershire Council

Posted: 22/07/15

More clients continue to join us in the West Country. South Gloucestershire Council decide on Looked After Call to monitor their Looked After Children and work with their internal data team to ensure a complete picture of their Virtual School roll, whether placed in our out of area.  

Education Technology Press

Posted: 21/07/15

Education Today featured Contact Group in their article on parental engagement. Calling the shots – Eskdale Academy improves parental engagement with Call Parents. To take a read please click here.

Academy Today Press

Posted: 20/07/15

Academy Today have featured Contact Group in their ‘Calling the shots’ article. Please click here to read more: Eskdale Academy improves parental engagement with Call Parents software.

Contact Group have been shortlisted for the Education Investor Awards 2015

Posted: 17/07/15

We have been shortlisted for the Technological Infrastructure Award for our Looked After Call product. Looked After Call (LAC) was developed to help Local Authorities and to replace costly manual solutions, LAC draws data directly from each schools’ Management Information System (MIS). Local Authorities can now easily see this critical data for each of their […]

Should vulnerable young people be allowed to stay in care until they are aged 25?

Posted: 09/07/15

“Vulnerable young people should be allowed to stay in care until they are aged 25.” The government’s children’s commissioner for England. A recent Nottingham University survey of 3,000 children and young adults, found that nearly a third of felt they were forced to fend for themselves too early, that they were not ready to set […]

Hartlepool Post Press

Posted: 08/07/15

Eskdale Academy improves parental engagement with Call Parents Eskdale Academy in Eskdale Road, Hartlepool is taking a proactive approach to improving communication with parents by installing Call Parents ( www.callparents.com ), from Contact Group, the leading provider of communication systems for schools which facilitates two-way communication between schools and parents. Call Parents allows school staff to send […]

Class Charts Training

Posted: 25/06/15

John our Internal Sales Manager was overwhelmed with the turn out for Class Charts training at Smestow School last week. The training went really well and the school is very excited to start using Class Charts. Class Charts is a classroom management system, which also manages behaviour in the classroom. The product automatically prepares seating […]

The impact of parental involvement on children’s education.

Posted: 22/06/15

The impact of parental involvement on children’s education. In 2007 a research survey was constructed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to see the impact parental involvement has on children’s education from an early age. The compelling question asked was, ‘How involved do you think you are in your child’s education?’ Around half […]

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Posted: 09/06/15

We are very pleased to announce that Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council has become the 3rd West Midland authority to choose Looked After Call, to help safeguard and monitor the attendance and progress of its looked after children, following a successful pilot of the system in the Autumn and Spring terms.  

Term Time Absence

Posted: 28/05/15

  Reducing Term Time Absence   We are in the middle of the half term holiday with the six weeks of summer rapidly approaching. On 1st September 2013 a law was passed, stating that head teachers will be unable to agree leave of absence during term time, unless they are satisfied that they qualify as […]


Posted: 21/05/15

We are so please to share with you that REGGIE has won an IBX award in the education category. The awards recognise business excellence from across the world – with the finals being held in Dubai – 20th-21st May.

Business and Industry Today Press

Posted: 15/05/15

Business and Industry Today have released their Top companies from BETT 2014 and they have named Contact Group as one of their Top 20. The publication promotes, trustworthy and reliable companies, quality products and services that may be of some interest to their readers.

Top Apps for PE Teachers

Posted: 07/05/15

Technology and Apps are modifying teacher’s day to day lives. They can be used to engage students and aid in the production of interesting lessons. Evidently it has allowed students to become more independent in the classroom, they can research anything online and applying their relevant findings, showcasing their analytical skills. The Guardian recently released an article […]

Should Google be allowed in exams?

Posted: 05/05/15

Since the schooling system started by Queen Victoria in 1880, students have had to listen and learn throughout the whole year at school and then revise for their exams. This provides assessment on the children that are progressing or deteriorating, the geniuses of this world and the ones that may need some extra tutoring. It […]

Children Missing Education Conference

Posted: 22/04/15

On 24th April 2015 LookedAfterCall are attending the Capita Conference – Children Missing Education, at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in London. We will be promoting our new product DataCall. DataCall provides you with your students’ attendance, behaviour and assessment data. It does this by using a series of dashboards and monitoring the performance of the […]

Exam Technique

Posted: 14/04/15

With it being exam time for many students’, revision and exam technique are key to scoring you those high marks. The first thing to do is read, read carefully, the entire exam paper. Spend a good ten minutes reading before you write anything.  During this time, work out which questions you are going to answer […]

