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Will

Help with Identifying Leavers

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Identifying Leavers

Our newest software release features a great new feature: help identifying students who are now “leavers”.

Next time you run a data upload, you will be shown a notification on your Dashboard if we think that some students have left the school but are still in our database. Rather than delete the students automatically, we’ll show you a list and you can either mark the students as having left (in which case we will delete their record from our database) or you can make them as still being on the school’s student roll.

Some of the other changes we’re introducing in this month’s release (which is now ‘live’) include:

  • We will automatically disconnect students from their old teachers, but you can turn this feature off if you need
  • We have added a Firefly SSO integration for parents
  • We have changed our product’s name throughout the software to Parents Booking (read more on this change here)

We Are Changing Our Product’s Name

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In an exciting change that we hope reflects our commitment, not just to parents’ evenings, but to all school-parent ‘electronic booking’ matters, we’ll soon be changing our flagship product’s name from Parents’ Evening Booking System to Parents Booking.

This is a cosmetic change at its heart, but more than ten years after inventing the world’s first ‘parents’ evening booking system’, we’re a bigger company offering schools and colleges, both across the UK and around the world, much more than our original parents’ evening tools.

Beyond parents’ evenings, we help schools with their events, breakfast clubs, after school clubs, trips and student performances’ tickets, place-booking, reservations and facilitate their payments. We’ve integrated with some of the best #EdTech products in the UK and we’re continuing to seek out new, exciting partnerships to grow our capabilities and usefulness. We hope that our new name makes clear that we’re the solution to all ‘parent booking’ requirements.

Our new logo and branding will be introduced over the coming weeks. The product itself looks exactly the same though; there’s no reason to worry about a re-brand causing any navigation or software logic issues.

Wishing customers, partners, schools and parents all the very best.

Parents Booking / Netmedia Ltd.

Single sign-on with Firefly

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Parents Booking has recently integrated with Firefly, a fantastic virtual learning environment (VLE) used by hundreds of schools across the UK and around the world, ensuring that schools who use both of our products can benefit from an even simpler login.

Using single sign-on (SSO) technology, parents will be able to click a ‘Login by Firefly’ button on their school’s parents’ evening login page. Parents will then be logged in instantly, improving convenience, ease of use and saving parents’ time.

If your school uses Firefly we will endeavour to add this login button to your parents’ login page ASAP. Let us know if you use Firefly and the ‘Login by Firefly’ button has not appeared on your parents’ login page yet.

Take payments using ParentPay

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We’ve integrated with ParentPay, a leading cashless payment system for schools.

This integration means that ParentPay and Parents’ Evening Booking System customers can take payments from parents for Events, Clubs or other parent booking matters that are dealt with through Parents’ Evening Booking System, using the school’s existing ParentPay account.

The benefits for parents include having a familiar checkout and payment experience, while schools will see all payments made through our service appear in their ParentPay.

If your school uses ParentPay and you want to link it with your Parents’ Evening Booking System, contact support@parents-booking.com, or find instructions on the admin area’s ‘Set Up School’ page, and we’ll help you do just that.

Single sign-on with parentsportal.scot

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Netmedia’s Parents’ Evening Booking System has been the innovator for software of our type since we invented the ability for parents to make their parent-teacher appointments online a decade ago. Being big thinkers as much as software developers, we’re is proud to announce a partnership with the exciting new creation in Scotland: parentsportal.scot. We are confident this parent portal will become an essential service for parents and schools as it is rolled out across Scotland’s local authorities, and simply had to be part of the revolution.

Parentsportal.scot is simple to sign up to and will give parents access to a range of school-related services online. We were thrilled to be asked to integrate our Parents’ Evening Booking System, and for us to be one of the first to join the project.

Our integration means that parents will be able to log into their Parents’ Evening Booking System ‘booking area’ in one click (using a secure single sign-on technology), either from the school’s login page, or from parentsportal.scot itself.

Being part of parentsportal.scot helps us further our commitment to schools. We are passionate about helping improve customers’ parental engagement, while also ensuring parents have the most convenient experience possible while engaging with our services.

