Some schools have staff who want to interact with the parent community, such as a staff member on the PTA. Or some are using Classlist for school-parent as well as parent-parent and PTA-parent communication.
There are three ways to add a member of school staff to Classlist. The first method creates the staff member as an Admin member of your Classlist community: they will have access to the admin side of Classlist to send announcements out to any combination of classes, years or groups and to invite and manage members, but no access to the parent side, and they cannot communicate with parents via private messages.
The second method gives the staff member as a 'parent' account: this gives teachers access to the parent side of Classlist, and so they can communicate with parents via Classlist individual messages as well as sending announcements from the teacher to the class group. (see how to set up this method below).
With the third method, they are invited but don't actually have an account. This lets them see an overview of communications and buy tickets via the public checkout, but without the option to respond on Classlist or be contacted.
Method 1 - Staff Admin access only
The School Staff Admin role can be used by a member of staff to help do member approvals and set up the school structure. Staff Admins can also send announcements and create community events, but they can't access the parent side of Classlist.
Some schools appoint class teachers as Staff Admins to enable them to send announcements and events to their class. Staff Admins can see and reply to comments on their announcements and events, but because they cannot access the parent part of Classlist, parent members cannot initiate contact with them individually via Messages, and vice versa.
To invite a member of school staff to become a Classlist Staff Admin
- Only Ambassadors and Staff Admins can invite other Staff Admins
- Go to the 'School Profile' page in the green Admin side, find the Staff Admin section and tap the 'invite' button.
- Enter the staff member's name, email address and a label (eg Head Teacher/School Secretary) in the dialogue box.
- The staff member will immediately appear as 'invited' on the School Profile page in the green admin side.
- The member of staff will receive an email inviting them to join (see below).
- They will set a password and can login.
- NB Staff Admins cannot be bulk uploaded.
Please note that approval email notifications cannot be turned off; if members of staff who are on your site as Staff Admins do not wish to deal with approvals you will need ask them simply to ignore approvals emails or set up an inbox rule to ignore approval requests. After the initial mass join-up phase there shouldn't be too much extra email traffic from approvals, but it is possible that for instance a headteacher may not want to have a Staff Admin status themselves as a result.
Method 2 - 'Parent' membership for teachers who want to communicate directly with parents or with each other, or take part in groups
This method allows teachers to join Classlist using a parent account, accessing the parent view of Classlist. If you want staff members with 'parent' accounts to be able to send and receive private messages with parents or take part in groups then use this method.
We recommend staff join a 'year group' called "Staff" rather than becoming a member of their own class group alongside parents, so that they do not waste time receiving messages sent within the class group, (eg end of year 'Collection for the teacher' and 'Has anyone brought home Tom's shoe?' posts). Classlist is designed for parents to reply and help each other. If the teacher is in the class group the parents may expect them to reply, even outside school hours, which may not be ideal!
Staff members with 'parent' accounts can send announcements and community events to their class (or any group) without being part of the class group if you assign them Community Rep admin status.
To invite a member of staff to join Classlist as a Parent member:
- Add a year group called 'Staff' to your school structure.
- Ambassadors or Staff Admins can invite staff members to have 'parent accounts' on the admin side Invite Parents page by adding their email address to the invite.
- The invited member of staff will receive an invitation email with a link to the parent registration site in the same way that any parent would.
Instructions for staff joining
- The member of staff should select 'Parent' not 'Staff' on the first page of the registration form.
- They will need to add a pupil name and class during registration. They should choose 'Staff' for class/year OR 'I don't know' which will put them in the 'Unassigned' year group where they can remain
- For pupil name they can say 'Staff Pupil' or 'Miss Brodie's account' as it will help to make it extra clear to all parents that this is not a real child.
- Members of staff who join as parents from an admin email invitation in this way will be pre-approved, just like any other parent would be, so they will have immediate access to the Classlist community without waiting for admin approval.
- After the teacher joins, go to the School Profile page and give them Community Rep status if they need admin rights
- The staff member will show in the school structure as having a pupil in 'Staff' or 'Unassigned' year group
- NB The pupil can be deleted on the School Structure page. However, if the pupil is deleted it will remove the account from the 'staff' year group.
- The staff member with Community Rep admin status can switch to the admin area to send announcements to any parent group, class, year group or the whole school.
Important: enabling staff to join Classlist using a parent account means that staff can be sent messages by parents out of school hours or in the holidays. Staff should be advised to only check their email during working hours, and if using the app to turn off push notifications from Classlist if they wish.
Moderation rights and viewing groups
Ambassadors have moderation rights on Classlist. Ambassadors can remove content and have the ability to see communication in groups they are not in for that reason.
Staff Admins are ring-fenced from the parent area and cannot view parent groups. [Also parents can not private message staff admins]. Many schools wish the parent and staff roles to be separated in this way.
Some schools do have a member of staff as Ambassador and it is up to your school how to use the roles on Classlist. However, Ambassadors are almost always parents on the Parent Association committee and not staff. We find this is very effective. It is very rare that Classlist is misused by parents. If a parent did put an inappropriate post other parents could report it, Ambassadors would be informed and they could remove the post. We feel it can be easier if this moderation role is parent-on-parent moderation rather than staff on parent moderation.
The reasons Classlist is not misused (unlike social media) include:
- Our member guidelines and T&Cs state Classlist shouldn't be used to complain about the school or people connected with the school and parents respect this.
- Parents can report posts, so if a parent did see inappropriate content they can report it
- Most parents don't want to be party to complaints by other parents and so they will report inappropriate content because they can do so easily. On social media reporting content is almost impossible
- The school name is at the top
- The school invited parents to join
- All members are named and associated with a child. In social media sometimes you can only see someone's number and not their name or whose parent they are.
- People who breach our Member Guidelines could be removed from Classlist right away, though this is very rare.
We have hundreds of thousands of users and this method of ensuring respectful communities has been proven to work!
Method 3 - Invite without joining
Another option if you want staff to receive announcements is for an admin user to invite them to Classlist via inputting their email address, but ask them not to join.
Once they are invited via email they will receive your announcements and events emails by bcc, so they will get an overview of what is happening.
However, if the announcements are long they won't be able to click through to read the entire message but will get the title and first few lines. For events they will see the title, date, time and location. They will also be reminded to join with each message in the same way as parents who haven't got around to signing up yet.
If Staff need tickets for community events, you can turn on the guest checkout and give them the link. That way they can get tickets without registering for Classlist.