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.

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 over 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 dinners …

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 and protect school budgets and makes …

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 …

School leaders talk school communications! Part 2

We recently posted part one of our findings from our survey, which investigated current trends, attitudes and behaviours in school communications technology and parental engagement. Below we continue to share our findings with you so that you can see how …

Communications at the click of a button

In this day and age, a reliable, compatible mobile App is fast becoming a ‘need to have’ rather than just a ‘nice to have’ for primary and secondary schools! With technology reducing our reliance on paper and pupil post, thousands of …

A journey to school trip success

So, you’re planning the next school trip. Teachers have confirmed the destination and now it’s up to your capable and highly organised office team to manage all the details, from staff to students to parents. When done right, school trips …

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School lead the way with +Pay!

The eight-school Multi Academy Company set out on a mission to go cashless to reduce school debt and support parents with easy online payments!

What’s more convenient than cashless?

In our latest video, Sue Atkins discusses why cashless payments are so much easier for busy parents on the go!

What role does technology play in the school office? Part 1

We recently conducted a survey to investigate current trends, attitudes and behaviours in school communications technology and parental engagement. We received a great response, with over 450 schools taking part and telling us about their school communications. As leaders in …

Are mobile apps the future of school communications?

School apps are becoming increasingly popular from early years through to secondary as a way of encouraging parents to invest their time into their child’s school life when it is most convenient for them.

Are we becoming tired of the text?

It’s strange to think that, only 10 years ago, we still relied on the occasional paper newsletter to communicate with parents. Today, there are numerous methods of sharing important news and information with mums and dads; for schools, new technology …

Staff retention and school reputation

When parents and schools have a strong relationship, teachers experience the positive effects in the classroom and are empowered to support their students.

Take control of your nursery finances

Professional and passionate staff, happy children and fantastic facilities – your front of house is under control, but how about those time-consuming finances? When it comes to managing nursery finance, there’s a lot to take into account. Chances are, your …

You’ve got homework: Communicating with parents

A hot topic amongst parents and teachers is homework. It can often be a divisive issue, especially if there is a lot coming home but little communication about it sent to parents. Across social media, many parents often complain about the …

Parents’ Evening directors, we salute you

Snowed under with the daily tasks of keeping a busy school running, you know better than we do how hard it can be squeezing in plans for Parents’ Evening. But where some teams are chasing down appointment slips, printing out …

Ed-technically superior software

Education Secretary, Damien Hinds, has challenged school leaders to take advantage of modern technology in and outside of the classroom to reduce teacher’s responsibilities. Acknowledging workload as a common reason for teachers leaving the profession, Mr Hinds stated that innovative …

App-solutely brilliant – our mobile app has been updated!

The free ParentMail mobile App is used by over 2.5 million parents to stay in touch with schools every day, from the comfort of home, at work or while out and about! Over the years, it’s been through some major …

Easy, dependable dinner payments with +Pay

A number of schools have recently hit the headlines as outraged parents complain their children have gone without a hot meal due to a lack of credit on their cashless dinner accounts. In Wales, school councils have argued in defence, …

Breaking down parental engagement barriers with EdTech

For many families, the prospect of crossing the school threshold is a terrifying one. Though many schools may spend a lot of time and energy on events or activities for parents, the reality is that every school has those “hard …

Five ways to change up your parental engagement usage

Parental engagement solutions make everyday office tasks quick, simple and cost-effective. Thousands of schools across the UK now collect dinner money, permission forms and share information about school events online, saving both time and money and improving relationships with parents …

St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School enjoy paperless Parents’ Evening

When it comes to planning Parents’ Evening, staff at St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School were used to all the usual stresses and strains; piles of paper cluttering the school office, lost or missing appointment slips, chasing up parent …

Strong communication could be your nursery’s greatest asset

You know better than we do that running a nursery is a busy and time-consuming business! Whilst chatting to parents during the morning drop-off might seem the most convenient way of sharing the latest nursery news, it isn’t the most …

Parent / School Communications – 22 Years On

The time has come for schools to reach out to parents using the technology they live with every day. Sue Atkins investigates…

Introducing our new and improved School Help Site

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new School Help Site, now live and ready to answer any questions you may have about using ParentMail! The new site includes lots of improvements which make finding guidance and instructions easier …

A look back at the year just gone…

As we welcome in the New Year, we’re taking the opportunity to look back over the year just gone, our biggest and best year yet! 2018 saw us welcome hundreds of new primary, secondary schools, nurseries and Academies to the …

IRIS Software Group acquires BioStore

IRIS Software Group, the UK’s business critical software provider has announced the acquisition of BioStore LTD

Less paper, less waste, less expense

Tighter budgets see a call for efficiency and an ‘all hands-on-deck’ approach to searching out cost-cutting opportunities. In the hunt for financial savings, however, it’s important to remember that, often, it’s the small changes that deliver big results. It is …

WhatsApp – Pros, cons and managing it for your school

In this video, Sue Atkins – parenting expert and ex-Headteacher – gives her views on how parental engagement software can keep communication between school and parent clear, whilst keeping all data safe.

Christmas is hectic, but technology can make life easier!

Watch  our video to see why parenting expert Sue Atkins recommends using technology in school to help make life just a little bit easier for parents around Christmas!

The benefits of breakfast clubs – ParentMail’s top picks!

Last month, Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi announced that thousands more children across the country were receiving a healthy and nutritious breakfast at school breakfast clubs. In part, this is thanks to a government-funded programme worth nearly £26 million. …

Meet Abbey Catholic Primary School’s ‘ParentMail King’!

Staff at Abbey Catholic Primary School have been on a campaign to register parents to ParentMail and their efforts have received a fantastic response, with 99% of parents using ParentMail to stay up to date on school communications and payments, every day!

