Inviting parents by putting their email address into Classlist as several advantages, the two biggest being that parents will be pre-approved to join, and also parents will start to receive announcements sent by people with admin status on Classlist as soon as they are invited. This enables you to move over to Classlist from other systems immediately, knowing that all parents will be included in announcement communications from the PTA, Class Reps and staff using Classlist.
The two methods to invite parents via their email address are:
2. Uploading a csv file which includes names and classes as well as email addresses. (Better for larger batches of emails or the whole school).
Other methods of inviting parents such as using QR code flyers can be found here. Parents will not start to receive announcements via these other methods.
Pasting in email addresses manually
If you want to invite parents using their email address by pasting them in, you can do this for smaller batches of data.
Go to the admin side of Classlist and
- choose 'Invite Parents' from the menu to the invitations page
- then click the 'invite new parents' pink button.
- Select 'invite your email list'
- You will see two tabs at the top of the page 'manual' and 'upload'
Choose the 'manual' tab. Here you can paste in emails individually or in large batches.
NB you must either specify year and class when manually uploading parent emails if you want all parents to receive admin announcements before they join. To do that you would need to paste in the email data for each class separately, making a CSV upload easier. The manual method is therefore most suitable for inviting a batch of new parents not the whole school!
Pre-assigning admin rights when inviting manually
Using the 'manual' method you can also pre-assign admin roles to your PTA and Class reps when you invite them. This means they will be admins as soon as they accept the invitation and register. This is very helpful for them and saves you from needing to assign them as admins after they register. You can select an admin status for a group of people you are inviting such as all the Ambassadors, or everyone you'd like to be a Community Rep. For Class Reps you need to invite and assign them class by class.
Sending manual invitations
This allows you to paste in a list of up to 1500 emails via the Manual process. You could leave the year and class blank and invite everyone at once. This is a really quick way to invite everyone. However, they won't receive year and class annoucements as those haven't been specified. Also, there is no option to enter the parents name - so following up with parents who didn't join can be more difficult. Those that join will add their own names as they sign up.
Any parents that have been invited but haven't joined yet will show on the invite parents page like the below screenshot. You can edit the parent name to show correctly at a later stage.
Uploading a csv file which includes names and classes as well as email addresses.
If you use the upload feature the invited parent list will display like this.
If you switch to the 'upload' tab you can upload a csv file of parent details including their name, class, year and email address. This means that you can upload the whole school in one go and everyone will start to receive announcement messages sent to their class and year, as well as the whole school, straight away.
Below is a screenshot showing the columns you will need to fill in.
If you select this option you can upload a CSV spreadsheet with five columns for the name, email and class or year group for each parent you want to invite. This is an easy way to send out a bulk invitation to all parents in your school using a contact list from an external platform.
Use of years and classes in the School Structure
Please note that you can only use the CSV upload method if you are using both years and classes on the School Structure. This upload method does not work for schools that are only using the 'Year' column on the School Structure (i.e. the CSV upload won't work if you don't have class groups nested within in the year groups on the School Structure). If your school has a mixed structure (for example the junior school has year and class groups, but the senior school only has year groups), you cannot use the CSV upload for the whole school.
For smaller schools (less than 500 pupils) we recommend you use the manual 'paste in emails' method described above if you only have years and not classes. For larger schools, even if you mainly want to use a year group on Classlist to communicate, we recommend that you put tutor groups or year group house groups in the classes column. Parents still find this information useful and it means you can use the CSV upload method.
Sample spreadsheet for upload
If you need a sample CSV spreadsheet you can download our handy template spreadsheet. (see below for the attachment)
To upload a a CSV file
1) Create your spreadsheet with 5 columns
Column A: first_name (of parent)
Column B: last_name (of parent)
Column C: year (of pupil)
Column D: class (of pupil)
Column E: email (of parent)
Tips for creating your spreadsheet
- You must have a header row with column names.
- The first of the 5 columns should be in column A.
- The year and class names must be written in the exact same format in your csv file that they are written in your School Structure, with the same sdo paces between words. Eg Year 2 21-22
So if you put 'year 2 21-22' without a capital Y the data upload will not be able to find the correct year group in Classlist's School Structure and the upload will fail
- If a parent has more than one pupil include them twice, once for each child.
- Invite both parents
- You must fill in all 5 columns, no columns should be blank. This process won't work for year groups without classes.
NB: If you only have a 'single tier structure' eg one class is the year group, (and so you aren't using the Class column in the School Structure) then you can't upload a csv. However you can copy and paste in the email addresses manually for the class to send emails invitations.
2) Export your spreadsheet as a CSV
3) Click the 'upload CSV File' button and navigate to your csv file and open it. You should get a message on the screen saying 'Your file has uploaded successfully'.
4) Next match each column from the 'choose' dropdown menus to the input fields. If you accidently select the wrong field you may need to reset all columns back to 'choose' and start again. Once all columns are matched click 'done'.
5) Write a message to parents (or retain our standard one).
6) Then click 'Send' and we will start processing the file. This may take some time if the file is large so it happens in the background. You can check the status of uploaded files on the main invite page by clicking 'upload history'.
7) When we have processed all of the emails you’ll be able to download two files. One file will contain all the emails we have successfully processed and sent invitations, and the second one contains errors ie a list of all the rows where there was a problem. Problems might be invalid email addresses or missing information, or inaccurate year or class names in one of the columns. You’ll be able to correct the problem and easily upload the file again to send those invites.
If the Error report says 'Year or Class does not exist' - it means the class or year on the spreadsheet did not exactly match those in your School Structure. An exact match is case sensitive and must have the same number of spaces between words.
Error 'This parent is already a member and you don't need to invite them again'. If they are a Classlist member joining younger siblings you will need to let them know that they should add new children to their profile to be included in the class group.
Error 'Line Validation Error' there was data missing from this line such as the email address.
File format troubleshooting
- Please note the file should only have the above 5 columns. Extra columns will cause an error.
- The file can only have one sheet in it as it needs to be csv format.
- The file must have header labels to each column.
- The year and class names must be written in the exact same format in your csv file that they are written in your School Structure, with the same spaces between words. Eg Year 2 21-22
If you have trouble with uploading a file and have checked the common issues above then please contact our Help staff by creating a support ticket at the top right of this page with details.
Other advantages of sending Classlist email invitations
- One advantage of admins inviting by email is that the parent is 'pre-approved' when they register, rather than the Admins approving parents after they register. It isn't onerous approving people who register, but pre-approval does mean that the parent can go onto Classlist from the minute they register, rather than waiting for a rep to approve them. You can also be sure that you are being inclusive and ensuring that all parents are included.
- The biggest motivation for sending invitations directly from Classlist to parents is that as soon as parents have been invited by an admin via email they will be cc'd in on future announcements sent by the Classlist Admins at your school. This means that if you invited all your parents to Classlist this morning, and this afternoon need to send a message to all parents, you can do that via Classlist announcements. You do not have to worry that some of the parents haven't yet joined Classlist - your announcement will go to all parents invited by email.
The announcements sent to 'Invited Parents' have an opt out link, and state clearly 'You have received this announcement because you have been invited to Classlist by Jo Bloggs'. The opt out rate is very low as the announcements are being sent to current parents at the school who generally want to keep in touch with other parents.
Giving the PTA the ability to reach all the parents via Classlist from day one also means that you can use it as your main communication tool right away and know your communications will reach everyone. You don't need to double up and send non-Classlist messages to the parents who haven't joined yet.
NB You aren't making a parent a member by inviting them, and other parents can't see their details or contact them. They just get cc'd in on announcements and community events from admins.