Walsall Metropolitan Council

Posted: 13/04/15

We are delighted to announce that Walsall MBC have joined a number of other local authorities in choosing Looked After Call from Contact Group to monitor the attendance and attainment of its 400+ looked after children. Looked After Call monitors looked after children’s attendance and assessment progress, both in and out of area. Using our calling team […]

Revision – It’s hard

Posted: 10/04/15

  It’s coming to that time of the year again, in just two months, the life defining GCSE and A Level exams will be under way. This might sound like a very long time away but I can assure you – it comes around quickly. How you learn and how you revise differs for every […]

Independent Education Today Press

Posted: 02/04/15

Independent Education Today released this months supplement which features Contact Group and a number of our products. The Information Game is an article based on how MIS systems are revolutionising the way schools, collect, store and share data. It stresses how our products save Schools’ valuable administration time and how many products are actually available for […]

Rutland County Council

Posted: 30/03/15

We have some fantastic news to share with you. Rutland County Council have chosen Looked After Call to monitor the attendance and attainment of their looked after children. Looked After Call monitors looked after children’s attendance and assessment progress, both in and out of area. Using our calling team and automatic data collection, Looked After […]

Herefordshire County Council

Posted: 26/03/15

We are delighted to announce that after initially signing a 3 year agreement to monitor out of county children using Looked After Call, Herefordshire have now extended the contract to include the full cohort. Looked After Call monitors the attendance and attainment of 175 students in 88 schools of which 61 use Looked After Call’s automatic […]

Local Authorities are under increased pressure.

Posted: 16/03/15

The Education magazine has published an article by Stephen Clarke, Managing Director, Contact Group, on the increased pressure being put upon Local Authorities to close the attainment and progress gap between looked after children and their peers, to create a culture of high aspirations, promoting their educational achievements and provide them with access to a […]

Effective communication with parents

Posted: 16/03/15

Education Technology magazine have published an article by the Headteacher of St Mary’s Primary School, Mary Harbinson, explaining how she installed our Call Parents product to improve school – home communications. They had a website, ran parents evenings and also ran a parent club but they felt that they could do more. They setup a […]

Truancy Call at Hillocks Primary School

Posted: 05/03/15

QA Education have published an article that explains how Hillocks Primary School have used our Truancy Call software to improve pupil attendance. They have improved attendance from 92% (below the National Expectation of 95%) to 96% with a range of strategies and policies to engage with the hard to reach parents. These included rewards, prizes […]

Unannounced Behaviour Inspections by Ofsted

Posted: 03/03/15

Education Magazine has published an article by Stephen Clarke, Managing Director of Contact Group, in about the recent announcement from Ofsted earlier this year to conduct impromptu behaviour inspections in schools deemed a ‘cause for concern’ by Ofsted itself, parents, the local authority and as a result of reports on exclusions or attendance. It cites research […]

Reggie® – finalist for IBX Award

Posted: 26/02/15

This morning we were informed that Reggie® been named as finalist for IBX Award in the Education category – fantastic news. “The International Business Excellence Awards recognise business excellence and celebrate exceptional initiatives by teams from across the world and individual professionals in 33 categories across sectors and disciplines. Each category has been meticulously developed […]

Mobile Technology

Posted: 12/02/15

Tablets and smartphones are gadgets that have become a necessity rather than a matter of convenience in our everyday lives. They have totally transformed society, the education system and have even started to prove that they are the future of workplace learning. Mobiles and tablets help incorporate resources anytime anywhere, in order to deliver meaningful performance […]

Safer Internet Day 2015

Posted: 10/02/15

Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised by Insafe. It happens in February of every year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world. The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three UK charities who reach out to thousands of […]

1 in 3 children are bullied

Posted: 06/02/15

In a new report from the Anti-Bullying Alliance, 1 in 3 children suffer from bullying. Sometimes there isn’t even a reason as to why someone bullies another. It could be jealousy, insecurity, religion, popularity and even the type of background. Bullies may seem confident but they actually feel inferior to others, thus causing them to […]

Improving Outcomes for Looked After Children Conference

Posted: 03/02/15

Lisa and Martyn from our Looked After Call Team attended the Capita ‘Improving Outcomes for Looked After Children’ conference on the 30th January. With the rising number and the increasing cost of children in or returning to care, our National Improving Outcomes for Looked After Children Conference is aptly timed to examine the provision of […]

Snow Closures

Posted: 30/01/15

With the recent snow hitting the north of the UK, many of our schools / academies have been using our CallParents product to send emails and texts to parents, to announce school closures. However as blizzards hit parts of the US, Head of School at Moses Brown School, Matt Glendinning, announced a snow day in […]

Contact Group at BETT 2015

Posted: 26/01/15

We have just returned from our stand at the BETT 2015 exhibition. BETT is the world’s leading learning technology event and has been bringing innovation and inspiration to the education sector for over 30 years. The event attracts +35,000 professionals within the industry and has been celebrated for over 30 years. We were showcasing all […]

