Schoolcomms

Ponteland Community High School

Time to read: 2min 9 Mar 2021

Schoolcomms case study

Phase: Secondary

MAT: Pele Trust

Unique challenge: Finding an easy-to-use, fully integrated system.

Objectives

  • To streamline payments.
  • To send regular pupil progress updates.

Solution

  • A user-friendly system.
  • An integrated solution that links with MIS and catering systems.

Outcome

  • Improved communication with parents and pupils.
  • Significant reduction in paper, printing, and postage costs.

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

Our primary aim was to streamline our parent payment options. However, we quickly realised the benefits of being able to send regular pupil progress updates through a single system linked to our MIS.

Why did you choose Schoolcomms over other solutions available on the market?

We looked at several systems, but felt that the format and usability of Schoolcomms best suited our school. All in all, we chose Schoolcomms as we wanted a system which offered an integrated solution for all the things we needed – messaging, payments, bookings, and reports – which would also be user-friendly for staff and parents. We also needed something that would link with our MIS and catering systems in a straightforward and seamless way.

What day-to-day challenges has using Schoolcomms helped you to overcome?

We have significantly reduced the amount of cash held in school, which not only reduces risk but also means fewer weekly trips to the bank. This has enabled parents to gain quick and easy access to information about account balances (e.g. lunch money) and outstanding payments.

As a result, the number of calls to the finance office has reduced as parents are now able to make payments at a time that best suits them. The Messaging module gives us the confidence that messages are in fact reaching parents – there’s always the risk of letters not making it out of the school bag!

When a new school joins Pele Trust, how do you roll out Schoolcomms and how have you overcome any challenges?

It has been relatively easy to sell the benefits of Schoolcomms to schools in our trust. Those using it have shared best practice and knowledge. Rollout has been straightforward as the system is very easy to use. Due to the number of users we have in the trust, we tend to train colleagues internally which means we can be up and running very quickly.

What has been the impact of adopting Schoolcomms?

Schoolcomms has enabled us to reduce paper, print, and posting costs. We’ve also made significant savings in staff admin time as a result of implementing online payments – this has been a real game-changer for us! Overall, Schoolcomms has greatly improved our efficiency, parent satisfaction, and the way we communicate with parents and pupils.

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