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May 21 BigDug
May 21 BigDug

Here’s why schools are abandoning paper letters

April 30, 2021, 14:49 GMT+1
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Here’s why schools are abandoning paper letters
  • Take the stress, worry and wasted paper out of parental communication with IRIS ParentMail...
Here’s why schools are abandoning paper letters

If you’re a parent, the scene is all too familiar: your child comes home, dips their arm into their detritus-littered schoolbag, and drags out a sad, limp printed page for you to sign. The faded ink and battered edges give away the letter’s age – it’s been wilting in that bag for weeks.

This isn’t an uncommon story. In fact, many school letters and permission slips never make it home altogether. When you consider the enormous cost and time of printing and sealing school communications, it’s clear that something has to change.

Over the past year, it’s been even more difficult to send messages home to parents. Schools need a better alternative, and fast.

That’s why so many schools are abandoning paper letters in favour of IRIS ParentMail.

The new way to contact parents

IRIS ParentMail enables schools to break the endless cycle of printing letters by sending messages directly to parents’ phones.

Parents can download a free branded app that gives them access to important school information. This also makes it easy for schools to push free instant messages directly to parents’ phones.

It’s also socially inclusive – IRIS ParentMail can send texts or emails to parents that don’t have access to a smartphone. Alternatively, it’s also easy to print and send paper letters out if you need to; however, once you offer parents the free app, they see the convenience of it straight away.

The free parent app also makes it possible to do a lot more than just instant messaging.

Permissions forms made easy

Many schools decide to add Online Form Collection to their IRIS ParentMail account. It makes it straightforward to send and receive permissions forms. In a world where pandemic legislation changes on a near-daily basis, the ability to quickly seek parental permission can be a lifesaver.

There’s a range of ready-built forms to choose from out-of-the-box, but it’s also possible to create and save your own bespoke forms that match your school’s needs. Once you’ve chosen a form, you can set deadlines for form completion, guaranteeing a great response rate.

Once your responses are in, it’s easy to collate them and build reports.

Effortless parents’ evening and event management

Parents’ Evening Manager for IRIS ParentMail makes organising parents’ evenings completely stress-free. Schools can cut out annoying scheduling conflicts by digitising the entire process.

Parents book slots using their mobile app or on a desktop computer. The school can then control appointment duration and manage cancellations with ease. There’s even built-in reminder messages that automatically remind parents to book ahead of time, stopping them from becoming a no-show.

Intelligent online payment collection

Make it simple for parents to pay, and watch the arrears drop away. IRIS PlusPay integrates directly with the parent app, enabling parents to pay with PayPal, credit, debit or even cash via PayPoint.

When it comes to chasing payments, IRIS ParentMail does it for you. Payment reminders and low-balance notifications are built in as standard, saving admin staff countless hours of work.

Many schools use IRIS PlusPay to collect payments for clubs, lunches, equipment and uniform. You can build out multiple registers to meet different payment requirements, and free school meals and pupil premium are all accounted for.

Admin staff love IRIS ParentMail

With so many helpful modules to choose from, admin staff can save hours of work every week thanks to IRIS ParentMail.

With its flexible reporting suite, staff can even view message performance and tweak their communication style to maximise parental engagement.

In fact, 95% of customers would recommend ParentMail to another school. IRIS have served thousands of schools and millions of happy parents over the years, offering fast, effective help when schools need it, so you can be sure that they’re a partner you can trust.

To find out more about IRIS ParentMail, visit their website today at iris.co.uk/products/parentmail.

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