Every parent who asks to join your Classlist site must be approved by an existing parent member with the relevant admin status, or by a school staff member to verify that the applicant is a genuine parent at the school. This keeps Classlist secure, making it a safe environment for school-parent and parent-parent communications.
How to approve a request
When a new parent applies to join the site, the Ambassadors, Staff Admin members and Class Admins will receive an in-site notification and an email. Admins can tap the 'View parent details' link in the email or the in-site notification, or go straight to the 'Approve' page in the green Admin Mode.
When you are in the Approve parents page, tap on the name of the person you want to approve to view their details. Here you can see their email address, their child's name and the class/year which he/she will be in, and the date the parent applied to join. Tap 'Check and approve' to confirm approval.
If you think the parent applying has put their child in the wrong class you can reassign him/her to the correct class here (see image below): simply tap 'Change' to select a different class. If you are not sure who the parent is at this final stage you can still tap 'Cancel' then do some checks. If you are satisfied you know who they are, tap 'Approve' to enable the new parent to join your site.
Important: If you don't know who they are and you cannot contact an applicant in person, don't feel comfortable contacting them, or have concerns after speaking to them, please don't simply give them the benefit of the doubt and approve them.
Remember that once approved they will be able to find information and addresses for all the children and parents in their year. If you have concerns contact your school or the Classlist team at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to verify parents are genuine if you do not know them personally
For those parents you know in person, and whose details you recognise, the approval process is easy. Please do check your email regularly and respond quickly though, especially at the start of term.
If you are unsure about whether someone registering to join is a parent at the school, the simplest thing to do is ask another parent with a child in the same class. After a while most parents are aware of the names and details of other parents within their own child's class. You can also ask the school to confirm whether the parent is registered on the school roll (it's a good idea to do this in a batch for the new intake at the beginning of the academic year).
When new data protection regulations (GDPR) come into force in May 2018, our legal experts have confirmed that "where the PTA is a data controller, it is lawful for the school, as another data controller, to assist in verifying details of new applicants against a master list. In addition at the end of each term or year, or when any relevant change occurs, the school can lawfully assist the PTA with lists of new classes and pupils in each class to ensure the Classlist database is accurate. Any personal data provided by the school must only used for verification and updating and not be for any other purpose. Any personal data sent from the school to the PTA must be transmitted using a secure, encrypted form of communication."
If you are still unsure and the school won't help, you can always send an email to the person applying to join. Mention that you are contacting them regarding their application to Classlist and ask for a few details that will allow you to confirm their identity such as:
- Their child's name and which class they are in
- If they know any other parents, or
- If they have some evidence that they are a parent at the school, such as a letter from school confirming their child's place, which they can copy and email to you.
We have found that parents appreciate this thoroughness and do not consider it intrusive. It is also a great opportunity to introduce yourself to a new parent!
Use your Class Admins!
Asking each applicant for evidence is obviously impractical in a large school, so we suggest having a system of 'Class Admins' on your Classlist, with at least one allocated for each class. Class Admins can approve parents and act as a representative of their child's class within the admin structure of your Classlist site. If you have Class Reps in school already, they are the perfect candidates for this admin status within Classlist. This has the added benefit of reducing the number of approvals each administrator needs to verify, easing the burden for everyone. For help on how to assign an admin status please click here.
Classlist support team can also confirm applicant details directly with the school in the very small number of cases where there remains uncertainty. This level of security is unnecessary in most cases, but we advise applying reasonable caution to ensure your site is as safe as it can be.