How to Run a Successful Parents’ Evening
A guest blog by Robbie Beattie, Managing Director at School Cloud Systems
Getting positive feedback from a successful parents evening is something that most schools find extremely useful. In this blog post, we look at how the data provided by our market-leading Parents Evening software, School Cloud System, can help you identify what was most successful.
All good schools know that parents’ evenings provide some of the best opportunities in the year for them to engage with parents. A chance to show off the school at its best – and in particular to show how school and parents can work together for the benefit of students.
In the past year alone, our software has been used for over 5000 parents’ evenings at thousands of schools – and by over half a million parents! At School Cloud Systems, we have analysed this accumulated data to offer you a unique insight to how those parents’ evenings were run by looking at the particular factors which made them a success.
Firstly, we checked parents’ most frequently booked appointment times to get an idea about which times parents prefer. After all, getting the parents to your evening is a pretty basic requirement!
As you can see in the graph, the single most popular time is 17:30, and parents overwhelmingly prefer to attend a parents’ evening between 17:10 and 18:10. So we would strongly recommend your parents’ evening runs between 16:00 and 18:50. Of course, if you have a lot of parents, you may well need to run a parents’ evening over several dates to give everyone a chance to book at these popular times.
Next, we investigated which the most popular subjects were that parents wanted to discuss on an evening. You may want to consider making these teachers available for longer than other subject teachers, to ensure as many parents as possible can have an appointment with them.
As might be expected, Mathematics and English are the most popular subjects – the ones that are most important to many parents. So be sure to have your Maths and English teachers available for long enough (maybe even having an extended evening for them) since they are the teachers that the majority of parents wish to see.
As well as taking steps like these to improve your parents’ evening experience, there are also things to avoid. Given the importance of the event it can be very stressful for parents, teachers and school administration staff – yet often the biggest frustration parents face is when a parents’ evening is badly organised.
Unfortunately, it’s still quite common for schools to run an open “first come first served” evening, with parents having to wait in a queue until particular teachers are free – which is stressful and time consuming for them. Our Parents Evening System offers your parents the ability to easily book their appointments online. They, and your teachers, know when the appointment will be and what it will be about, so everyone can make best use of their time.
Robbie Beattie is co-founder of School Cloud Systems, a multi-award winning software company providing the Parents Evening System and Room Booking System to over 3,500 schools worldwide. Visit their website for a free trial and more information: www.schoolcloudsystems.co.uk.