Top stories

Parents love the ParentMail App!

We took to social media and asked parents to let us know what they thought of ParentMail’s mobile App…

Celebrating 750,000 downloads of the ParentMail App!

More schools are saving money and more parents are getting instant information than ever before!

Communication systems: counter-productive to parental engagement?

Is this approach counter-productive to improving parental engagement?

Popular payment provider PayPal – the choice for busy parents!

Over the last few years, the way we pay for things has changed dramatically, from cash and cheques, to debit and credit card and most recently to cashless, mobile and contactless payments.

IRIS Education Live: the CPD-accredited virtual event everyone’s talking about

There’s less than a month to go until IRIS Education Live – the must-see digital event of the year! With so much to see and do, there’s something for everybody at the event. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the 16th-20th of November.  Here’s some of the …

Digital parent engagement in the next normal: Driving connections and connectivity across school communities

We recently surveyed over 400 UK schools and MATs to investigate the impact of lockdown on integral communications and operations.  It appears schools across the country have seized the opportunity to progress their digital strategies – and to great success!  Every …

Transition from primary secondary school

The transition from primary to secondary school: Our top tips for schools

Lockdown has been tough on us all, but none more so than for children. For some, September brings the all-important transition from year six to year seven, a scary step at the best of times. Following months of closures, for …

The future is digital: Education after lockdown

On 18th March 2020, classrooms for up to eight million pupils closed across the UK as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools are now amid a phased return; while classrooms still look the same, school life does not.  Closures have caused a great amount of upheaval for communities. However, not …

Our top three reasons to go cashless with +Pay

If your school is seeking a versatile, streamlined and cost-efficient way of managing parent payments,  +Pay is the solution for you. Still unsure? Here are the top three reasons schools across the country are talking about +Pay.  Every payment, every day  Lunch money, school trips, …

Sell more, do less with an online school shop and +Pay

Pens, pencils, uniform and backpacks; items that support student learning and strengthen your school brand. All of these items are available to buy from your school shop, but do you sell as much as you would like?  With +Pay, you can make all …

Durrington MAT utilise tech to support teaching and learning during closures

Under the government’s ‘conditional plan’, the country is slowly coming out of lockdown. While stringent measures remain in place, the education sector is leading the way with a phased return for select year groups and secondary schools throughout June. Leadership …

Life and learning under lockdown at Langstone Junior Academy

Nearly two months into lockdown and the UK remains uncertain of what the future will bring. In schools, staff continue to support children of keyworkers and families at large. Now, many school leaders are planning ahead to ease the transition into our …

Cashless canteens: What’s on the menu for schools?

What kind of experience are you serving up at lunchtime? The trials and tribulations of cash on school grounds are well known. Cash in the canteen, however, results in a huge number of issues, many of which you may not have considered. The benefits of online payments are being realised by …

Thank you, schools! 🌈

While ‘Clap for our carers’ provides an opportunity to show our appreciation for those working on the front line, we’re keen to shine a light on the widely unsung heroes supporting young people every day; here’s to the school staff continuing to keep things ‘normal’ in these most unusual times!  While there has …

Managing stress during COVID-19: Mental wellness for students, parents and school staff

We’re in the midst of an unprecedented health pandemic. There’s no denying, it’s all a little bit stressful. The UK is entering the second phase of a national lockdown and schools are set to be closed for the foreseeable future.  Just as the scarce British sunshine starts to …

What do parents really think of ParentMail?

Over six thousand schools use ParentMail solutions to stay in touch with their parent communities. That means over three million parents utilise ParentMail to engage in their children’s education, every day.  Providing parents with a positive user experience of our platform is vital; otherwise, …

What parents want from schools during closures

School closures see us all adapting to change; students are adjusting to their home/school environment, parents are accommodating lesson plans in their new-found role as teachers and staff are adapting to teaching from a distance, sometimes from empty classrooms and often from home.  These are strange and surreal times. In all cases, we’re feeling a little uncertain. Parents struggling to balance work and …

Teaching through crisis: how Stukeley Meadows Primary School are keeping things ‘normal’ during Covid-19

Whatever sector you work in, Covid-19 has brought with it a series of challenges and worries, and for many of us, staying at home is now the safest thing to do. For some, however, going into work is not an …

