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.”
A few people have said to us “We don’t need an app – we have a website” or “we have a text messaging system” – so what can an app give you that these older systems can’t?
You can get your information straight to the parents and carers wherever they are. Did you know that 72% of adults now have smart phones? That means that 7 out of every 10 parents can download your app. That is because we cover all the main platforms – iPhones, Android phones and Windows phones. The app lets users know every time you post a new item – as the push notifications alert them to the fact that there is something new in the app. The phone will buzz and the message will appear on their screen.
- Value for Money
Instead of having to pay per message as with 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 rates – you can save money by signing up for three years. However – you can have a free trial first – to make sure it is perfect for you. Check out Jigsaw School Apps
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. If you have any larger documents such as timetables, lunch menus or newsletters on your website – these can also be made available in the app – just convert to pdf and you can add them. This means you don’t have to rely on parents remembering to look at the website regularly – everything can go straight to their phones wherever they are!
You don’t annoy parents by sending irrelevant messages either – as they can choose within the app which categories they want to receive. So if they don’t have someone in Year 7 or the football team, for example – they can switch those messages off. Don’t worry – you set the categories yourself and there is one you can have that no-one can switch off – for urgent and important information.
Many 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. We have over 80 languages available and you can chose which ones you will need and we will translate all your information for them. What better way to keep everyone informed and feeling included in their children’s education?
- Increased Parental Engagement
As well as the language feature (above) you can use your app to get instant feedback from parents through the survey function. This allows you to set multiple choice questions for parents to vote on. We have had some very happy head teachers who tell us that after sending home paper questionnaires for parents and receiving very few replies – they set up a survey in the app and were amazed to get over 20 replies within minutes!
This makes it easier for parents too. They don’t have to fill in a form and then ensure their children take it back into school. They do not have to remember to go to the website and vote. They can do it as soon as the phone buzzes – the questions are there and they have just to press a button.
Also, you could increase the numbers of parents attending functions and meetings at your school. The events section allows the users to save your events to their own device’s calendar and set themselves a reminder.
The app’s content is entirely controlled by you! No waiting for some company to update your website or install you some software. There is no special hardware or software needed nor any special training! We give you access to a simple web-based control panel. We’ll always be here to get you started or help with any problems – but you are in control of the information. You can access it from the web from anywhere – you don’t have to be in school to use it. You could do it from your phone! So, if you feel you are ready for the next generation of school-to-home communication – get in touch! The details are on the website http://www.jigsawschoolapps.com/ or phone us free on 0800 999 7500
We look forward to hearing from you!