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Communication planning for a school emergency

Published on 13/03/20

When unprecedented or unexpected emergencies strike such as snow days or health outbreaks, it can be difficult to know how best to communicate with your parents and carers.  

Our helpful tips will provide you with simple and easy ways to keep your community up to date using the tools available through your school website.  

1 – Access your website when you're off site 

Just in case you need to make an important announcement when you can’t access your work computer, it’s vital you know how to log into your system and make changes. If you are an e4education customer, you will be able to login to your website by adding /admin onto the end of your website address e.g www.yourschooldomain.co.uk/admin

A few key things to remember:

  • Make sure you know your password so that you can access the website via a different device. 
  • If you need to reset your password, you can do this through the log in window, this will then send an email to your registered email address. 
  • If you need to give access to another member of staff, please make sure you have set them up on the system and given them the required levels of permission.
    A guide to doing this can be found here: https://help.e4education.co.uk/user-manager 

Please note: For security reasons, our Support Team will only be able to assist customers who have a verifiable account.

2 – Add an urgent announcement to your homepage 

The best way to share an important update to your community via your website is by adding an eye-catching notification to your homepage.  

This will appear in a prominent position, usually near the top of the page and will link directly to a news story, allowing you to share more information.  

Find out how to enable the urgent news banner on your website here

3 – Share information with your students 

In the event of a school closure, you may wish to share work or lesson content with your students. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, including emailing resources or adding content to the website – either publicly or behind a secure area, which can be downloaded and completed. You may also have access to a dedicated learning platform from which to share information.  

4 – Keep parents in the loop 

Alongside urgent news banners for emergency announcements, it’s also important to keep your school community up to date with your intentions – whether this is by sharing government advice, updates to your policies or notifying of potential future closure and contingency planning.  

This can be done in a variety of ways;  

  • Sharing news articles or blog posts – these are an easy way to update your parents and wider community. News and blogs can often be shared on social media, pushed to your app through notifications or promoted on the homepage in the event of an emergency (see Tip 2) 
  • Social media – Parents will often follow your school on social media, so having these pages up to date with your latest guidance is always advised. You can also push updates to social media directly through your website. 
  • Update policy pages or relevant content – Make sure your policies are up to date, especially on anything related to school closures / bad weather / health and safety
  • Remove or edit calendar events – Should an event or trip be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, taking this off your website or updating it to cancelled is a good way to get the message across to your audience in a timely manner. These can also be pushed through to your app*
  • Sending newsletters - Your newsletter is the perfect opportunity to share all of your recent updates, plans and dates with your parents and carers. These can then be uploaded to your website. If you have a digital newsletter tool*, not only can you create them in minutes, you can also easily share these onto your website or with your community via email.
  • Send text or email correspondence - Most parents will use a mobile phone as a main source of communication. Sending them emails* or texts* to share emergency closure details, can be a fast and effective way to getting the message out to everyone who needs to know.

We understand that schools may be concerned about website load/capacity and we wish to reassure all customers that, we are well prepared to continue our service during this time and we will continue to monitor usage and increase capacity if necessary.  

Should you need further assistance, our Support Team are always at the end of the phone or email and will be happy to help. They are contactable via 0333 344 9984 - option 2
 


*We offer a range of communication tools, designed to help you engage with your school community.  We are currently offering our MIS-integrated email and text messaging platform free of charge between now and the beginning of the academic year.
Please contact our Sales team on 0333 344 9984 or email hello@e4education.co.uk for more information. 

Katie Sixsmith

Katie joined e4education in November 2015 and is our Marketing and Communications Executive. She has a 2.1 BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature from the Open University. 

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