Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the most common questions schools have about NetMedia’s Parents’ Evening Booking System.
Don’t see your question here? We’d be delighted to tell you more – please contact us.
If you’re looking for product support, take a look at our product support FAQs.
What is the Parents’ Evening Booking System?
The Parents’ evening Booking System is software that allows parents to book appointments easily online. Because it integrates with your school database, there’s no need for you to enter lists of teachers and students. There’s no need to manage sign-ups and cancellations either. Parents make their own appointments to suit them – they can even do it on their phone. Teachers can see their schedule in the system just as easily.
Of course, there’s more to it than that – for example, features for creating reports, automatically chasing parents who haven’t booked, and communication between parents and teachers. It’s all designed to make parents’ evening as easy as possible.
How do parents make appointments online?
Here’s how it works. You can also watch our support video.
- You send out the login details, website address and instructions in a letter or email (we provide templates for these)
- The parent goes online on their phone, tablet or laptop and enters their login details
- The parent sees their child’s name or names (they may have more than one child in the relevant year groups)
- Then there are two options:
- they click on the ‘booking wizard’, which automatically creates a schedule covering all their children and all relevant teachers, with no clashes
- OR they click on a child, see a list of the relevant teachers, and then select from a list of available appointments with each
- They email or print out their schedule – and then just turn up on the night
What are the benefits of running booking online?
There are plenty of benefits:
- Save time for teachers and staff
- Improve parental engagement
- Run more effective evenings
- Monitor your performance
- Go paper free
Read about them in more detail: The system
Can school teachers and office staff assist parents who need help?
Yes, of course. If a parent is unable to get online or can’t use the system, you can make their bookings for them. We’ve got instruction videos that will get you up to speed on the parents’ end of the system. Or you can send parents links to the videos, or embed them on your website.
How do you help with a school’s parental engagement challenges?
- Self-booking makes parents’ schedules easier
Often the reasons parents don’t attend are practical ones – for example, they’re too busy, signing up is difficult and time consuming, or they will need to find a babysitter. Online booking removes a lot of these obstacles. Not only is it easier to book, it’s also easier to arrange an appointment that fits with their schedule. Perhaps they can fit it into an hour when a relative is available, or arrange a time that won’t interrupt dinner. The less disruption the event will cause, the more likely the parent is to attend. And because they take ownership of their attendance, they’re less likely to cancel.
- It’s easy to chase parents who haven’t booked
The Parents’ Evening Booking System makes it easy to identify which parents haven’t yet booked and send them personalised messages. And when they receive a reminder, online booking means they can book then and there on their phone – reducing the likelihood that it gets forgotten in the midst of a busy day. You can also send reminders to parents who have booked, including their appointment time – a great way to reduce no-shows and last-minute cancellations.
- New channels of communication allow parents to be more engaged
The Parents’ Evening Booking System gives parents the opportunity to send message to the teacher, for example suggesting topics for discussion. Because the teacher comes prepared, the parents evening appointment is more useful for everyone. And because they found the event useful, the parent is more likely to remain engaged in future. Working together with teachers, they can provide a better learning environment for their child at home.
Which school (MIS) databases do you integrate with?
We integrate with the most popular MIS databases used by UK schools, including:
- WCBS Pass
- Pupil Asset
- Other lesser-known and bespoke databases
Do you provide telephone and e-mail support?
Yes, absolutely. Our support desk is open 9-5pm, Monday to Friday. For email enquiries, we aim to get back to you within the hour. We also offer plenty of help videos that take you step by step through a task.
Do you help schools with event/ticket sales as well?
Yes, you can add the Event Booking module to the Parents’ Evening Booking System. You can use it to create events and let parents book tickets online.
Do you help schools with club bookings too?
Yes, you can add our School Clubs module to your subscription. This bolt-on module allows parents to sign their children up to clubs such as breakfast club, sports clubs or school trips, and pay for these online if required.
Do you help schools with after school club booking?
We’re currently building an add-on that will help schools run their after-school club sign-ups, and manage the communication between the school, parent and pupils for these clubs/activities.