Keep calm and carry on: communications, closures and COVID-19

In light of the UK’s escalating response to COVID-19, organisations across the country are putting plans in place to keep business operating as usual.  In the face of closures, however, shutting up shop to work from home isn’t straight forward …

Top tips for improving parent registration

To truly feel all the benefits of top-notch parent engagement, first, you need to have all your parents registered – a task easier said than done, in some cases.  If you’re struggling to get more than 90% of parents registered …

Climate action

Eco and green or wasteful and mean: a lesson in environmental matters for schools

It’s Veganuary, the annual vegan-awareness month growing ever more popular with each passing year. For a rising number of young people, opting for a plant-based diet is an eco-friendly lifestyle choice, comparable to choosing a reusable coffee cup or water bottle. In fact, according …

To send or not to send – SMS vs in-app messaging

Do you know your in-app notifications from your text alerts?   Engaging with parents is getting easier; running a survey or collecting permissions? Use Online Forms. Planning parents’ evening and gathering appointments? Turn to your event management platform. Sharing the school newsletter? Look no …

Oakfield Nursery School prioritise cashless payments and paper-free parent engagement

Award-winning nursery, Oakfield Nursery School in Altrincham, place great emphasis on staying in touch with their parent community. With a focus on streamlining communications and simplifying payments, the team decided to go cashless and paperless with online parent engagement and have taken back hours of …

Looking back – a review of 2019

2020 is here, marking the close of another decade. For ParentMail, it promises to be an exciting year – we are fast approaching our 20th birthday! But, before we plough ahead with the coming 12 months, there is much to look back on and celebrate from …

Three reasons for ParentMail customers to attend IRIS World 2020

We at ParentMail are really excited to be taking part in IRIS World 2020! Set to take place on 11th February 2020 at the ICC Birmingham, IRIS World has fast become known as a fantastic opportunity for leaders across the sector to gather under …

Top tips from ParentMail super users

We asked schools to share their top tips, best practice and advice for using the ParentMail platform to its full potential. Now, we’re excited to share your feedback with the ParentMail community!  Here are our top five favourite suggestions for making the most of ParentMail to save time …

Top tips from the +Pay experts

+Pay is a terrific tool for the festive season! Here are some of our top tips for making the most of +Pay for the busy period ahead: Creating a performance/event To create a Performance, navigate to Payments > Create New …

Back to the classroom with ParentMail training

Our School Support Team are masters of all things ParentMail, offering up expertise and knowledge to support schools every day.   While they’re always on hand via Live Chat when schools run into trouble, did you know, you can also arrange for a ParentMail professional …

Tackling text messages – are you still sending them?

We’ve seen the trends of parent communications change over the years. From the death of the paper newsletter (good riddance!) to the dawn of text messages and email, schools have taken advantage of every opportunity to avoid the frustrations of …

Top tips for introducing reliable online payments

Efficiency, security, reliability… just a few of the wonderful things online payments promise to deliver.  However, many schools are being short-changed by their provider. Establishing a cashless culture that works for everyone (from staff in the school office to busy …

Food for thought – planning breakfast clubs

Today, a huge 85% of schools run breakfast clubs, setting students up for a day of learning and offering a lifeline for busy parents.  Beyond the well-known benefits of a good breakfast, research suggests that these clubs have a much deeper positive …

“How was your day?” Encouraging after-school chat

If I had a pound for every time I asked my children how their day was, and they replied, “Fine”, I’d be a very rich woman! It got me thinking about better ways to get kids to open up.  Some …

Langstone Junior Academy save over £2000 in six weeks with ParentMail

With a busy September behind us, we caught up with Langstone Junior Academy to find out how they’ve got on enrolling new parents and welcoming back returning ones this year.   Back in July, we spoke with Administrator, Lorraine Reeves, who reported the …

Making the most of parents’ evenings

Parent teacher evenings are a wonderful opportunity for parents to get involved with their child’s education. Usually held twice a year, autumn term meetings serve as a good opportunity to build strong and productive relationships with teachers, with spring meetings …

