Tell me about online parents’ evenings.
We understand that the concept of online parents’ evenings is still a new phenomena to many schools. Reading on will explain exactly how schools setup the Parents’ Evening Booking System, how they create parents’ evenings, how we support schools with all of the materials they require for contacting schools, how parents make their bookings and finally how teachers check their appointments schedule.
How Does it Work?
This short guide will explain how the Parents’ Evening Booking System works.
1. Setting Up
Setting up the school is mostly done by us for you. At any time, however, a school can change the master settings associated with their copy of the Parents’ Evening Booking System. The ‘Set Up School’ tab lets schools update their name, address, username (which is linked to the address a school’s parents are sent to), username and passwords for the admin and staff accounts, contact details, logos, maps, announcements, software preferences and parent login security.
2. Uploading your school database data
Our software works by using your school’s MIS (management information system) database to create the parents’ evening. There are two main ways to upload your data:-
1. Using our “1-click import” feature (available to SIMS, Facility, Integris, Bromcom and Phoenix e1 users)
2. Uploading an export (spreadsheet) of your data using a report generator provided for your database
The upload itself doesn’t take more than a few minutes. You can make a coffee and come back to find that our software has now uploaded all of your pupils, parents, teachers and classes. Even more clever than that, the software knows which class each pupil is in. This is important because we only want parents to see the classes and teachers for their children.Once your data has been uploaded, you’re ready to create your parents’ evening.
3. Creating your parents’ evening
Parents’ evenings are created inside of #terms’. This allows schools to come back and look at old parents’ evenings for the setup format, stats or other information.When you press the ‘Create’ button, schools simply complete our wizard and create a parents’ evening in minutes. The wizard asks for the name of the parents’ evening, the date(s), the start and end times on each date and whether or not there will be any mandatory breaks set. After this, the administrator is given a series of questions to shape the ‘default’ settings for the parents’ evening. Later, a school sets the length of appointments, maximum number of bookings, whether or not to allow consecutive bookings, whether or not teachers are allowed to adjust their schedule and which register classes or year groups the parents’ evening is for.Once the wizard has been finished, the parents’ evening is created. A school then sets the ‘opening’ and ‘closing’ dates. The school are then ready to tell parents that they can start making their bookings.Without going into too much detail, the parents’ evening can be tweaked, honed and pruned to make it even more precise using a variety of other tools and preferences. We will tell you more when you demonstrate the software!
4. Telling parents about the parents’ evening
We provide resources such as template letters, template e-mails and even help videos for parents which can be embedded on a school’s website so that schools can tell parents precisely how to login and make their bookings.Parents then make their way to the school’s login page and make their bookings. They can print off or e-mail a schedule of their appointments and then simply turn up on the night. Parents can also leave a comment with teachers, when booking, if there are any issues or concerns which need to be addressed on the night. This means teachers are better prepared for their appointments.
5. Teachers check their appointments
Teachers can check their appointments at any time, but the latest they would do this would be on the day of the parents’ evening. They simply log into the Parents’ Evening Booking System and pull up their appointment schedule. This list shows all appointments and any issues submitted by parents as well as the parents\’ contact details. Teachers can use this area to make comments of their own about each appointment. Teachers simply print their schedule or use the Parents’ Evening Booking System on their phone, laptop or tablet on the night.
6. Running Reports
We are saving this until the end because it is not an essential element of the software in terms of making a parents’ evening work, but it is a hugely valuable tool. Schools can run reports which will feed back information on each of their parents’ evenings, either in advance or after the parents’ evening has finished.
School staff can run reports in advance of a parents’ evening to see who has not yet booked and then follow up with these parents. The software even provides their contact details. Reports which show who has booked and indeed who has booked by teacher or class are also available. Reports also show who attended, or who said they would attend but didn’t after a parents’ evening. These reports will show the percentage of parents who have or have not booked ahead of a parents’ evening, giving schools a very good idea of how popular the software is for them.
It is that simple.
If you have any questions about how the software works, please do not hesitate to contact us. As you can expect, software of this complexity cannot be covered quickly or on one page, but we will be happy to show you more over a free demo or tell you more after you get in touch.We hope you have enjoyed reading about how the software works and that you will be interested in finding out more!