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CMS Release Notes - October 2020

Published on 13/10/20

Technology is always evolving, changing and improving.

As an education software company, we know that one of the biggest barriers to technology progression is to remain standing still (the only thing worse is going backwards!)

That’s why we have a dedicated team of talented back-end developers, who are constantly working on our proprietary Content Management System (CMS), to develop new features, make improvements and fix occasional bugs.

So, let’s see what they’ve been up to this month!

Content Management System (CMS) 

Our CMS is the foundation of all of our software products and the technology that powers all of our school website designs. 

The main updates this month include:  

  • 2 Factor Authentication (2fa) can now be enabled by schools and trusts within their website settings. This gives users a second layer of protection when logging in, for that additional peace of mind. 

  • Sites can now be linked from the admin panel, further enhancing the shared functionality available between schools and trusts, or schools within the same federation. Page content, news stories, photo albums and calendar events can be shared to schools from the main Trust and will be automatically updated on all sites when the master content is updated.  
     
    This means that Trusts can create their policies on their website and push it down to all of their school websites. When they need to update a policy – they add the new policy to their website and it automatically updates on all the schools, saving considerable administration time.  

  • The user manager has had an update for mobile devices to make it even easier to use from any device. 

  • Schools can now opt to automatically share their news content to Facebook or Twitter to help them manage their social media channels. Manual post selection is still available for schools which only wish to share certain updates on social.  

  • Reminder emails now be sent once a month to notify the Data Protection Officer (DPO) of inactive users and include information on all users who have not been active in some time. This allows the school to monitor personal data and ensure they are following the GDPR / DPA 18 regulations.  

Communications Tools 

Our suite of communication tools is becoming increasingly popular with our school communities and the functionality available is constantly growing to meet demand.  

General

  • The communications suite now has a data dashboard, allowing schools to see the MIS data which has been imported and to filter parent contacts by categories such as ‘never logged in’ or ‘does not have an email address’. This will aid with administration tasks and provide a clear overview of the parents who are missing key information.

  • Specific CMS roles can now be assigned to just the communication tools. This will now allow schools the option of letting users send out communication updates using the tools whilst restricting them from editing website content, if required.  

Parent Portal 

  • Parents can now update their child’s details via the parent portal and this will send an automatic email to the school advising them of the changes. 

  • Schools can now upload student reports for parents to access from the portal.  

Email & Text

  • Communications can now be sent to staff and student contacts within the MIS data, if required, as well as to parent contacts. This allows the school to send out updates to staff and students via the email and text messaging systems, widening the usage potential.

  • If the content of an email indicates there should be an attachment, but no attachment has been added, then there will be a confirmation message shown before the email is sent, giving schools the option to update the email and add in the missing attachment.  

Digital Newsletter Builder 

  • Bullet lists and numbered lists are now available within the text editing options on newsletter text areas.  

  • The number of articles and events that show in a newsletter block has been increased, allowing for longer newsletters to be created. 

  • Additional colour options have been added for enhanced customisation. 

  • Blogs can now be pulled in from the website and added to the newsletter. 

Bookings & Payments 

Our booking functionality and payments have been a very popular element of our offering and we’ve recently added the following updates: 

Parents’ Evening Booking System 

  • A notes field has been added to allow administrators and parents to add notes to booking slots to aid with administration and planning. The parent notes will be visible to the staff, but not vice versa.  

  • Staff names can now be customised on the booking itself to differ from the data pulled in via the MIS – this will allow for nicknames, class names or any other naming convention to be added to the booking as required, increasing the flexibility for schools.  

  • Parents’ evening booking links can now be added into calendar events, allowing parents to access the login screen and book their slots directly from a link within the school calendar.  

  • Parents can also now add their bookings into their own calendar on their device to remind them of their selection.  

  • Parents’ evenings can now be ‘paused’ while the booking window is open, allowing schools to temporarily disable new bookings without removing or altering the existing bookings.  

Course Booking 

  • Courses can now be reordered via the sitemap so that schools can choose the order in which they sit on the site.  

Payments & E-Shop 

  • The ability for adding discount codes has been added to the e-shop, allowing schools and PTAs to reward repeat purchases and offer promotions.  


We’ve also fixed a couple of pesky bugs to make sure that our CMS works a smoothly as possible for our users.  

Check back next month for the latest round of improvements and new features to our innovative, easy to use software.

Not currently with e4education? 

If you would like to learn more about the e4education content management system or communications suite then get in touch today for a free demo.

Katie Sixsmith

Katie is our Marketing & Communications Executive and joined e4education in November 2015. She has a 2.1 BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from the Open University and is currently studying for her Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing with the Oxford College of Marketing. 

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