Improving Parental Engagement

We know that most school and other educational establishments try very hard – using a variety of methods – to make parents feel included in their children’s education. You want them to feel part of the school community. Parental Engagement is something we are passionate about here at Jigsaw School Apps. It is at the heart of what we do – we want to help improve parental engagement with you.

It is more important than ever to Ofsted too. If you want to be an “Outstanding” school they stress that you must have:

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.”

Have a look at these articles that stress the importance of keeping parents informed and feeling included in all you do:


Don’t give up on hard-to-reach parents – try harder!


Reaching parents with English as an additional language:


Best Practice in Parental Engagement:

Parental engagement with children’s learning is effectively supported when parents receive clear, specific and targeted information from schools.”


Tips from the USA

“Offer materials in other languages” Parents choose the language with our apps.


Goodall et al. (2011) found that parents need clear, specific and targeted information from schools and further that information and opportunities to engage can be provided by the use of ICT. Their review noted that schools need to take a whole school approach to engaging parents, and adopt an outward-facing strategy which makes use of information and expertise from other local schools. Parents’ need for information, and especially for advice and support, was likewise a recurring theme in our evidence base. Parents valued the school consulting them and respecting the views they expressed. Our evidence also recommended the tailoring of communications to suit parents’ individual circumstances, and there are opportunities here for employing ICT.


Having your own branded school app that can easily be found under your name in the app stores is a great way to keep in touch with your parents – wherever they are. We offer a translation service – so that all parents can choose which language they want to receive your information in. You can post news which gets to them immediately. Also put in your events – if they can add them to their devices’ calendars and set themselves reminders – then they are more likely to turn up! A good way to get more parents to your meetings and events.

Use the app to post surveys and get instant parent feedback on any topic you desire. No need to send home paper questionnaires or rely on the parents looking at your website frequently – you can get straight to their smartphones wherever they are.

You can even post larger documents in pdf format – make sure everyone sees the newsletters or homework timetables. An app has so many uses and the control panel is quick and very easy for your staff to use. No special hardware, software or training needed – just a simple web-based control panel. As soon as you post it – it is in the app for all to see. You control all content. Don’t let anyone feel left out – get a school app today!

Give Darren a call on: +44 (0)1782 305504

or check out the website



We are “Appy” to Help!

What have Jigsaw School Aps been up to since the last post?


Darren has been busy designing the apps and has also been out and about giving demonstrations to interested schools. Just this week he went as far as Oxford.

Nathan has been concentrating on building the apps that have been ordered and making sure he gets them into the app stores for all the platforms.

He did take some time to go to London this week to visit the Microsoft Customer Service Headquarters in Victoria – for a live stream of the Build 2014 Conference being held in San Francisco. They were announcing the new Windows 8.1 for phones and he wanted to keep up with all the latest developments. It helped that Microsoft provided free pizza and beer too!

Hopefully he will, as a developer, get the new update this week – before it is rolled out to other Windows customers in June. We like to stay ahead of the game!

Darren and Nathan also enjoyed being interviewed by Ann King, the Business Editor of The Sentinel  (our local daily newspaper) this week. If you’d like to read the article – click its title. The headline was “Parents are ‘Appy’ to be Kept in Touch