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Saving time with school apps

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

Whatever your role is, there are never enough hours in the day when you work in a school. Recent budget cuts and staff shortages have led to an ever-growing strain on teaching and support staff in schools.

There’s always more you could be doing to improve outcomes for pupils, but there’s only so much time to get the job done. You have to prioritise.

But how do you do that? We’ve all heard of Eisenhower’s urgent/important principle. But this doesn’t help when everything on your to-do-list is important or urgent.

It’s widely reported that teachers are over-worked, but support staff are also suffering. In a recent survey by the Education Support Partnership, 80% of school support staff said they felt overworked. Stress brought on by excessive workload is leading to higher staff absences, putting more strain on school budgets.

This leaves school leaders with a choice: recruit additional support staff, or find more efficient ways to get things done.

If you’re looking to reduce workload for your teaching and support staff, then school apps are an excellent option. Our custom built school apps help schools to save time and improve communication between staff, students and parents.

Quick and easy pupil absence reporting

How much time do your admin staff spend on phoning parents and recording pupil absences? Nayland Primary school saved an hour a week by using one of our Piota school apps:

“We use the app for registering if children are absent or updating parents’ contact details. It means that admin staff can choose when to deal with these bits of information rather than continually answering the phone.” Katie Coburn, Deputy Headteacher, Nayland Primary School

Litchard School have found the absence reporting features to be one of the most valuable features of their school app:

“As a response mechanism for parents to report illness alone it is worth its weight in gold.” – Deputy Headteacher, Litchard School

Mission Grove Primary School finds that this saves time for their support team:

“Our attendance officer makes less calls as parents reports absences via the app” – Assistant Headteacher, Mission Grove Primary School.

Conduct parent surveys and analyse results

How often do you conduct parent surveys? How long does it take to prepare the surveys, chase up and collect responses?

The survey feature on Piota school apps enables you to send out quick surveys to parents and get the results instantly. No more chasing up for form tutors. No more manually entering results for the admin team. And no more need for SLT to analyse the results.

One of our happy customers has found that their school app has saved their headteacher several hours of data analysis and reporting:

“At the moment, our parental consultations are going on and we are using the survey section to crunch data based on parental responses. That would usually take the headteacher several hours. It’s all graphed by the app.” – Dale Richards, Deputy Headteacher

The Suffolk Borders Teaching Alliance is particularly pleased with the presentation of our feedback forms:

“Great time saving, especially using feedback forms, plus produces a professional appearance” – Helen Main, Suffolk Borders Teaching Alliance

As with absence reporting, Mission Grove Primary School highlights the time-saving benefits of the survey feature:

“We now spend less time collecting and inputting data from questionnaires as we get it straight from the app.” – Gemma Kent, Mission Grove Primary School

Criftins CE School has found the survey feature so useful that they are expanding it to include appointment-setting:

“Our plan is to go entirely to the app for appointments and surveys which should save a huge amount of time in the long run.” – Mandy Jones, Headteacher, Criftins CE School

Save time and money on printing with school apps

What is the cost of your whole school letters? How much time does it take for you and your support staff? How much re-printing needs to be done when letters or permission slips are lost? How much time could you save if you used Piota school apps?

At Passmores Academy, they are estimating that push notifications save nearly three hours each week:

“The app has saved us admin time by us being able to more quickly send out messages than via other methods. I would estimate two-three hours time a week are saved by this.” – Russell King, Deputy Headteacher, Passmores Academy

Thanks to their Piota school app, replacing lost or forgotten permission slips is a thing of the past for Heath Hayes Reach2 Primary Academy:

“No need for re-printing of letters or chasing permission slips. Time saved on re-communication.” – Rebecca Graham, Headteacher, Heath Hayes Reach2 Primary Academy

Queensbridge Primary has found that they are saving up to four hours each fortnight because their school app has dramatically simplified the process of communicating with parents:

“We’ve saved at least 3-4 hours fortnightly if you factor in creating the newsletter in publisher, printing and distributing.” – Sophie Wood, Queensbridge Primary

Reminding parents and pupils about letters has always been a burden for form tutors and administrative staff. John Ruskin School uses their Piota school app to send push notifications instead:

“We’ve saved time on sending letters out to parents. You can send out reminder notifications much easier than getting teachers to remind parents of events (parents eve for example) in the playground.” – John Verity, Business Manager, John Ruskin School

Piota school apps will save you time and money, as well as improving parental engagement. We are happy to offer you a no-obligation free trial of your school’s custom communication app. Just click here to book a free consultation!

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