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.

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 …

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 …

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!