GROUPCALL BOOSTS TEXT & VOICE MESSAGING FOR SCHOOLS WITH MULTI-LANGUAGE LIBRARY
Schools are to be given the ability to send text & voice messages to parents in any language following the launch of a multi-langugage library by Groupcall to help include non-English speaking families in the process of reducing truancy and increasing pupil safety.
[UKPRwire, Wed Sep 26 2007] Groupcall, the leading provider of truancy management and parental contact systems for schools, has unveiled a multi-language library which will enable schools to use the Groupcall Messenger system with families for whom English is not the primary language.
The Messenger system, which is in use in around 1000 primary and secondary schools in the UK, enables schools to send pre-recorded voice and SMS messages in a range of languages to parents’ fixed line and mobile phones, as well as emails. Currently, the Groupcall system delivers approximately 300,000 messages every month to parents on behalf of schools. The system has been proven to reduce rates of truancy in some authorities by as much as 27% by checking on unauthorised absences as soon as they are detected.
Now, the system is being made available to schools with a series of standard messages including ‘First Day Contact’ messages in 13 additional languages: Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Somali, Hindi, Bulgarian, Romanian, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and Polish.
“Something like one in eight pupils in this country has a mother tongue other than English, a figure that is even higher in primary schools,” explains Groupcall Managing Director, Lawrence Royston. “Having standard messages available in other languages means that the families of pupils where English is not the primary language can still be easily contacted to confirm that any absence is genuine and known about by parents.”
“This will make the families feel much more included in the process, will vastly improve ease of contact between school and parent and will continue to reduce the amount of cost and administration time spent by schools on the telephone chasing absences.”
Schools subscribing to the language library will receive additional languages as they become available. The school can record messages in other languages themselves as all facilities are provided within the software to make new recordings or change existing ones.
Sending messages via Groupcall can be done in one simple daily process which takes about 60 seconds to complete, whether to one parent or to hundreds. The message includes the school’s name, pupils name and information on how to respond to the call in the language of choice. The voice facilities within the Groupcall system mean that parents are required to respond to the school’s message. Groupcall records parental responses and stores them in the school-based system. These can be replayed at any time in the future.
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Groupcall’s Messenger system is independently proven to reduce truancy. It enables schools to follow-up and seek an explanation for unauthorised absences through pre-recorded voice and SMS messages to parents’ landlines or mobile phones and emails in any language for a low monthly subscription fee. The system, which was developed in consultation with primary and secondary schools, also provides general parental communication in one desktop solution, which fully integrates in real-time with all major school management systems. It reduces time spent by administration staff chasing up absences and cuts school telephone bills.
Groupcall also supports the work of Missing People (formerly National Missing Persons Helpline), the UK's only charity that works with young runaways, missing and unidentified people, their families and others who care for them. By alerting parents early to a child's absence and confirming if the absence is genuine, Groupcall can deliver valuable time to authorities in trying to find a child, whether the absence is through truancy, runaway or even abduction.