When a school website just isn’t enough...
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Don’t get us wrong, your school website is central to your school’s marketing, but is it really enough? Communicating with parents is more important than ever…
"The effectiveness of the school’s engagement with parents and carers is one of the eight judgments under Leadership and management" Ofsted
Making sure you’re maximising your opportunities for engaging with parents is essential, but it’s not just about ticking a box for Ofsted's checklist. We know how important it is to you to build relationships with parents, to help nurture your students to their fullest potential. The question is, does your school website support you to do that? You can read more about what makes a great school website here, and to summarise, these are the key factors:
- A well structured navigation so users can find what they want quickly and easily
- Functionality that makes for a solid user experience, making sure parents keep coming back to your website
- Key information clearly displayed such as your school prospectus download, holiday dates and policies
- Updated news and events so parents are always in the know about upcoming activities, and what’s going on in school
- Compliance with Ofsted requirements for a school website
It’s worth exploring how many users you’re getting to your school website and how long they are spending on your site, this will help determine whether you’re getting the traffic you anticipated to the right places. You can do this by exploring this Google Analytics blog. But what other ways could you be communicating with parents?
There’s no doubt about it, there has been a decline in the school prospectus in recent years (particularly the printed version) as Oftsed relaxed their requirements and the school website took over as the primary source of information for parents and other stakeholders. But the prospectus is still a great opportunity to add a further impactful communication tool to your school marketing. We totally understand school budgets are a constant challenge, so we’ve tailored our prospectus service to suit any budget! From a complete bespoke design (which you can include in one of our website packages) to a template design with a print run as low as 100, as well as a digital brochure (online) only – we’ve got all options covered.
A parent communications app can work really well alongside a school website, as you’ll be sending the exact information you want current parents to see - and you’ll no doubt know how many times a day we check our smartphones! Push notifications can alert parents to key events, reminders about trips or non-uniform days and any other important school information. What’s more, our School Alerts app for Apple and Android phones and watches is free with our website packages!
One of the most challening elements of school life – homework! Increasing engagement from both students and parents in this area is high on any teaching agenda. But what tools are out there? Are they affordable and cost effective? We’ve developed a digital homework solution, called Homework4; a web and iOS/Android app based homework planner, reporting and communication tool to help improve efficiency and engagement with students, teachers and parents. Setting, marking, recording and analysing homework in one easy to use intuitive platform with a timetable populated directly from your school MIS, makes this a fantastic technology-led alternative to your printed planners.
If you want to talk about how to improve marketing and communications in your school, then contact one of our education experts today.