One of the many challenges facing schools today is meeting their targets. Whether that be financial, pupil attendance or even exam results. There is in fact a simple way of improving performance in these areas which will ultimately assist schools in achieving set targets and objectives, and that is by using text messaging. Texting is often under utilised within schools with many opting to use email as their main communication channel instead. Whilst this is a tried and tested method and often preferred by parents, it is not always the most effective. Email open rates are just 21% in Education (source: Mailchimp) compared with SMS open rates which are much higher at 98% (source: DMA). Therefore by simply changing your communication channel you can ensure that the information gets read and is read quickly by the recipient.
Due to the nature of texting, it is particularly effective in emergency or time sensitive situations where people may not have access to a landline or computer, however it also lends itself to being suitable for sharing short pieces of information. Just a few examples of how texting could be used within schools include:
- Reminding students of folio deadlines and exam dates – this can help students plan and ensure that deadlines are met and projects are completed to a higher quality rather than being rushed at the last minute. Likewise reminding students of upcoming exam dates can help them plan their study and ensure that they are prepared as best they can be, thus increasing the chances of better results and schools ultimately meeting targets
- Providing links on online study materials – offering additional study resources is vital in ensuring that students are ready for the exam
- Sending emergency alerts regarding school closures and last minute changes to events – by quickly notifying parents of closures and changes you will help ensure that pupils are safe and also enable parents to ensure that alternative arrangements are made with as little disruption as possible being caused
- Promoting school extracurricular activities – it is important for pupils to develop any natural talents and participate in sports and other events. This not only develops life skills and improves confidence but can also help prepare children for later life. By encouraging parents to attend and become involved in supporting their children, schools can help nurture the child’s personal development thus leading to an overall improvement in behaviour, attentiveness and the ability to learn
- Informing parents of key dates, events and information affecting their child – parents’ evenings, subject choice deadlines, sports day, end of term school show, immunisations… the list is endless. Being able to easily remind parents of the many events affecting their child helps ensure participation on the part of the parent and gives the child the support they need.
- Updating staff in terms of crisis or emergency – there are some instances where staff need to advised of adhoc or supplementary information (for example, a fire alarm sounds but usual fire points are unavailable due to last minute maintenance work) and this is one easy way of ensuring that staff are kept in the loop
So, now that we know that text messaging is the best communication channel to use, what text messaging tools are there to enable the various individual, group and bulk communications which need to be sent out? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to simply login online and easily, and within seconds, compose a message to whichever contacts you require and then send it off safe in the knowledge that it will be quickly and reliably delivered to the correct contacts? WebSMS is one such solution which enables schools to do just that. With its user friendly navigation, distribution list and message template facilities and folder organisation, communicating successfully with parents and staff has never been easier. Why not have a look and try it for yourself? Read more about WebSMS
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