SMS Use Case: Schools
Now more than ever, people with financial responsibility are looking for ways to reduce outgoings whilst maximising income. The trouble is how to do this in a way that doesn’t compromise the quality of service, and in this respect, schools are not exempt.
Although the majority are government funded, and we may think employees of educational institutions aren’t feeling the pinch, they too are feeling the pressure from above to cut costs. Many of which have been coming to us at Fastsms looking for solutions to get the most out of their communications – the following is a brief outline of just some of the ways schools are now using SMS to save money, time and ultimately improve the way they go about communications in their institutions.
Our schools customers have reported that their outgoing phone calls have been reduced by up to 40% since adopting SMS and their communications with staff, parents and students has never been better, here’s how…
Administrators – saving money for their institution
Those in positions of administration, more than any other in educational institutions have to look at their school as a business, it is the only way it can function in a way that creates the funds and opportunities for the students to get the education they deserve.
Recent Studies have shown that calls to find absentee children and calls to find supply teachers at short notice account for up to 40% of a schools telephone bill (Lancashire County Council). Those working in receptions and offices have found that through SMS they can disseminate key information quickly, simply and effectively. Here are just some of the ways the FASTSMS system can be used to this effect…
> Absentees: send a text to the parents of absent students individually or to those of all that were absent at morning registration
> Illnesses: alert parents instantly if a child falls ill at school even if they are unable to answer their phone
> Supply Staff: contact supply teachers instantly to check their availability without having to chase each one up individually
> Urgent Notices: broadcast important information to staff, parents and students instantly such as severe weather warnings
These are tried and tested ways that schools are using SMS right now, but it’s not just about saving money when running a school, you are placed in a position of trust and responsibility – trust that pupils are getting everything they deserve, and a responsibility to keep parents informed of goings on with the school in general as well as specifically to their child. The following are just some of the ways teachers have been able to improve their communications with students and parents alike, creating new channels of discussion and the means to motivate pupils to do their part in their education…
Teachers – getting the most out of their students
Teachers are often the only point of contact students have in their school, and are therefore in a unique position to monitor progress on a daily basis. Parents often have to wait for the one off of parents evening and end of year reports to find out how their child is performing and are often shocked, one way or the other and want to know why this is the first they have heard of it! In recent times schools have tried email to keep parents up to date, but with this being dependent on the parent not only having a PC, but checking their email regularly, SMS has quickly become the favoured medium.
In general texts are read and responded to a lot more quickly than emails and with now over 80% of adults owning mobile phones they are the ideal mode of communication where there is a sense of immediacy involved. In an educational environment communication is key, by incorporating SMS into their practices teachers have seen students arrive more promptly to lessons, a reduction in unauthorised absences and seen parents take a more active role in their children’s education.
> Truancy & Lateness Reports: alert the necessary individual if a student is absent from or is persistently late to any lesson
> Detentions: advise parents and remind students if they have a detention to attend outside of school hours
> Performance Reporting: inform parents not only of bad, but of good performances in classes
> Reminders: remind students about training, clubs, rehearsals – or if there has been a cancellation