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letters from school

(117 Posts)
agnesf Sun 30-Mar-14 08:34:21

Is it unreasonable to expect schools to get into the digital age? I don't know anyone who hasn't either got a home computer or smartphone yet our school still persists in sending home a printed out newsletter which gets scrumpled up in a heap at the bottom of the bag.

Even more annoying are important additional letters such as those needed to book appointments at parents evening/ get tickets for school concerts ("donation" of £3 required). These have often not made it home or even worse not even been given out by the class teacher.

Is mine the only school that still thinks its in the 1970's. Its really annoying plus in these days of increasingly short resources seems to be really inefficient.

Normalisavariantofcrazy Sun 30-Mar-14 08:35:11

I know several parents without computers so YABU IMO

agnesf Sun 30-Mar-14 08:37:06

Yes but the majority do have computers. Those that don't could be given a paper newsletter. It would save loads of paper/ photocopying/ time of staff.

HowContraryMary Sun 30-Mar-14 08:38:21

Worse are the schools who assume you spend all day logging in and out of ParentPortal just in case they have sent a missive home

MuttonCadet Sun 30-Mar-14 08:38:48

How to communicate with parents is a huge struggle for schools.
I'd agree on e-mails, but there are a number of people who don't have a computer or check their messages regularly.

spanieleyes Sun 30-Mar-14 08:39:33

in my school you can sign up for emailed letters home.

PotteringAlong Sun 30-Mar-14 08:40:02

How bad would it look, giving out paper copies to the students without internet access and not to the others?

There would soon be complaints about that one.

Normalisavariantofcrazy Sun 30-Mar-14 08:40:17

Paper letters are good for the kids to teach them some responsibility.

I prefer to get a paper letter because I Cba to check the school website for updates, and don't check my emails regularly

hippoinamudhole Sun 30-Mar-14 08:41:38

We use a combination of paper and text messages.

But unfortunately there are parents who ignore whatever you try. Even things like parents evening get ignored

Nennypops Sun 30-Mar-14 08:41:49

YANBU. DS had a phase of not getting homework in on time and the school had a practice of sending "letters of concern" which would arrive by post around 10 days later. By that time, the work would have been done and we would have a pointless discussion trying to work out which piece of work it was, whether it was late and if so why, whether his excuses held water etc. Whereas if they had emailed or texted me, I would have grounded him/stood over him till it was done (or established that it actually had been and the teacher had lost it, which happened more than once) and I could actually have done something effective about it.

What really bugs me is that the school calls itself a Maths and IT college, ffs. They won't use emails for other areas where it would be useful either, e.g. to organise parents' evening appointments. It never seems to me a great advert for their IT status.

HowContraryMary Sun 30-Mar-14 08:42:09

There is also the cost factor of getting something like Fronter or Parent Portal integrated into the school MIS system. The school has to rent that package.

Sparklingbrook Sun 30-Mar-14 08:42:45

School letters are emailed to me because I signed up to receive them that way. You can ask for a paper copy if you want one.

DS2 has a plastic folder in his bag that he puts things to be brought home in so they aren't scrumpled up.

Sparklingbrook Sun 30-Mar-14 08:43:32

Oh and we get a text saying 'School Newsletter out today'.

capsium Sun 30-Mar-14 08:45:50

Once a computerised system is up and running though it is cheaper for the school, with less admin. Think less photocopying, paper usage and hand outs.

Our school have done this. You have to request paper copies.

Parliamo Sun 30-Mar-14 08:46:11

We get both, although not always by email. I would say the majority of parents on the playground are more likely to get/ read letters than emails. They did an email about non school uniform for children in need and loads of kids turned up in uniform, so not everyone gets them. But then dd1 is reception and we still would check her book bag every day anyway. Maybe I'll feel differently when she's bigger!

But who wants to check the school website everyday? More frigging passwords/ usernames to forget.

Sparklingbrook Sun 30-Mar-14 08:48:21

People should read their emails. If they have given school their email address they may just get emails from them. shock

The text thing is great. We get reminded of everything from dress down days to parents evening by text.

RustyBear Sun 30-Mar-14 08:48:31

PotteringAlong - that's exactly what we do, what on earth is wrong with that? We have never, as far as I know had a complaint and it's at least 3 years now. We have ParentMail, which provides a list of children whose parents aren't registered and they get a paper copy. Nobody, not even the secretary, knows whether it's because they 'don't have the internet', the most common reason seems to be that their printer is broken....

thereinmadnesslies Sun 30-Mar-14 08:48:40

We get letters sent by email, but then we have to print them out to fill and out return the reply slip. It's really annoying because I can't print directly from my iPad (old printer), so it takes ages to start my laptop and print the letter.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sun 30-Mar-14 08:49:23

Your schools have websites? <faints>

Our kids write notices in their diaries, we sign it to say we've read it.

The notices themselves are read out, to the class, by a designated member of staff and the teacher present in the room at the time has to sign the register confirming she was present when Notice n 345 was read out. Then signs the notice.

(I don't live in North Korea, no) grin

Doesn't waste paper though. Or have us having to fanny round on t'web.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Sun 30-Mar-14 08:49:32

We send texts but contact details are not always up to date. I prefer the paper copy, tbh.

MidniteScribbler Sun 30-Mar-14 08:49:35

Schools can't win. If they go electronic for everything, there'll always be someone who complains they don't have the internet/computer/etc. If you stick to paper there will be those complaining that they think the schools are environmentally unfriendly, waste of time, etc.

Surely it's just common sense to check your child's school bag each afternoon to see if there's anything in there?

agnesf Sun 30-Mar-14 08:50:27

Our last school we could opt for paper or email. There is no shame in getting a paper copy. What bugs me is that there is no option to get it electronically.

DS at another school - once a week we get an email which lists all letters home that week with copies to web links to said letters. Its effeicient, works and is modern.

I don't get the argument that it costs money to set up such a system. How much money is it costing for staff to print them all out, photocopying them, printer ink, toner cartridges etc?

EdithWeston Sun 30-Mar-14 08:50:29


The statistics about those who do no have home Internet are way higher thn I expected.

It is the 'chaotic' families which tend not to have it. They may or may not pay any attention to printed letters, but I cannot see how removing their information flow by switching to a means they do not have will do anything except reinforce the disadvantage of some pupils.

Just because OP does not kow any does not mean that they do not exist.

Schools have to think of their whole (current and future) population.

Sparklingbrook Sun 30-Mar-14 08:51:26

I think if parents don't keep their contact details up to date with the school they can't moan if they don't get the texts. <harsh>

EdithWeston Sun 30-Mar-14 08:51:59

X-ed with OP's last!

If the school does not have the staff resources to run two systems in parallel, then I can see why they opt for the inclusive one.

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