School administrators can assist their PTA by inviting parents to join Classlist, even if your PTA is a separate organisation to the school. A school staff member can do this in two ways:
- As a Classlist Staff Admin they can simply paste in a list of all parent email addresses to invite parents direct from Classlist on the 'Invite Parents' page. This is very quick to do.
- Alternatively, the school could give the PTA the list of parent emails for them to paste in to Classlist on the Admin side 'Invite Parents' page to send the email invitations.
If the PTA is a separate organisation to the school, the school can 'give the PTA the data' -they can do this by ensuring that the school's privacy statement includes the PTA as an organisation the school shares data with.
We confirmed with the ICO in the Autumn post-GDPR that a school can share information with their PTA in this way legitimately, and there are more details about doing this here, as well as example privacy statement text.
If the PTA is not a separate organisation to the school the privacy notice is not affected and the staff can invite parents as well.
Either way the school will only want to share the parent data with the PTA if you use a GDPR-compliant solution such as Classlist to hold & use the data.
If as a PTA / Class Reps you have a list of all parent email addresses already that you have collected you can use those to invite parents yourselves. But in the new school year it would make it easier with new joiners if the school can invite the new parent to Classlist right away, as part of their new joiner process.
You can also simply publicise to parents that they can join Classlist by downloading the app and signing up. Parents don't have to have an email invitation, but they are likely to join more quickly with a direct email invitation. We have seen schools have hundreds of parents join in a couple of days after an emailed Classlist invitation!
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.
- The main 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.
We have found that is helpful if the Headteacher will let parents know that they support the launch of Classlist at the school eg by putting sending a letter or email out before your launch to parents.
“It is working amazingly. I introduced Classlist in September and it has made life so much easier for us. I can’t fault the app. We are only a small school of 7 classes, but we used to have a Facebook page, Whatsapp groups and email lists. Classlist has brought it all into one place. Now I only have to send one message instead of 14 or 21 messages previously. It has changed our way of communicating, our way of doing things. My PTA Committee say “Where did you find it?!”
Zarifa Dewey, PTA Chair, St Aidan’s RC Primary School
“We have been surprised and delighted with the fast uptake by 1080 parents. We haven’t even had to chase them. Launching Classlist was Easy.”
Latymer Upper School