Thursday January 22, 2015
In our November 2014 survey we asked the EdComs Teachers community for your views on communicating with parents. This is what you had to say…
Personal communication with parents
Overall, around three quarters of you said that you personally communicated with parents at least once a week, with just under half communicating with parents daily. However, looking at the differences in responses between primary and secondary teachers, primary teachers were far more likely to say that they communicated with parents daily (over 80% compared to around a quarter of secondary teachers).
In terms of teachers’ personal communication with parents, parent’s evenings, face-to-face meetings and phone calls are the most widely used forms of communication followed by emails, newsletters and homework diaries. Just under a quarter of you said that you personally communicated with parents using social media and/or text messages. However, when asked to select which one form of communication you used most frequently the top three responses were phone calls, emails and face-to-face meetings.
Compared to secondary teachers, primary teachers indicated that they are more likely to use newsletters, whereas responses suggested that secondary teachers are more likely to use email to communicate with parents than their primary counterparts.
When asked to consider online communication systems (e.g. email, or a school website) and which functions you felt were most important when communicating with parents, the most important functions were: 1) the ability to send a message to multiple parents at once 2) the ability to send emails 3) speed in sending a message and 4) the ability for parents to respond to a message. Live chat was considered to be the least important function. The ability for parents to access information via a specific area of the school website is also considered to be a fairly important function, yet only 15% of you indicated that you currently communicate with parents in this way.
When asked how parents communicated with you, you reported that they were most likely to email you directly, email the school and have it forwarded on to you or call your school phone directly. Almost half of you indicated that your school does not currently have the function for parents to log in online to see homework tasks, grades etc.
Nearly half of you said that you had not received any feedback from parents about how they would like to be communicated with, but of those who have received feedback, email is felt to be the preferred communication method, followed by text message and phone calls.
School communication with parents
In terms of school communication with parents, the most widely used methods were newsletters and parents’ evenings - over 90% of you said that your school communicates with parents in these ways – followed by phone calls, emails and face-to-face meetings. Around two thirds of you reported that your school uses text messages to communicate with parents and just under half of your schools have a dedicated parent area on the school website. When asked to select which one form of communication your school uses most frequently, the top three responses were newsletters, emails and phone calls.