At the same time parents’ evenings, an important means of engaging with parents, have been badly disrupted with no in-person meetings at all.
Many schools explored other means – text messaging, websites, social media, or even Zoom or Teams to set up video calls.
Whilst these are great tools for general communication, they don’t solve the issues of parents’ evenings.
Parents Booking solves this problem through its easy to use online booking system, with individual video meetings automatically made for everyone.
Let’s hear from Catherine McMahon, Head Teacher at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School in Whetstone, London.
“Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School has been using Parents Booking since 2015 and has hosted thousands of parents’ evenings appointments over the years. The school used the product because it helps relieve management and administration work related to parents’ evening to the tune of about one hundred staff hours per year, as well as increasing parental participation, especially amongst parents who were less interested in attending these meetings before having an electronic booking system which allows them to pick appointment times that suit best.
Feedback from parents and teachers has been very supportive of this change, and while there will always be a benefit to and a place for in-person meetings, having this technology at our fingertips, has enhanced what we as a school can offer. We have had great support from all of the Parents’ Booking team who helped us make sure our technology was up to the job, and who are proactive in making sure the evenings run well.”
Indeed, there are so many benefits to using video calls instead of traditional parents’ evenings that many schools say they will not be going back to the ‘old way’:
• Evenings all run to schedule – no over-running or missed appointments, so no unhappy parents or staff
No ‘walking-time’ between appointments – more appointments can be fitted into less time
• Multiple teachers/parents can join the video meeting – all from different locations and devices..
• Increased privacy for parents and staff – no fear of conversations being overheard by those at the next table along
• 1-to-1 meetings can be set up as required – ideal for follow-up meetings, pastoral care, SEND, Support for Learning, careers or even for regular ‘teacher surgeries’ etc.
One of the most important benefits, I believe, is that of improved well-being and work-life balance for teachers. Instead of being at school for an entire evening, teachers can join the meetings from home, then immediately relax after their last meeting.
Also, we are seeing schools set parents’ meetings across several evenings and as long as the teacher provides sufficient appointments across these evenings for the number of pupils they teach, they can choose to work around their own commitments.
Video meetings are now being used by thousands of schools world-wide and will continue to be the preferred method even without COVID.
For more information or a free trial of the software: 01463 731000 parents-booking.com