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Parent text message services

Discussion in 'Personal' started by found nemo, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Not the best place to post this, but has most traffic! I am trying to encourage SMT to buy into a parent text messaging service. Can anyone tell me their experience of using this? Pros and cons please! I want to use it to inform parents about exam dates and revision sessions to encourage parental support with students at home. Letters sent home via students never make it to parents and postage costs are probably more than a text would cost. If you would recommend this service, who do you use to provide it? Many thanks.
  2. We use email - post the odd letter to parents who don't have email - and this works really well.Would that not be an option?
    My old shcool did do text alerts if kids were absent from registration but that was all. It was OK until registrations got messed up and whole year groups were marked as abesent!
  3. I kept getting texts from a school in England (I am in NI) telling me my daughter had been absent, and that I was to come in and see the teacher about it.
    This was happening all the time - obviously I wasn't the parent, and the parent knew nothing about the texts.
    I tracked the school down - I even had the teacher and pupil's name.
    I emailed several times, but it still happened.
    Eventually, because it was happening all the time, when I was sitting with my ill grnadmother, my husband phoned them, and they appeared to sort it out.
    Other than that I have no experience of it ;)
    I think some schools in our area use it for snow closures etc.
  4. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    we use it for all sorts of things, and it seems to be very well recieved by parents. saves an awful lot of letters going missing/phone calls etc.
  5. We use it not just for parents/carers but also for the students too (they're all over 16). I know that the parents have appreciated getting notice of important dates and we've noticed a real improvement in parental attendance at parents evenings etc. For the students, we can set up groups and then text them to remind them of homework/assignment/coursework dates etc.

  6. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Schools shoud embrace modern technology IMO.
    Email would be cheaper and these days many people can receive email on their phone anyway. Either way, I believe every school should do it!
  7. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    We tried this. We had is set up and running last year when the snow was really heavy. It was very successful as we could notify parents and staff quickly if we were closed.
    But the LA had a problem with it. Something about storing personal information/data protection. I never did quite understand it since I know 2 other schools in the area use a text messaging system. Anyway, we don't use it now, which is a shame.
  8. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    seeing as you have to have personal information stored anyway in case of emergencies, i can't really see what your LA are on about,eva.
  9. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    We use Parentmail - letters are sent out by email, and if parents include their mobile number they can receive text messages (although these are only really used in an emergency). The text message system was really useful a few months ago when a burst watermain near the school meant that we had no running water and had to ask parents to collect children in the middle of the day.
    As both a teacher and a parent, I have mixed feelings about letters being sent via email. On the one hand, you can be sure that letters get home and aren't left at the bottom of a child's drawer.
    On the other hand, (speaking as a parent), letters that I would normally stick up on the fridge to remind me of a key date, or money that needs to be sent into school for something, now have to be printed out. As I check emails on a laptop that's not connected to a printer, I don't always print stuff off straight away, and as a result things get left to the last minute - or sometimes forgotten.
    As a teacher, I know that many other parents are just the same as me - going to Parentmail has meant that we have to spend a lot more time chasing up permission slips, money etc.
  10. We use Parents2Teachers & my own kids' school (secondary) use Groupcall.
    Can't imagine life without them!
    C x
  11. Why not go the whole hog and have Twatter and Facewank pages for the parents and kids? After all, they spend more time there than interacting with each other or school...
    To be more sensible, though, I think email is better. That way you avoid all of the mess created when a letter home becomes a paper plane, message scrawling medium of simply is left for someone else to put in the bin. Text messages for emergencies, email for more mundane things.

    cyolba, awaiting the entry of most schools into the 21st century in terms of sensible technology use :)
  12. bogstandardcomp

    bogstandardcomp New commenter

    We went to text mail a year ago but were then told it was for emergencies only cos of cost per text. We are just moving to t emails but SMT don't seem to be very savvy with how to use it!!
  13. Honey Loop

    Honey Loop New commenter

    We use text at our primary - to remind parents about things such as sports day, assemblies, performances - despite newsletters and reminder letters being sent home the night before. Our parents are terrible for 'forgetting' Little Jonny had a (insert occassion of choice)
    I think it only works for the type of supportive parent who would turn up anyway. The others (who usually have the mobiles glued to their ears any other time) conveniently 'forget' to check their phone until it was too late...

  14. Only problem is that we get a lot of text that have nothing to do with my child.
    I do not care whether art club is running he doesn't go.
    Apart from the irrelevant messages it is really good and used a lot by my son's primary school.
    His school uses www.teachers2parents.co.uk

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