N.B. The real name of the school has been removed
Regular communication between parents is important in helping us build a supportive and welcoming school community. Recent data protection changes mean parents now rely on a variety of informal channels to contact each other, ranging from ad-hoc email lists to social media groups on Facebook and WhatsApp. These can work well but raise important concerns over inclusiveness, security and safeguarding - particularly when used to distribute personal data, and exchange information and images about children.
The school, working closely with our [parent association], has looked carefully at what might serve parent needs best in this area. This summer we are introducing a new “built for purpose” app called Classlist. This enables parents to find and contact each other securely, whilst giving each parent complete control over what data is shared. Classlist, which is UK based, holds appropriate security and GDPR certifications and recently won top prize at BETT, the world’s largest education technology event.
Our parent community is of course much more than an online address book. Using Classlist you can set up events; form special interest groups; discuss arrangements for parties or liftshares; find a home for old bicycles or school blazers, and volunteer. There is even scope for the Friends to raise money through working with local sponsors who support the site, which is completely free to the school and to parents.
It takes a couple of minutes to get started - first download the Classlist app on iOS or Android; select (“school name”) and choose what data to share with your fellow parents.
We are launching the Classlist app today, in order to provide a warm welcome to new parents who will be joining shortly. I would encourage you to sign up as soon as possible and ideally no later than Friday 15th June. For parents whose pupils are leaving this year we will create an alumni group so you can stay in touch.
FOLLOW UP AFTER 10 DAYS
We are delighted at parent response to Classlist, our new parent communication app, where [x%] of parents are now onboard in just a few days. The parent community will benefit enormously from as many parents as possible joining so I really encourage you to download the Classlist app on your phone; select (“school name”) and enter your details. You will find plenty of parents you know - and many you may not know - have already completed their details.
FOLLOW UP AFTER 3 WEEKS
A reminder that we still have a few parents not signed up to our new parent communication app, Classlist. This is entirely voluntary. Your parent community benefits hugely from having all parents enrolled, and you chose yourself exactly how much personal data you want to share.
We encourage all parents to participate - it takes a couple of minutes to download the Classlist app on your phone; select(“school name”) and enter your details.