Time is precious within a school day. For leaders, educators and administrators alike, it’s all about trying to balance proactive tasks with reactive ones – a school day can throw up a multitude of issues and obstacles to overcome. When it comes to driving better standards, the most progress is made in the proactive tasks. But therein lies the problem – how do you make more time to focus on these valuable endeavours?
Delivering and administering communication can be incredibly time-consuming – whether that’s distributing an internal email or sending out letters to parents. It’s also one of the areas where significant efficiencies can be found.
So, with the end of the summer holidays looming, here are some time-saving communication strategies you can put in place in your school when you’re back in September.
Removing printing from the equation is an instant time-saver – not only does it remove actually having to wait for the printer to run off numerous copies of things, it also removes all the extra bits that come with this – troubleshooting when the printer doesn’t work, mail merging letters, stapling, separating, etc. While it’s unrealistic to expect the whole school to go paperless overnight, you can look to make incremental changes that will contribute massively to your overall efficiency. Particularly for things like parental engagement, where you might need to send out hundreds of copies of a letter at a time, moving this to a digital tool will cut down on the time spent on this activity massively.
Speaking of parental engagement, another way you can save valuable time with this activity is by planning ahead and – you guessed it – automating messaging. For example, if you’re organising an event or activity like an open day, you might want to send out an initial message and then a couple more to remind them to attend, therefore maximising the chances of getting higher levels of attendance. Using the right tool, you can plan out a series of messages in advance, schedule them in, and move on to other things. Not only does it save you time, it improves your engagement with parents and their attendance at school events too. It’s a win-win!
Consolidate your communications
Another great way to use a communication or parental engagement tool to boost your efficiency is by using it to bring together various communication channels and manage them from one central place. Using a tool which can be integrated with third party apps can help you consolidate all of your communication – website, email, SMS and in-app messaging, allowing you to quickly and easily get a message out to all of the parents in your school should you need to, without having to duplicate anything. You can replicate this across to your in-school communications, too – getting a message quickly to various departments, teams, and even individual schools if you’re in a Trust using their preferred channels of communication – all within one tool.
The snowball effect
Looking at the bigger picture, by removing the burden of time-consuming communication tasks and activities from your busy admin and office management staff, their time can be put towards more proactive tasks which help to improve the overall efficiency of their team, and the school, as a whole. By having more time to focus on strategy at a high level, your administrators can suddenly see the wood for the trees and start thinking about how other processes and day-to-day tasks can be streamlined and inefficiencies ironed out.
If you’d like some more advice or guidance on how to make your school communication and parental engagement better, we have an experienced team of education experts who can help you put together a strategy. Get in touch to chat to us about your engagement.