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How Bromcom helps schools improve parental engagement

How Bromcom helps schools improve parental engagement

/ Scott Biggs

Most school leaders agree that the main cause of the school absence epidemic is the rise in mental health problems among students. But it’s also fair to say that the biggest obstacle to restoring attendance to pre-pandemic levels is the recent shift in some parents’ attitudes towards schools. And if schools don’t overturn this new negative and distrustful mindset now, it will eventually be adopted by their children.

In this blog, I’ll be deep diving what’s caused today’s parental engagement crisis, explore the best strategies to tackle it, and explain how Bromcom is helping rebuild the school-parent relationship.


Why is parental engagement so poor right now?

Last year’s teacher strikes and the ever-increasing fines for poor attendance are the most obvious culprits for alienating parents. But a lot of the schools we’ve spoken to can actually trace today’s low parental engagement all the way back to the pandemic.

Take the return of the SEND cohort to in-person schooling − removing them from their comfortable, distraction-free working environment where many excelled has only been made more difficult by some of their parents. Having spent lots of time with their children during the pandemic, they are now far more knowledgeable about neurodiversity and their children’s specific learning needs, and are starting to challenge schools on how they support their children.

Another key driver of absences is many parents’ new hybrid working mentality: if they don’t need to go to the office every day, does it really matter if their child doesn’t go to school every day?

One school even shared with us that they’ve started to see a trend of students being off when their parents work from home. Just as children are tempted to spend the day with their parents, some parents are often happy to condone it.

At the same time, schools have noted a loss of respect among a number of parents for educators and support staff. They are now much more openly critical of schools and aren’t afraid to fight them on issues like attendance, such as being honest about taking holidays in term time. School leaders have noticed a worrying rise in abusive and aggressive language towards them, too, something that was relatively rare pre-pandemic.

As poor attendance has become acceptable, many parents have become savvier about avoiding the consequences of it, as well. They know how to play the system, like taking four days off following a bank holiday to make sure they don’t meet the five-day threshold.

Without direct action at a parent-level, parents will become less engaged with schools and simply get used to their children being off regularly.

Three ways that schools are improving parental engagement

  1. Optimising parent communications

Improving how your school communicates with parents is critical to strengthening your relationship with them. Make sure your communications software enables your staff to easily send out a range of messages (like emails and SMS messages) as and when needed, or look into trading it in for something better.

Using one single tool is particularly important to ensure all communications are consistent, and to save your staff having to learn and juggle lots of different tools.


  1. Making messages more accessible

To reach all parents – including non-English speakers – all messages must be translated into their respective languages. Not only will this ensure everyone gets the information they need, it should help build trust among parents that may have previously struggled to stay in touch with the school.


  1. Trying a softer, more gentle approach with parents

Many schools we’ve spoken to have shared that they’ve changed how they speak to parents, like using more gentle wording and carefully broaching sensitive topics. One school leader, for example, said they now raise attendance issues with parents by talking about a pastoral support issue before they mention their child’s absences.

Why Bromcom MIS is the best for parental engagement

As the supplier of the most fully featured cloud MIS on the market, we offer built-in parent communications tools that provides you with everything you need to keep parents in the loop. You can send emails and SMS messages to parents and guardians with just a couple of clicks, and teachers can send out communications directly from their dashboard.

Our top-rated parent app – MyChildAtSchool – keeps parents and schools connected, as well, by allowing them to view key messages, upcoming trips, and outstanding homework in one place. And with the ability to send push notifications to the app, you can even dispatch critical updates straight to their devices.

Bromcom AI simplifies the process of creating messages, too. The generative AI tool can instantly draft letters and emails for you, saving you time drafting them yourself. It can also translate the message into any language to make the information accessible to all.

Learn more about Bromcom

Bromcom is a leading supplier of cloud-based MIS solutions that works with thousands of schools across the country. With a huge array of built-in features, we provide primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, all-through schools, and MATs with the comprehensive functionality they need without the added expense of costly bolt-ons.

To find out more about how we’re improving parental engagement in schools across the country and what we can do for your school or trust, book a discovery call with our team.

Scott Biggs

Scott Biggs

Principal Educational Consultant