According to a recent survey by itslearning, 71% of teachers feel that a secure internet ‘parent portal’, where parents could see details about their child's schooling, would improve school-to-parent communication.
The survey, conducted by itslearning in March 2011, asked 5805 teachers from six different countries how they involve parents in education – and what could be done to improve parental engagement in school. Unsurprisingly, 75% of teachers rated parental engagement as either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for the success of a child’s education.
However, 44% said they would like to communicate with parents more, citing a lack of time or lack of communication channel as the reason that they didn’t involve parents more.
Increasing communication with parent in education
According to Morten Fahlvik, Research Manager at itslearning, the survey shows that most teachers speak to parents at least once a semester. But Morten also argues that communication has to occur more often if parental involvement is to be really effective. itslearning’s parent portal could be the answer.
“Many teachers use a mix of old and new technologies to communicate with parents,” Morten explains. “But none of them are specifically designed for the task – and as a result, they all have their drawbacks. For example, 46% of teachers email each of their students’ parents at least once a month. Writing this amount of email is time-consuming, especially as one email to 20 or more parents usually results in ten or more replies that have to be dealt with individually. Teachers want a tool that will improve the flow of information and reduce their workload.”
How do teachers currently communicate with parents?
The survey shows that teachers communicate with parents in different ways.
- Email (used by 46% of teachers at least once a month)
- Learning platform (46%)
- Telephone (44%)
- Text/SMS (37%)
- School website (31%)
- Face-to-face meeting (27%)
- Letter (24%)
Removing the barriers to better parental involvement
In the survey, 71% of teachers said they felt a parent portal connected to their school learning platform could help improve parent involvement at their school.
Launched last year, the itslearning parent portal gives parents access to a secure webpage that gives them information about their child’s education – such as grades and attendance. Much of the information is updated automatically, saving teachers valuable time, and teachers can also add specific information about individual students as required.
Find out more
Read the press release
Find out more about the itslearning parent portal
Read how one primary school in Norway is succeeding with the parent portal
Posted on Tue, March 29, 2011
by Helge Hannisdal