New Hartley First School

Time to read: 2min 2 Apr 2024

Phase: Primary

Local Authority: Northumberland


To communicate with parents quickly and effectively and to implement a quick and easy way to report absences.


A single integrated system that enables the school to manage its operations all in one place.


Improved parent communication, a significant reduction in staff time, prompt payments from parents, and effective absence reporting.

What goals were you hoping to achieve when you decided that an engagement system would be a good fit for your school?

Having used other systems to engage with parents, the school wanted something that would do everything in one – messages, payments, and absence reporting.

Why did New Hartley First School choose Schoolcomms over other solutions available on the market?

The reasons for choosing Schoolcomms over other solutions were as follows:

  • They were highly recommended by other schools
  • They were competitively priced
  • They provided good support from the start with our initial enquiry
  • Parents with pupils in feeder schools were already using the system
What day-to-day challenges has Schoolcomms helped you overcome?

Having a log of calls, texts, and reasons for absence has enabled New Hartley to follow up on pupil absence quickly and effectively. And parents have engaged with reporting absences via the app as it’s quick and easy.

Signing up for clubs has also been very popular with parents and the school has saved time and money as there is no longer a need to send paper letters and process reply slips.

What has parent and staff reaction been to School Gateway?

We surveyed parents after a half term of using Schoolcomms. The response was overwhelmingly positive with more than 96% of parents saying that communication had improved since the introduction of the system.

They did make some small suggestions for improving things further which we have been able to implement or suggest to Schoolcomms. The fact that staff can message parents individually and receive replies has been a real saving.

What has been the impact of adopting Schoolcomms?

As a result of adopting Schoolcomms we have:

  • Improved communication with parents and pupils
  • Prompt payments from parents
  • Effective absence reporting which feeds directly into SIMS
  • More productive time for admin staff to focus on other duties

Download the PDF version of New Hartley First School’s journey with Schoolcomms.

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