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Newsletters and Parents Evening Bookings [Parental Engagement #5]

Published on 20/03/19

Two of the communication methods that are most regularly mentioned within our conversations with customers are the creation and distribution of newsletters and the effective organisation of parents evening. 

As part of our research, we wanted to investigate the different options that are currently being used by schools, to see the most common methods across the educational sectors. 

Newsletters

As mentioned in one of our previous posts, 40% of the schools we surveyed sent out a newsletter at least once a week. We wanted to follow up on this by finding out how schools create these newsletters and share them with parents.

Newsletter Methods

The most popular methods for sharing newsletters with parents were via the website (PDF or Download) or via email – with 33% each. This was a consistent response across all sectors implying that this is a universal approach to sending out newsletter communications. Despite the push towards more digital forms of media, 16% of schools advised that they still create physical copies, either to send them home to all parents or to keep paper copies in the main office and teachers’ classrooms, for those who would prefer to read a printed version. 12% of schools mentioned sharing the links on social media – either the direct link to the newsletter or linking back to the website.

Parents Evening Bookings

As part of the research we completed before creating our own Parents Evening Booking module, we found that many schools had varying ways of dealing with the organisation of Parents Evening events. During our October survey, we asked our respondents to let us know the communication methods that schools are currently using when organising their events.

Parents Evening Booking Methods

With 31% of responses, the most popular current method of organising parents evening bookings is through sending letters home with return slips for the students to bring back for their teachers. This is closely followed by the use of online booking systems or websites, with 28% of participants stating that this is their current preferred method. A third of the schools that we surveyed selected that they use multiple options such as email and booking systems, or letters home combined with digital correspondence or a follow up telephone call whereas the other two thirds were happy to just use one method of communication.

The reasons for these differences may be due to phasing in new technology slowly, or to using multiple methods to capture information from a larger audience. It may also be that schools wish to give their parents a larger selection of ways to respond – to cater to their specific audience requirements.

In next week’s post…

Next week we will be looking at ‘How to Increase Parental Engagement within Schools’ and the methods which schools are considering using going forwards, to help with their communication to parents.

We will share the link to the blog on our social media accounts so please make sure you’re following us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Instagram, to ensure you get access to our latest updates.

If you’re considering using a Digital Newsletter Builder or Online Parents Evening Booking tool within your school, then make sure you take a look at Connect; our own suite of communication tools or take a look at our Connect Video.

Katie Sixsmith

Katie joined e4education in November 2015 as a Project Co-ordinator in our Production Team. She was promoted to Production Supervisor in 2017 and then moved over to join the Commercial Team as our Marketing and Communications Executive in the summer of 2018. She has a 2.1 BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from the Open University. 

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