Here is an example letter from a school launching Classlist
Parents need to be able to connect directly to build friendships and make arrangements for your children and yourselves, and to stay in the loop on the activities of our wonderful Class Reps and PTA. The usage of social media as a communication tool between parents has been on the rise in recent times.
However, platforms such as WhatsApp oblige users to share personal data in order to participate in a group. Some parents are simply not in a position to share their details with others for professional or personal reasons (some doctors, military personnel, teachers, families with complicated circumstances, for instance). These parents face a choice between being excluded from parent-to-parent communications at our school by not using WhatsApp, or having to unwillingly share their personal details so that they or their child don’t miss out.
The school cannot therefore support the use of WhatsApp or other non-inclusive platforms for communication by the Parent Association, or by school or class-related groups such as those set up by Class or Year group Reps.
In order to facilitate inclusive parent communication for all families the school is introducing the Classlist app, which is widely used at schools in the UK and beyond and is GDPR compliant.
Through joining Classlist you can:
- Decide exactly what contact information you wish to share with other families;
- View a list of children in the class and year, and contact their parents via the app;
find which families live nearby on a map (if they opt in to share their address);
- Communicate with your class and year in a chat group on the Classlist app; Find, join and create other interest groups amongst parents
- Send invitations to children’s parties and parent social events, request for example dietary info, manage RSVPs;
- Stay in the loop on events and activities run by the PTA and class reps. See how you can help too.
- Place and find items for sale on a private school marketplace;
- Report any content you feel is inappropriate to parent moderators (our Classlist Ambassadors), who can take immediate action to remove messages.
- Decide how many notifications you need: from every comment being notified, to a single weekly digest email from Classlist on Thursdays covering everything relevant to you.
Classlist is UK-based and fully GDPR-compliant and is already being used successfully by hundreds of thousands of parents in other schools in the UK. Everyone using Classlist has to comply with the Classlist Community Guidelines which include being respectful of fellow parents and not using the app to complain about the school or individuals connected with the school.
You will shortly receive an email invitation to join Classlist from "firstname.lastname@example.org”. Parents who are invited but don't become a Classlist member will still receive copies of some email announcements from the Parent Association (and can of course unsubscribe from these), but won’t benefit from the member features above.
Our school prides itself on being a welcoming, inclusive community which is more than the sum of its parts. Classlist’s “virtual schoolgate” offers a safe, moderated and private space where all our parents can now link up online, as well as meeting each other in person when visiting the school.
I do encourage you all to join Classlist.