SCHOOLS USE TEXT ALERTS TO CONTACT PARENTS ABOUT SCHOOL SNOW CLOSURES
More than 30,000 parents with pupils at more than 100 primary and secondary schools across England and Wales were notified of snow-related school closures early this morning using an innovative text alert system.
[UKPRwire, Thu Feb 08 2007] More than 30,000 parents with pupils at more than 100 primary and secondary schools across England and Wales were notified of snow-related school closures early this morning using an innovative text alert system.
The Groupcall Messenger system allows schools to send text messages (SMS) to the mobile phones of parents, staff and other school contacts or voice messages to landlines or mobile phones in any language for a low monthly subscription fee. Messenger reads pupil contact information direct from the school’s management system, enabling a message to be sent to all parents in a matter of seconds, relieving the burden on school staff to make and field calls to parents.
One infant school in the London Borough of Redbridge, anticipating heavy snow today, even ordered and installed the system yesterday to enable them to contact parents quickly this morning.
“The need to contact large groups of parents because of sudden closures or unexpected changes to the school day is exactly the type of situation that the system was developed for,” explains Groupcall’s Lawrence Royston. “We anticipate further use during the day if schools decide to close early.”
The system, which is installed in more than 600 primary and secondary schools throughout the UK, was developed in consultation with primary and secondary schools. It is also used to monitor unauthorised absence and, according to the most recent truancy figures released by the Scottish Executive, was proven to reduce truancy by as much as 27 per cent.
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Notes For Journalists
Groupcall Messenger allows schools to simultaneously send voice or text messages to the landlines or mobile phones of parents, staff or other school contacts in any language for a low monthly subscription fee. This is making First Day Contact more easily achievable.
· It is the only system which reads data live and in real-time from all major school management systems.
· It enables all absences to be quickly investigated to ensure they are genuine and known about by parents
· It is vastly improving ease of contact between school and parent
· It reduces administration time spent on the telephone and saves on telephone costs.
· It provides an inexpensive and robust method of contacting all or groups of parents in the event of an emergency or change to the normal school day.
Subscription is geared to the number of pupils on roll and includes a bundle of free SMS messages. The result is that we can offer it to schools for approximately £1 per pupil per year; a typical subscription for a secondary school is just £80 per month.
The software works with existing computers, existing telephony and existing infrastructure. There is no requirement on the school for data entry; installation causes no disruption to the day to day running of the school, and nor are schools tied in to long-term contracts.