Every school is different and has different ways of running it’s events.

When it comes to creating a event, we recognise that parents’ evenings, parents’ consultations, one-to-one meetings or other meetings can all be very different. Some schools favour meetings with class teachers, some with tutors and some want events where both are included.

In this tutorial, we’ll break down all the different types of events that there are and make sure you understand how to set up your event fully from start to finish using the videos below as visual and audio aids. If you still need help, be sure to contact our Support team.

Contents and Order of Tasks

  1. Set up your copy of the Parents’ Evening Booking System
  2. Decide what type of event you need to set up
  3. Import your data
  4. Make necessary data changes
  5. Create your event
  6. Set up / alter teacher availability
  7. Send instructions to teachers
  8. Send instructions to parents

1. Set up your copy of the Parents’ Evening Booking System

It’s really important that you have everything set up the way you want it to be before your parents login and make their bookings. Most schools will set up their copy of the software when they first subscribe but it’s important to go back and check these ‘settings’ every so often to make sure that you’re best placed to run your events.

A quick check-list of ‘checks’ to make include:

  1. Check that your school website address (for parents to login via) and username and passwords are correct
  2. Check and change how parents login
  3. Do you need to turn settings such as allowing parents to leave comments ‘on’ or ‘off’?
  4. Do you want to add a map to your parents’ print and e-mail confirmations?
  5. Are you setup to upload your data correctly?

2. Decide what type of event you need to set up

This is a crucial step. Before uploading your data, deleting older data or setting up your events you need to plan and know what type of event you’re making.

Your first consideration should be:

  1. Am I making an event for a one-off event?
    OR
  2. Will I be making lots of events in close proximity to each other?

The reason for this is data related. If you will be making lots of events this term, you’ll probably find it quicker in the long term to upload data for all students and teachers in those events now. If you’re only making one event in the near future and won’t have many other for a while, there’s no need to upload unnecessary data which could get in the way. Under this circumstance we recommend just exporting and uploading the data you need.

The next consideration is what type of event(s) you’re planning. Every school has a different way of running their parent and teacher meetings. Below are different types of events and to the right are videos which explain the best way to set up for events of each type.

  1. Parent and Teacher meetings
  2. Parent and Tutor meetings
  3. Parent, Teacher and Tutor meetings

The data you upload, the tweaks you make to the data you’ve uploaded and the way you set up these events (all covered in Steps 3 and 4 below) will be depend on the type of event you’re looking to set up.

3. Import your data

Importing your data is a very important step in creating your events. The data you upload MUST be accurate and it needs to be the data you ‘need’. Let us explain:

If you upload data which is currently set up for last term but you’re creating an event for next term, be prepared for the student to be linked the the wrong teachers (for the purposes of your event). Similarly, if you’re looking to run an event for a term in the past, you might upload data which has students connected to their current teachers. Be aware of this.

You’ll also find that your school’s MIS database will only provide the teachers which are set up and timetabled to teach the students. Sometimes this will include teachers who share classes, sometimes it won’t. Sometimes your Tutors will be exported, sometimes they won’t. This all depends on the way your database has been set up at the school and differs school to school. As such, if you’re unsure how this will look, the best way to find out is by testing it! Once tested, we’ll look for what’s missing and figure out what you need to do to make sure your event has all the teachers it needs.

Lastly, don’t expect SENCO, Pupil Support Assistants, Classroom Assistants or Head/Deputy Head Teachers (or indeed any other teachers who aren’t connected by a timetable to a class) to be exported, so we’ll probably have to create these teachers in the software after you’ve uploaded your data to make sure they’re included in your event, if you need them.

3.1 How do I upload Parent and Teacher Event Data?

3.2 How do I upload Parent and Tutor Event Data?

3.3 How do I upload Parent, Teacher AND Tutor Event Data?

4. Make necessary data changes

Once you have uploaded your data you’ll need to check it and make sure all the teachers you need have been uploaded and that the students are connected to the correct teachers. Here are the things to check:

  • Are the teachers all correct? Have some teachers who have left the school been uploaded?
  • Are there any classes which are shared? If so, let’s combine them by deleting one of the teacher and editing the other to include both names
  • Are there any teachers missing? The first few times you upload you may not have the confidence to move on without checking that every teacher has been uploaded. If some are missing, we’ll need to add them. As detailed above, expect teachers who are not timetabled to teach classes to not have been uploaded. This will most commonly include Head Teachers, Deputy Heads, SENCO, Classroom Assistants, etc.
  • Are there any classes to more from one teacher to another?
  • Are there any split classes to manage? This may include taking the class from one teacher and moving it to another OR adding additional teachers as booking options for parents to this specific class (I.e. Maths can be booked with Mr Jones OR Mrs Johnson OR both)
  • Are the department names correct? If not, we can change them in batches using the ‘Departments’ tool
  • Are there any Co-Teacher classes to set up?

It’s really important to make all of these data changes BEFORE you set up your event. Changes you make here after an event has been setup have no guarantee of automatically being included. If you make changes to the teachers after an event has been setup or after parents have started booking without ‘Updating’ the list of teachers for your event in the ‘Evenings’ tab, you run the risk of your changes not being included. If you’re unsure, contact our Support team for further help (or read the instructions on the ‘Teachers’ page by going to ‘Evenings’, clicking on the term or group your event is in and clicking ‘Teachers’ for that event).

5. Create your event

Once you have made sure that you’ve uploaded all the necessary data AND made the tweaks and changes you need to make your event, you’re ready to set up your event. This should just take a few minutes.

The main task is not just to input the dates and times but also to make sure the correct teachers are included and to change any teacher ‘availability’ before inviting teachers to change their availability, make bookings or send messages to parents (see Steps 6 and 7) and before finally inviting parents to make their bookings (Step 8).

The video to the right takes you through the correct process for setting up an event and covers how to ensure that it has the correct teachers in it, should you be creating a meeting with teachers, tutors or both.

It’s vital that you’ve given due consideration to the data changes and checks mentioned in Step 4 above BEFORE creating your event, otherwise it simply won’t be correct and you’ll have issues in the future.

If you would like some help setting up your event, simply contact our Support team.

6. Set up / alter teacher availability

This is a simply but important step. Before asking teachers to make their own breaks, making bookings or sending messages to parents and before inviting parents to book, we need to make sure we’ve taken the teacher availability we know about into account.

In essence, if any teachers have given you information about needing breaks, starting earlier or finishing later, let’s add this in now before it’s too late!

7. Send instructions to teachers

Before sending the booking information out to parents and inviting them to book, ensure your staff have had the opportunity to make their own breaks and change their start and end times (if allowed) and the chance to make appointments or send messages to parents in advance.

Once this has been done you’re ready to invite parents to make their bookings.

Below is a link to download a presentation, which acts as instructions, for school staff. This explains how staff login, make appointments, check their bookings an change their availability:

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8. Send instructions to parents

Now that you’ve fully set up your event, taking into account teacher and class data changes and teacher availability issues, it’s time to invite your parents to book. Below is a link to download a template ‘Letter to Parents’ which we provide all schools with. Feel free to write your own, or edit ours and send it out, inviting parents to make their bookings.

By and large you can sit back and watch the bookings come in now. If you want to see who has and has not booked you can see this in the ‘Reports’ tab and if you need to make bookings you can do this via ‘Manage Bookings.

If you need any further help, just ask out Support team!

Download Instructions Here!