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Why schools need to review their school parent app

Posted by Michelle Forster on 13 September 2021 2:31:43 PM

One of the most common complaints of parents of school-age children is the wasted time they spend managing school communications. It’d be rare to meet a parent who isn’t frustrated about those lost hours each week. It’s even worse for parents with children attending different schools; the chore of navigating more than one school is a job in itself. 

Research shows 57 percent of parents are at least moderately frustrated, while 25 percent claim they are very or extremely frustrated with the extra workload.

Why? For most people, managing family schedules and school communications is an exercise they can only do manually and it is very labour intensive; nine times out of 10 this falls on mums.

It is mothers having to spend ages reading school communications, often across multiple communication channels, and then filter the information relevant for them. Then, one in three (35 percent) will tap a few words into their phone calendars, 20 percent will handwrite the events into a diary or notebook, 21 percent will duplicate and 12 percent of parents will just keep the information in their heads, hoping they’ll remember it in time.  

Then, the day before the event, because they have only tapped/written down a few words they have to frustratingly trawl through emails or app posts or portals (or all three) to find the missing detail.

This manual process is just too time-consuming and it is too easy for parents to miss events or details. 

It creates a huge mental load for those who are already feeling the stress of dealing with work and family life.  

New data shows women’s share of domestic chores has increased during the pandemic lockdown. Fairfax journalist Julia Baird writes: “Women entered the workforce but never left the home.” During the Covid lockdown, women are sharing stories of the increased burden of homeschooling, along with juggling their own work plus the unpaid household work.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed women are almost twice as likely as men to have spent five or more hours a week on unpaid housework. That’s 62 percent of women compared with 35 percent of men. 

Not surprisingly, research shows one in four mothers are considering leaving the workforce due to this relentless juggle. Or when they’re offered a promotion, they’re more likely to think “How can I take on extra work when I barely have my head above water?”

For schools, the more parents are overwhelmed and stressed, the more regularly they’ll contact their child’s school with time-consuming questions, in a bid to alleviate their stress. 

This creates significant 'parental noise' impacting teacher and office staff admin workload and preventing them from carrying out more important tasks. 

This is a serious issue with major consequences. And this is why it is important schools take the time to check whether they have the best and latest tool to communicate with parents.

The good news? There is a new school parent app that is fixing this major problem. 

myWhānau is the only ‘Calendar First’ School Parent app that not only diarises events with all the essential details, it is also the only parent app that diarises parent tasks. And for each entry parents can click through to the source of the information; they no longer need to trawl through emails. No other app has been designed from a ‘parent-first’ perspective.

With myWhānau, 91 percent of parents are better organised, 87 percent less frustrated and more in control making a huge difference to their wellbeing in reducing stress which, in turn, also reduces the time schools are forced to spend on admin. 

myWhānau School Calendar Assistant is free for schools to use, it is private, secure and quick to integrate. 

Getting school communications right matters. Schools can play a role in helping parents, particularly mothers, with the work/life juggle.

It is well worth your time to learn how myWhānau can help.

Please email michelle@mywhanau.com.au to learn how.

Michelle Forster

Written by Michelle Forster