An effective school communications system is paramount in creating positive relationships between staff, parents, and students. With static signage, outdated platforms, and inconsistent interaction failing to stimulate engagement, schools are looking for new ways to supercharge their school communications.
Though schools focus their attention on educating pupils, neglecting effective communication in schools could compromise student success. It is essential that teachers, parents, and students are on the same page and aware of school updates, information, and important dates.
In this blog, we have identified 5 ways to supercharge your school communication to improve the speed and delivery of communication and increase engagement.
1. Embrace Social Media
Engaging parents in school news and swiftly sharing essential information can often be tricky. Letters sent home limit communication to a one-way conversation and do little to absorb parents in school matters – if they even make it to the parent. Phone calls can be time-consuming, and emails sometimes missed.
Social media is an incredible tool in making information accessible fast. An increasing number of parents are now active on social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Therefore, by creating school social media accounts, encouraging parents to follow them, and posting frequently, you can supercharge your school communication with parents, current and prospective.
Social media has multiple uses; for example, it can share information on school events, the school newsletter, student successes, and emergency updates. Alternatively, setting up a private account for a school trip, such as taking 30 students to Spain, can streamline the sharing of travel updates, activity news, and group photos to parents. Social media also provides a public platform to advertise your school to prospective families.
Social media has a wealth of benefits. Principally, it can be accessed from anywhere, meaning those interested can retrieve information wherever they are from their mobile device. Additionally, social media provides parents with a two-way communication platform, allowing them to comment on a post or message the school with any queries. This dialogue can supercharge school communication by providing a space where parents can have their questions answered promptly.
2. Organise Regular Meetings
Effective communication in schools requires being active. If you wait for people to come to you, communication will slow down and decrease effectiveness. By organising regular meetings with staff, students, and parents, a welcoming environment will form, where people can voice opinions comfortably.
While teachers may teach independently, they are also part of a team. If teachers in your school are unaware of school priorities and changes, your students will not receive a consistent education. The organisation of regular meetings can solve this. These meetings can take the form of large staff assemblies, department meetings, small working groups, or one-to-one sessions. To enhance teacher communication, for example, at the start of the year, cross-departmental groups could be set up and scheduled to meet once a week to receive school updates and discuss successes and grievances.
Regular teacher-student meetings are also crucial in enhancing school communication. Year group assemblies ensure messages are received widely, but what if students want to make suggestions or discuss their learning. By providing scheduled small group or one-on-one meetings, perhaps once a month, students have a safe space to discuss their concerns. This space, in turn, develops effective communication between teachers and students.
Encouraging meetings with parents is another way to supercharge your school communications. Waiting times and inaccessibility can often deter parent communication with teachers and senior leadership. Beyond parent-teacher conferences, large assemblies for notable changes, dedicated office hours for parent queries, or even inviting parents to a monthly catch-up session can go far in improving school communication with parents.
3. Digital Signage for School Communications
Effective communication between teachers and students is paramount in creating a positive learning environment. As static signage increasingly lacks the ability to capture attention, educational institutions turn to digital signage to improve school communications.
Digital signage for school communications involves using digital screens to display content and messages at particular locations throughout your school, such as reception, assembly halls, classrooms, and hallways. These digital screens can display various information, including welcome messages, exam timetables on a live calendar, details of new extra-curricular clubs or fundraisers, upcoming school events, student successes, or school uniform policy.
Alongside benefiting students, digital signage screens can be placed in the staff room to keep teachers updated on school regulations and changes or in the reception to engage with visitors while they wait. Alternatively, a reception could also use interactive digital screens for time-saving touch screen check-in. Other touch screen features could include ordering uniform, viewing staff profiles, or browsing student work. These digital screens would improve school communication with visitors.
The benefits of digital signage are staggering. Bright screens and attractive features, such as videos and images, capture viewer attention, ensuring messages reach the intended audience. Digital signage is also time- and cost-efficient. Rather than regularly taking down, reprinting, and replacing print posters, changes to display content are made digitally through centralised digital signage software and automatically updated on screen. A further benefit is a time-saving ability to schedule content on digital screens, for example, ‘Be quiet’ signs during exams.
Digital signage is supercharging school communications throughout educational institutions. To learn more about how schools are using digital signage, read our complete guide to digital signage for education.
4. An Updated Website for Successful Education Communication
The school website is the first place someone will go when they want to know something about your institution. If this website is not up to date, your school communication will prove unsuccessful.
Websites are an indispensable source for school communications. They display emergency announcements, promote events, report news and press releases, present staff information, store downloadable forms and documents, provide a calendar of events, and even have e-commerce features, including selling school uniform. Having all these features in one place brings ease to finding information for a variety of stakeholders.
If information is absent, inaccurate, or outdated, not only will current parents be lost and ill-informed, but prospective parents will be discouraged from joining your school. Poor communication on the website reflects poorly on the whole school. Up-to-date information, high-quality graphics and colours, and insightful school images will provide an attractive site for viewers.
It is also valuable to have your school contact information – address, email address, telephone number, social media handles – clearly presented on each page of your website. This accessibility speeds up communication. In addition to contact details, notable announcements should stand out. For example, the school summer concert announcement could be displayed on the homepage, news page, and a banner across webpages to boost ticket sales.
With more people than ever accessing the internet on their mobile phone, making your website compatible on mobile devices is also worth considering. As a portal of information, an updated and attractive website will benefit your education communication.
5. Be Accessible for School Communications
The simplest way to improve school communications is to be accessible. Parents should know they can email a teacher and receive a reply; students should know they can check in with a teacher after school; teachers should know they can meet with the headteacher to express concerns without joining a tedious waiting line. This accessibility is paramount to smooth and effective education communication.
Teachers and senior leadership understandably have busy schedules, yet making time for queries from fellow teachers, students, and parents will make a world of difference when improving school communication. Effective communication in schools, however, not only requires being accessible but making it known you are accessible. For example, calling parents at the start of the year to open the lines of communication. By initiating this dialogue, you will better understand your pupils, and parents will feel more comfortable communicating with you throughout the year. Alternatively, put a sign on your office or classroom door welcoming students in for a chat about their work or worries.
By being accessible and available, you will build effective education communication. Effective communication between teachers and students, as well as with parents, will improve learning outcomes and make stakeholders feel welcome.
If you have any questions related to supercharging your school communication, speak to an expert today. Call our friendly team on 02380 981110 or Email email@example.com for a no-obligation consultation. Alternatively, click the button below.