The Virtual Head Teachers’ National Conference

Posted: 16/01/15

Lisa, Mark and Martyn from our LAC Team attended the Virtual Head Teachers’ Conference in Manchester on January 15th 2015 to show our Looked After Call product to the attendees. Looked After Call monitors looked after children’s attendance and assessment progress, both in and out of area. Using our calling team and automatic data collection, […]

Child victims of cyber bullying doubles while a third of 15-year-olds admit to nude pics

Posted: 03/12/14

The Daily Express has found that almost one in three 15-year-olds admit to having used technology to send a naked picture of themselves. The alarming revelation comes as it emerges that the number of child victims of cyber bullying has doubled within the last year. As more and more children regularly use the internet they […]

Happy “Christmas You, Christmas Me” from Contact Group

Posted: 02/12/14

Contact Group are proud to be supporting the new Christmas single “Christmas You, Christmas Me,” fundraising in aid of MS-UK and the Alder Hay Children’s Charity. All proceeds will go to these charities. Anything your school or organisation can do to help this fundraising by promoting this song would be greatly appreciated by Contact Group […]

Contact Group Supports Anti-Bullying Week 17th – 21st November 2014

Posted: 18/11/14

Anti-Bullying Week provides an opportunity for us to talk openly about the effects of bullying on the lives of children and young people and take action to stop it. The best schools are rarely those that say ‘we have no bullying here’; rather they are schools that take positive steps to prevent bullying for ALL […]

Contact Group is a finalist in the BETT 2015 Awards – ICT Company of the Year (between £1-10m turnover).

Posted: 10/11/14

Contact Group, leading provider of communication, payment and data services for schools and local authorities, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the BETT 2015 Awards – ICT Company of the Year – Between £1m and 10m Turnover. Considered by many as the most esteemed accolade in the industry, the Bett Awards provide a showcase […]

Looked After Call product helps Virtual School Heads in LAs meet requirements of DfE directive, promoting the education of Looked After Children

Posted: 30/10/14

eLearningNews.net has published an article showing how the Ofsted-ready assessment reports on looked after children (LACs) can be accessed in real-time by Virtual School Heads (VSH) in local authorities using Looked After Call from Contact Group – a management information system (MIS) for monitoring looked after children which now features a brand new Assessment Module. […]

Ofsted-ready assessment reports from Contact Group help Virtual School Heads in LAs meet requirements of DfE directive promoting the education of Looked After Children

Posted: 23/10/14

Dash.com has posted an article on how the Contact Group’s Looked After Call software now has Ofsted-ready assessment reports which help Virtual School Heads in LAs meet requirements of DfE directive promoting the education of Looked After Children; http://www.24dash.com/news/education/2014-10-21-Ofsted-ready-assessment-reports-from-Contact-Group-help-Virtual-School-Heads-in-LAs-meet-requirements-of-DfE-directive-promoting-the-education-of-Looked-After-Children Ofsted-ready assessment reports on looked after children (LACs) can be accessed in real-time by Virtual School […]

John Roberts shares his views on how schools can drive positive behaviour in the classroom using a reward system

Posted: 22/10/14

Education Technology has published John Robert’s blog on Reward System and driving positive behaviour. Ofsted’s recent report entitled Below the radar: low-level disruption in the country’s classrooms, stated that, “Too many school leaders, especially in secondary schools, underestimate the prevalence and negative impact of low-level disruptive behaviour and some fail to identify or tackle it […]

GSD win Gold Stevie award for Reggie App.

Posted: 20/10/14

Congratulations to GSD, who won a Gold Stevie award for their Reggie App which we sell. The Stevie® Awards are the world’s premier business awards. They were created in 2002 to honour and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. More than 3,500 nominations from organizations in […]

Ealing Council now using Looked After Call

Posted: 30/09/14

Ealing is another local authority who have started using Looked After Call to monitor its 200 children who are in care, both in and out of the area. The virtual school head is able to view reports on attendance and assessment, which is updated daily, so they know they have the latest information to hand. […]

Medway Council chooses Looked After Call

Posted: 30/09/14

Medway Council has recently chosen Looked After Call to help with the monitoring of over 220 children in 115 schools both in and out of area. Virtual School Head Betty Earl, from Medway Council, required a solution that gave real time attendance and assessment, while reducing the burden on schools to respond and ensuring data security was […]

Contact Group is a finalist in the Education Investor Awards 2014

Posted: 26/08/14

Once again, Contact Group has been selected as a finalist for the Education Investor Awards in the Technological Infrastructure category.