We’ve got your School’s Events and Clubs Handled

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Some of the most-requested features we’ve received over the years are not actually to do with parents’ evenings. We get asked about helping schools with other parent-booking tasks, such as ticketed events, booking seats at a student performance, school trip sign-ups and parents booking places for their children at breakfast or after-school clubs.

We’ve taken time out from continually developing the Parents’ Evening Booking System to give schools all of the above abilities. If you’ve an event or club you want to take bookings from parents for, just ask. The bolt-on modules we’ve created to help schools with these tasks come at a fraction of the Parents’ Evening Booking System cost and can be switched on in seconds.

To learn more about either module, click below. We’ve added a video to each which guides you through how they work:

If you would like to know more, contact Will Mackenzie: will@parents-booking.com.

We’re ‘Cyber Essentials Plus’ Certified

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For several months now we’ve been working to achieve our ‘Cyber Essentials Plus‘ certification. We received news on Friday that we’ve passed our inspection, and taken receipt of our certificate.

If you’ve not heard of “CE Plus”, it’s a UK government information assurance scheme operated by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Its certification guarantees our protection levels against the most common cyber threats, and demonstrates our commitment to cyber security. Although not a requirement for our business, we undertook the “CE Plus” certification, which includes having independent security experts examine our servers, software and IT infrastructure.

To view our certification certificate, click here.

The hard work is never done, and we’re already underway with our application to achieve ISO27001 certification, which is an international standard which demonstrates that an organisation has defined and put in place best-practice information security processes. We hope that we’ll have good news related to achieving this further certification later in the year.

New case study: Boroughmuir High School

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We recently visited the brand new Borughmuir High School in Edinburgh. They have been a customer for a number of years, and a huge supporter of our services, but were also recently named Scottish state secondary school of the year by The Sunday Times, which makes their recommendation of us all the stronger.

Take a little look at the case study below:

Some of what we have been up to..

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Good morning,

We’ve had a very busy term. We’ve helped several hundred new customers set up and run their parents’ evenings with us, since the start of the academic year. We’ve visited Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire and West Lothian Councils to run group training sessions for their schools. We’ve started work on some new bolt-on applications which will help schools with other tasks that needed an electronic/web solution (more on that in due course) and of course we’ve been developing our little hearts out, as ever, to ensure that customers receive the most functional, best developed and most innovative parents’ evening solution available. Why? Because we invented online booking for parents’ evenings, and we’re dedicated to changing how they’re run, for the betterment of all involved.

The software ‘build’ we’ll be launching next features some nice changes, including being able to add parents to existing students more easily (helpful for schools whose database doesn’t provide both parents automatically), some mobile user-interface updates, to help parents make their bookings more easily, and perhaps most impressively, an artificial intelligence system, built in collaboration with Edinburgh Napier University, that helps schools set up parents’ evenings with confidence that they’ve not made a mistake in their new event’s chosen settings.

Soon we’ll be adding a single sign-on (SSO) integration for Firefly Learning‘s virtual learning environment (VLE), so that schools who utilise this extremely impressive school learning tool will be able to have their parents login and make parents’ evening appointments seamlessly, without need for a username or password.

We’ve also finished work on integration with three of Groupcall’s products, such as Messenger (schools who use this can track the messages their parents send to parents, and have those messages come from Groupcall directly), Xpressions (messages will go to parents via push notification, and parents can login and make their appointments by single sing-on/without username and password) and Xporter on Demand (giving schools even more control over their datasharing, helping set up events even more quickly).

Next up: We’ll be visiting one of Scotland’s most prestigious secondary schools to film a new advert. We’ll also be talking to the head teacher about how we’re helping their school launch a new way of running parents’ evenings, that makes them more efficient, that can only be run using our software. It’s our sincere hope that this school’s new plans are a huge hit and that we can help roll the idea out to other schools in due course.

Behind the scenes we’ll continue working hard to bring schools new features (such as a booking wizard for the admin area, some improved changes to the event statistics we capture, and a completely new website design that will give us a new look for next academic year).

Wishing all of our customers lots of success as this academic year rumbles on.

Netmedia.