Parents make a difference. If you’re not actively working to keep parents engaged in their child’s education, you may be missing one of the most powerful influences on student success – parent engagement.

According to the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), there’s strong evidence that when parents and families engage in their children’s learning, we see positive impacts on student wellbeing and achievement outcomes.

Research cited by the Department of Education has shown that when schools and families work together, children do better, stay in school longer, are more engaged with their schoolwork, go to school more regularly, behave better, and have better social skills.

And it’s not just students who benefit – schools gain significantly from successful parental engagement. They can improve connections with the community, raise their school profile, and improve family and community satisfaction with the school. It also meets the demands of parents who, faced with rising school fees, scrutinise every aspect of the school experience, including communications and any tools used to deliver them.

Yet, parent engagement is an ongoing challenge for schools. Most schools don’t have a formal communications strategy for parent engagement. Instead, they rely on a piecemeal approach comprising various channels and sporadic timings, which is not enough to turn a vision for parent and family engagement into something embedded into school life.

Parents don’t want to be overwhelmed with many different systems and platforms for payments, newsletters, reports, and other school communications. They need consistency, speed and ease.

So, how can schools effectively communicate with parents with consistency? And how can they make it quick and easy for busy parents to access timely information about how their children are doing?

parent child making school payment

Introduce a central hub for parent engagement

Education technology can open up communication by offering a central hub for schools to engage parents. Typically hosted within a Student Information System or School Management System, like Engage MIS, parent portals and parent communication apps include features designed to keep parents involved in their child’s education and empower them with the information they need to support their child’s learning and well-being.

Arguably the most crucial feature is information sharing. A parent app or portal makes it easier for parents to become more involved in their child’s learning by providing quick access to insights into their child’s progress. With a few clicks, they can see learning progress, teacher feedback, attendance and academic reports all in one place. With complete visibility, parents don’t need to question what their child is doing and if they are happy – the information is readily available.

Schools see the benefits of a centralised parent portal in Engage, a cloud-based school management information system (MIS). One school leader commented:

“Having our parents feel involved in their child’s school life is extremely important to us and our parents. Engage connects the parents and teachers together through the parent portal and provides instant notifications.”

The Engage parent portal helps streamline parent-teacher communication and makes it easy for parents to access all relevant communications, including invoices, reports, timetables, absences, parent events, and activities.

Meet parents where they are at

Parents are busy and want to engage with their child’s education in the small bursts of time they have. Schools should focus on putting information at their fingertips – in a mobile app to reach parents.

The newest Education Horizons solution, launching in October, the Zunia school app, provides an easy way for teachers and admin to communicate with parents wherever they are through push notifications and alerts.

At the same time, parents can quickly jump on the app whenever they have a free moment to read newsletters, catch up on school event calendars and check their child’s timetable.

Parents can manage and track absences and update contact details directly via the app to save time. They can also view payment history and upcoming payments, making it easier to budget and stay on top of payments.

Engage parents can also now download the new parent app, Uplift, for school information on the go. They can view their child’s attendance data, assessment reports, account balance, school notices and timetable. Parents can combine their personal calendar with the school calendar so that no event, critical message or deadline is missed. Plus, push notifications alert parents to notices and important reminders.

Set your school up for success

The power of a parent portal and app is clear: when parents find it easy to be engaged and interested in their child’s school journey, they become powerful supporters of their learning. And that’s more valuable than any dollar figure we can put in an edtech business case.

Optimise your entire school with premium edtech solutions. Education Horizons has delivered learning, school administration and property/asset management software to support over 2,000 schools globally for over 40 years.

Talk to our experts about how we can help you implement the right edtech for your needs. Call +61 1800 498 642 or +44 1935 403 020 or email contact us via the form below.