Top Tips for productive parents’ evening appointments!

Parents’ evening is a very important part of the relationship that parents develop with the school and their child’s teacher, whether it is their first experience, or they have attended before.

School dinner money debt is on the rise

Thousands of schools are using +Pay every day to collect cashless dinner money payments and are enjoying reduced dinner money debt as a result.

Budget 2018 – What you need to know

This week, the chancellor delivered his 2018 Budget in which he announced an extra £400 million capital funding for schools this year, effective immediately.

The challenges of organising Parents’ Evening

School is now in full swing, and so the next big milestone is Parents’ Evening and organising it successfully is no mean feat!

Casterton College switch to +Pay and are thrilled with the results!

“We needed a more robust, reliable system; looking into alternatives, ParentMail stood out for its suite of applications.”

Top tips for parental engagement success!

It’s the start of a new school year, meaning there’s a lot of information to send out and share with parents. How you decide you will be communicating with the pupil’s families is a matter of preference. Traditionally, letters were …

Getting it right from the start for schools and parents

Parenting expert, author and TV presenter, Sue Atkins, has 22 years experience in the teaching profession making her an expert on all things parental engagement! In this blog, Sue discusses the importance of starting the year off right in terms of …

Parental engagement – a strategy for success

We talk about the importance of parental engagement a lot. The term has become a ‘buzzword’ in our offices and in schools across the country. When ParentMail first came into being over 15 years ago, parental engagement was the priority, …

What’s up with WhatsApp?

Last month a Mumsnet thread hit the headlines when a post referring to the different types of mum found in ‘every’ school WhatsApp group struck a chord with parents across the country. Ranging from ‘the wind-up merchant’ to ‘the informer’ …

The EdTech revolution happening outside of the classroom

Last month Education Secretary, Damien Hinds, challenged the tech industry to launch an edtech revolution for schools, colleges and universities across the UK. EdTech has an increasingly valuable place in the classroom; 3D technology is quite literally bringing lessons to life …

Forms, forms and more forms…

With September upon us, schools are now busy collecting and managing all new starter data – from students, to staff, to parents! With paper-based communications, the cost of print, paper and sometimes postage can be surprisingly high, not to mention …

Introducing our innovated Android App

Experience tells us that when parents are happy with their ParentMail experience, schools receive a great response to their communications. So over the past few months, we have been working hard to improve our Android App!

Leading the way in GDPR compliance

We understand the importance of protecting the data of your parents, students and staff. That’s why the ParentMail team have been working hard to lead the way in GDPR compliance!

Instant messaging is fast replacing the humble text message

New technology is hot on the heels of the humble text with the growing market of instant messaging services; our Messaging App gives schools the best combination of flexibility and functionality.

Sell more with your own Online School Shop

Support student learning and strengthen your school brand with an Online School Shop!

GDPR – Are you ready?

Whether your school is a primary or secondary school, nursery, academy or part of a multi-academy trust, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply to you from 25 May 2018.

IRIS Software Group acquires Contact Group

IRIS Software Group, the UK’s business critical software provider is today announcing the acquisition of Contact Group, a leading provider of parental engagement and truancy management software to UK schools. The acquisition extends IRIS’ education portfolio providing solutions to manage …

Helping you to increase parent uptake with ParentMail

The more parents registered with ParentMail, the more your school will benefit from reduced admin time, print costs and more. It can seem like quite a daunting task to get all of your parents registered but we are here to help make the process easier.

Introducing Rob Brown, Operations Manager at ParentMail

Introducing ParentMail’s Operations Manager, Rob Brown – a name we’re sure many of you are familiar with! We sat down with Rob to chat about his role as Operations Manager…

Do your school communications reflect the changing habits of parents?

Parent habits are changing.  No longer are parents digging through school bags to discover out of date, crumpled newsletters; receiving a poor response to your school communications is a thing of the past, too! Times are changing and ParentMail are leading the way with innovative services to improve parental engagement.

ParentMail ensures 100% parental engagement at Wistow CE Primary School

Emails and Texts, Parents’ Evening Manager and Online Form Collection ensure 100% parental engagement at Wistow CE Primary School! Wistow Primary School have introduced three of ParentMail’s services into their school over the past two years, initially launching Emails and …

Help is at hand in under 60 seconds with our Live Chat support service

The days of waiting on the phone for a customer service advisor to take your call are long gone at ParentMail. Help is at hand almost instantly with our fantastic and friendly Live Chat service!

More schools are choosing to go cashless with an Online Payments system

With thousands of nurseries, primary and secondary schools now using our cashless Online Payment System to receive and process payments, experience tells us that parents are only too happy to make payments online!

Internet safety – top tips for young people

Although a brilliant resource for education, creativity and communications, it is increasingly important that we teach young people how to use the internet safely and responsibly.

How important is security in your school?

Cyber security has never been more important than in today’s digital world.

Parents’ Evening Manager saves time for schools and parents

With Parents’ Evening just around the corner, now is the time to introduce Parents’ Evening Manager!

The future is now!

We are all connected – and communications have never been stronger. The question is, how does your school utilise these new technologies to strengthen school/parent engagement?

Kesgrave High School save time and money

Kesgrave and ParentMail partner to deliver first-class parental engagement!

With over 1800 students and 99% of parents registered on ParentMail, Kesgrave High School collect on average £15,000 online each week, have sent over 700,000 emails home and had a 97% response rate to their first online form! All in …

Our founder leaves and takes a look back

After 16 years at ParentMail, our founder and CEO Paul Hughes will be leaving early 2018 and ahead of his departure, has been looking back and reflecting on how the company has grown since day one…

70% of parents think a mobile app makes it easier to pay!

We recently took to social media to ask parents their views on school Online Payments systems…