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By Chris Moss • June 16, 2017

How a school app could help you to raise standards and improve efficiency across your MAT

With recent budget cuts and the continuing recruitment crisis, school leaders are increasingly under pressure to achieve more with less. Leaders of multi academy trusts face an additional challenge, because the work of school improvement is so different at scale. Raising standards across one school relies on the personal touch, whereas a MAT CEO needs to communicate a clear vision from a distance.

At Piota, we believe that clear and effective communication between staff, pupils and parents is at the heart of school improvement. Our custom built apps are designed to help schools to streamline communications, enhance parental engagement, save time and cut costs. Here's how a Piota school app could help you to raise standards and improve efficiency across your MAT.

Find out the four reasons why your MAT needs an app

Cut costs and save time

How much does each school in your MAT spend on sending letters home to parents? How about text messages? And how much time do support staff spend making phone calls home? What if you could send unlimited instant push notifications to parents free of charge instead? With a Piota school app, you can.

Using your school app, you can get important information to parents at the touch of a button. No more of your support staff's time need be spent on typing and distributing whole school letters. And no more of your budget need be wasted on expensive printing and text messages. Parents can also report their child absent through the app, saving your admissions officer hours of time on the phone.

The average school still spends £60,000 on printing, in spite of the world of technology at our fingertips. Imagine the improvements that could be made to teaching and learning if each of your schools had an additional £60,000 to spend!

Streamlined communications

As a leader of a MAT, you need to be able to establish and clearly communicate your vision and expectations. An app enabling communication across all the schools in your MAT at the touch of a button is a powerful tool to help you to achieve this.

Of course, whilst there are benefits to having consistent policies and practices across schools, each school within your MAT is unique. Our apps are fully customised and branded so that users associate their app with their school, but you can still share news and information which is relevant to the whole MAT across the platform. This allows you to maintain a sense of individuality between each school without compromising your messaging across the trust.

Piota gives you complete freedom and flexibility with how you communicate. With each school app, you can carefully target your messages so that parents only receive the information which is relevant to their child. This way, you know that your message has been sent to the right people, and parents are less likely to disengage.

Compare schools

How happy are stakeholders at the schools within your MAT? Do you use surveys to gauge how parents, pupils and staff are feeling? How good is the response rate? And how long do support staff spend chasing up and entering the results before SLT crunch the numbers? Are you able to compare results across schools?

With a Piota app, you can easily find out how stakeholders are feeling using the survey tool. Send out quick surveys and the touch of a button, and get the results instantly. This way you can identify any schools within your MAT that are a cause for concern and act on any feedback quickly.

"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

Having this information at your fingertips can be very handy when Ofsted comes to call. More importantly, getting feedback little and often means that you can build stronger relationships with parents by making them feel valued and listened to.

Improve parental engagement

Getting parents onside is crucial to any school improvement strategy. But this can be a challenge if parents don't feel connected to the school. A Piota app can help to change this.

Being able to get messages to parents instantly and update them when there has been a change helps to make them feel informed and more in control. If there is a last minute school closure, for instance, then the faster you can get the message to parents, the more time they will have to make the necessary childcare arrangements.

Sending unlimited notifications quickly and free of charge means you can share more information with parents, and more often. Instead of an expensive colour newsletter each term, why not send a quick weekly update to share good news with parents?

The more frequently you get in touch with parents to share good news, the more receptive they are likely to be when it isn't what they want to hear.

If you'd like to find out more about how Piota could help you We are happy to offer you a no-obligation free trial of your MAT's custom communication app. Just click here to book a free consultation!

The four reasons why your MAT needs an app