Children achieve more when schools and parents work together. Yet, the school-parent relationship is often a volatile one. To maintain a strong, collaborative relationship, communication must be clear and effective.
Good school communication with parents builds understanding and sets everyone up for success. Poor communication leads to differences of approach and inconsistent learning for children.
We wanted to give schools an insight into parents’ preferred communications. So, we asked them to rank different forms of school communication according to their preference.
Tier 1 — Online Communications
The most popular forms of school communication with parents are digital and online messages. This includes:
- School Websites
- School Blogs
- School Social Media Accounts
- Digital School Newsletters
- School Emails
Online resources are the first place parents turn to for information. Whether they want the latest news or information about their child’s school, they look online. So, it is no surprise that digital communication was popular with parents.
Many parents visit school websites as a matter of habit. Therefore, being able to access news through the school website is convenient for parents. They are also regular users of social media. That is why school social media accountswere another popular channel of communication.
Away from websites and social media, other digital communications were highly rated by parents. Digital school newsletters ranked higher than their printed counterparts due to ease of access. Parents also ranked school emails as a preferred form of communication due to their direct nature.
Tier 2 — Printed Materials and Texts
Printed materials were well represented in the middle tier, while there was also a spot for a more modern form of communication.
Letters have long been a popular method of school communication. They deliver a clear message in a formal tone directly to parents. While school letters were not unpopular, they ranked behind emails, which serve the same purpose but in a digital format. It is a similar story for printed school newsletters, which were ranked in the middle tier, but behind their digital alternative.
In recent years, schools have introduced text messages as part of their communications plan. School texts offer direct communication with parents and are sent to a device most use every day. But, this can be considered intrusive. School text messages can also be ineffective, as they are received and read at inconvenient times. If parents can’t respond or react immediately, they are less likely to do so later in the day.
Tier 3 — Outdated Methods
At the bottom of the rankings are outdated — or traditional — methods of communication: newspapers, radio, and TV.
Newspapers were once the primary source of information. As such, schools used them to communicate with parents and a larger audience. Now, print news is a dying medium. Schools can no longer rely on newspapers to reach parents. Equally, parents don’t want to have to buy a newspaper to stay up to date with their child’s school.
Many schools still rely on radio and television adverts to communicate with parents. The main reason? They have done so for years. This is not a valid excuse, and our research suggests these forms of communication are not preferred by parents.
Parents may read newspapers, listen to the radio, and watch TV, but the indirect nature of these communications is ineffective and unpopular.
The Verdict: Take Your Communications Online
To increase the efficacy of your school communications with parents, choose digital channels. By communicating through the channels preferred by parents, you improve the chances of reaching them and increase the likelihood of initiating the desired response.
At Eduprise, we have helped several schools upgrade and modernise their communications. Our experienced team is well-versed in online and digital comms and understands how to build an infrastructure that facilitates them.