The transition from primary to secondary school – supporting children

Right the way through Year 6, and into year 7 and beyond, you’ll have to make lots of decisions that will shape your child’s life. The things you worry about as a parent of a child in primary school become …

Parent payments that don’t cost the earth

It is estimated that schools produce over 10% of all non-domestic food waste in England, throwing away approximately 123,000 tonnes a year. According to a study by waste management experts, Wrap, over 75% of the waste produced by both primary …

ParentMail set to help organisations look forward with certainty at IRIS World

IRIS Software Group is today launching IRIS World and IRIS Customer Awards 2020. Set to take place on Tuesday 11th February at The ICC Birmingham, school leaders will hear about the latest advances in EdTech from industry-leading teams, including experts from ParentMail.  …

Engaging with families in early education

Whether you’re running a nursery, infants or primary school, first impressions are important. Never is this more true than with a parents’ perception of school during the first few weeks of term. Building strong, long-lasting relationships with parents begins early. …

What do parents think of parents’ evening?

While school staff spend hours collecting data and information in preparation for parents’ evenings, we don’t often take the time to ask parents for their feelings on this important event. Gathering feedback may prove an impossible task for your busy …

Streamlined payments and fantastic training leads to hours saved at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School

St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School have used ParentMail for several years and rely on it as an all-in-one communication tool. Recently, they also added +Pay, our integrated payments solution and have saved hours each week as a result!  They initially …

What’s in a brand?

From the brains of two parents waiting at the school gates, to the offices of thousands of schools and multi-academy trusts across the country – ParentMail has been on a long journey over the past 20 years.  When we first …

5 reasons to try Parents’ Evening Manager

How long does it take your team to plan parents’ evening? If you’re setting aside hours to manage bookings and relying on pupil post for appointments, it’s time to plan now for a stress-free parents’ evening – and we have …

Start as you mean to go on this September

That’s it – another summer gone and a new year before us. For both staff and students, the start of a new school year presents a great opportunity to break old habits and set the tone for the road ahead.  …

Turning the tables for teachers

Do you remember your favourite teacher? Most of us were lucky enough to have one who we idolised throughout our school days, a teacher that no other could possibly live up to.  Whoever they were, primary or secondary school teacher, …

Let’s hear it for the parent volunteers

Another school year is over. As tired-out teachers make the most of some well-deserved down-time, there’s another group of hard-working individuals, dedicated to the successful running of their school, also in need of some rest and relaxation. That’s right, we’re …

The transition from primary to secondary – making communication count

Going into secondary school is a major milestone, not just for the child who is moving school but for the whole family. It’s not just pupils but parents too who can feel a little out of their comfort zone when …

Drama-free dinner times

Breakfast is still widely considered to be the most important meal of the day, setting children up for a day of learning and fun. Today, a rising number of health-conscious schools and parents are keen to ensure children receive a …

School’s (almost) out for summer

There are just a few weeks left before schools break up for summer (pause for cheers and applause). As classrooms wind down in anticipation of a well-deserved break, teachers seek out activities to do with classes which feel that little …

Early Years education – the building blocks to success 

According to a recent survey, when it comes to academic achievement, choosing a nursery could be more important than a choice of secondary school. Researchers recently found that the contribution of a school to variation in pupil attainment is ‘relatively …

Langstone Junior School save over £9000 with ParentMail

The team at Langstone Junior School are self-confessed ParentMail ambassadors, having saved over £9,000 this academic year! Langstone Juniors are a busy school with an even busier office team, with more than 330 students. Thanks to the help of ParentMail’s …

Wraparound care – the saviour for modern-day parents?

Ah, the school run. No matter how early it starts or how well it’s planned, somehow, it ends with a mad rush out the door. After school, the clock is still against us. The average nine-to-five day and long hours …

Toddle In Private Day Nursery save time and money with ParentMail

The team at Toddle In Private Day Nursery have enjoyed a huge improvement in their parental engagement with the help of ParentMail. With over 100 children in their care and as many busy parents, Toddle In’s communications were floundering. “Before …

ParentMail “all day, every day!” for St Ambrose Barlow Catholic Primary School

St Ambrose Barlow Catholic Primary School are proving the benefits of fantastic parental engagement with the help of ParentMail’s full suite of applications! “We use it all day, every day.” Says PA to Headteacher, Elaine Warren. “We decided as a …

