Listen, you and I both know that having your own school app would solve a lot of problems and revolutionise your parental engagement fast – but what if the decision-maker in your school is not convinced? They might say “We don’t need an app – we have a website” or “We have a text messaging system – why would we need an app?” Here are some arguments to help you change their mind. These are some of the problems having your own Jigsaw School App can help to solve:
- Language barriers Most schools have hard-to-reach parents. For many, language could be a barrier – as not all parents have English as their first language. With our apps the parents can choose which language they would like to read your information in and it translates it for them. We support over 80 languages and the school can decide which to make available, depending on what languages you have in school. What better way to keep everyone informed and feeling included in their children’s education?
- Information overload Text systems can bombard parents with constant messages that they may not be relevant to them. With a Jigsaw School App you can categorise your messages, and parents can decide to switch off the categories that they don’t need. No children in the football team? Then they can turn off the football messages. No kids in Year 4? Then switch off that stream. Don’t worry – there is a way to override this for any urgent messages that need to go to everyone (for example when the snow is 6 feet deep or the boiler has exploded!)
- Information Underload Do you rely on parents checking your website to find information? How are they going to know when you put something new on there? Not many busy parents check the school website as often as you’d like. If you have an app then parents are alerted every time there’s something new – they get a push notification the minute you press send.
- Busy Parents According to Ofcom “Smartphones have become the hub of our daily lives and are now in the pockets of two thirds (66%) of UK adults, up from 39% in 2012.” You can reach most parents with your app as we make them for most of the popular platforms: iPhone, Android and Windows. So, when you have busy parents who are always on the go you can be sure to get your information straight to their pockets wherever they are!
- Incorrect Parent Contact Information Not all parents are good at letting schools know when they have changed their email address or got themselves a new phone number – but if they have the app it won’t matter! They will still get all your messages, events and other information you make available in it.
- Ofsted will be impressed Don’t forget: in order to be judged as outstanding by Ofsted you must show “highly successful strategies for engaging with parents and carers, to the very obvious benefit of pupils, including those who might traditionally find working with the school difficult.” Getting an app is a positive step you can take. For example, the survey feature would allow you to get parent feedback quickly and easily. Many schools are using this feature to pose the Parent View questions. They are getting more responses than paper-based or website surveys.
- Value for money Hmmm – maybe we should have put this one at the top? J Instead of having to pay per message (as with most text systems) the school pays a yearly subscription. This is a flat rate – no matter how many pupils you have or how many messages you send. The app is free for the parents to download – they just search for your name in their app store. Have a look on our website to see the yearly subscription rates – you can save money by signing up for three years.
- Flexibility You are not limited to only 160 characters as with texts – you can make your messages, events, news items as long as you like. Also you can add images and photo galleries. If you have any larger documents such as timetables, lunch menus or newsletters on your website then these can also be made available in the app – just convert to pdf and you can add them. All your information available in right in the parent’s pocket!
- Control The app’s content is entirely controlled by you! No wasted time waiting around for some company to update your website or install you some software. We give you access to a simple web-based control panel so you can update your information from anywhere – you don’t even have to be in school to use it! There is no special hardware or software needed nor any special training! Of course, we’ll always be here to get you started or assist with any problems – but you are in control of the information.
- You can get a free trial! It’s a no-brainer! Try it for 28 days and if it doesn’t work – don’t keep it! What have you got to lose? Visit the website (www.jigsawschoolapps.com) or phone us free on 0800 999 7500 anytime!
So, there you go – ten convincing arguments to help you persuade the powers that be to get a school app. If they’re still not swayed after all this – I’d consider changing schools if I were you!