Parental engagement as a force for good – tackling school exclusions

With the subject of off-rolling raising concerns across the country, Education Secretary, Damien Hinds, recently called on school leaders to reduce exclusions. While protocol states that exclusion should only ever be a last resort, the number of permanent and fixed …

Summer roll-up made easy

As the summer term comes to a close, school staff are busy saying goodbye to their 2019 leavers and preparing for new starters. Summer events, exam season and the usual end-of-year wrap up makes the last few weeks in the …

Parent payments made easy with PayPal

It’s been more than three years since we began our partnership with world-wide payments provider, PayPal. To this day, it remains a match made in heaven! Since launch, we’re proud to have enabled millions of parents to pay for school …

Top tips for tackling exam season

Exam season is a time of worry and stress for all involved – students, parents and teachers. It’s crucial that schools communicate and support families during this time so that there can be a strong network for children. In the …

IRIS Education Summer Roadshow details and agenda

The IRIS Education Summer Roadshow is almost here! Starting from the 26th of June and taking place at three locations across the UK, this is your opportunity to learn how the IRIS family of products can help your school or …

Summer in your nursery

It’s time to remind parents about sunhats and sunscreen, which can mean only one thing – summer is here and your nursery calendar is jam-packed with exciting events. Teddy bear picnics, parent meetings, graduations – there’s a lot to think …

Coming soon… Advance Bookings

You asked, and we listened! We’re very excited to share with you that our new Advance Bookings functionality is soon to be released. The update includes a number of helpful benefits to drive efficiency, protect school budgets and make life …

How important is parental engagement in Early Years?

Parental involvement in your nursery helps parents to become interested and understand what’s going on behind all of their child’s activities, empowering them to support their children and continue the good work you do every day.

Why back-office EdTech training is as important as teacher training

Until recently, whiteboards were blank canvases written on in dry-wipe marker. Now, they have several thousand times more computing power than the Apollo mission that first put man on the moon. This shift in consumer and education technology has happened …

The future of school payments is NOW

Stop by a cash point today and you’re likely to be confronted with a message informing you, ‘this machine charges for cash withdrawals’. The accompanying price tag can range from a minimum of 95p to an eye-watering £5; today’s high …

Meet the brains behind our school App

In today’s tech-savvy world, many of us rarely go a day without relying on handy Apps to chat with friends and family, post on social media, check our bank balance or transfer money, book a taxi and carry out all …

How important is parents’ evening?

A new study published in the European Economic Review (volume 111) has revealed the real impact of parent-teacher meetings. Asad Islam reported on a randomised experiment in rural Bangladeshi schools, communities which usually see little engagement between parents and educators. …

Saving your teachers from endless email onslaught and white bears

Parents are invested in their children’s education, and they’re going to ask teachers questions. That’s something that can’t and shouldn’t be avoided. However, when teachers are flooded by emails and messages from enthusiastic parents, this can lead to unhealthy out-of-work …

Picture this! Our EdTech school-leader infographic

We recently conducted a survey to investigate current trends, attitudes and behaviours in school communications technology and parental engagement. Over 450 school leaders from primary, secondary schools and academies across the country took part to share their thoughts and feedback …

‘Parents as Partners’ for nurseries

It’s no surprise that engaged parents who feel well informed and involved are likely to develop a stronger bond with their childcare provider. For example, private nurseries with excellent communication will benefit from enthusiastic testimonials and word of mouth referrals.  …

Five reasons to go cashless

If your school is seeking a faster, more reliable method of collecting payments, a commitment to cashless is the solution for you. Still unsure? Here are the top five reasons why thousands of UK schools are choosing online platforms for …

Technology beyond the classroom: ParentMail and the DfE EdTech strategy

Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, took to the stage at the London Schools and Academies Show earlier this month to reveal details of a new strategy for education technology. The Department’s continued focus on the vital role of technology in schools …

Early Years – communicating with parents is the key to success

Excellent communication with parents in Early Years is key to the success of any nursery business and there have never been more ways to keep parents in the loop. The importance of communication with parents in the EYFS strives to …