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To be p*ssed off with Parentmail?

(19 Posts)
Liltzero Sun 06-Jul-14 20:16:23

The DS's school has just had an upgrade to Parentmail foisted upon it. The previous version worked fine. You received an email, opened the email, read the cover note and opened and read any attachments. If you wanted this could all be achieved on your phone quickly and easily.

Now we receive an email to say there is a message in Parentmail. You then have to go to the Parentmail website and enter your username and password. Next step is to open the new message, read the cover note and the download and read any attachments.

This additional step of having to go online is having a detrimental effect on school communications with a lot of parents not being bothered with the fuss of going to the website to log on and read the message.

Apparently the Parentmail argument that this new way of working is more secure, but how much security is necessary for school notices about sports day, term dates etc? In any case email is secure in itself.

Anyway rant over. I'd be interested I hearing others' view.

oxfordmumma1 Sun 06-Jul-14 20:20:06

I hate parentmail too. To me it just seems like a way of printing costs being passed onto parents. Ie school trips etc.
My dc also missed out on clubs as they were sent via parentmail whilst in hospital. I would have seen a paper copy butnot an email.

Pico2 Sun 06-Jul-14 20:20:16

I don't have a school aged child, but that sounds crap.

Wolfiefan Sun 06-Jul-14 20:22:15

We have parentmail. It comes through as an email. No need to go onto a website or enter any details.
My DS is rubbish at bringing letters home so I like it!

Hailtotheking Sun 06-Jul-14 20:24:07

hate it, the old way was fine, but now it just is so annoying, glad she leaves soon and that will be the end of it

Didyouevah Sun 06-Jul-14 20:30:26

Same as wolfiefan. Love it.

Would be pissed off about logging in etc.

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 06-Jul-14 20:36:50

We have the normal parentmail from both schools and it's fine. I certainly prefer it to paper letters which rarely made it home. I can forward the attachments directly to our home printer when we need to complete and sign a paper form.

Having to log in to a website each time sounds faffy and annoying.

TeenAndTween Sun 06-Jul-14 21:27:00

We have normal parent mail.
If I had to faff about logging in etc. I probably wouldn't bother.

CycleChic Thu 28-Aug-14 12:57:17

We have this new "secure" way.

What's even more annoying is that not all schools in my city have the new (broken!) system!

FryOneFatManic Thu 28-Aug-14 13:02:48

We've got the upgraded parentmail as well, at least for DS's primary. He's now Y6 so only one more year then he goes to DD's school which uses the schoolcomms system, where you get an email and open the attachment, with no website to register at.

phantomnamechanger Thu 28-Aug-14 16:13:07

Oh god, I am dreading back to school for exactly this reason. Our school "upgraded" their parentmail just before the end of term and I stopped getting any texts, only emails. I don't have email on my phone. I had previously been getting texts to both my old and new phone. Could not log on as it was telling me, "sorry, someone else already uses this email/mobile number". Yes, me!

twas a right royal cock up and it is still not sorted between the school or parent mail (who at first were all, the school will sort this for you - but school were adamant - it's all fine yes we have your correct details). the trouble was the school had my email/mobile as 2 different accounts. It was, allegedly, all sorted in the end. But I'm still getting NO phone texts.

And yes, the logging in to a website to see the message is also a total PITA!! Security my arse, NOTHING personal or sensitive ever goes out this way, so who cares if some random pick-pocket sees a reminder about non uniform day or the summer fair!

Minisoksmakehardwork Fri 29-Aug-14 09:21:08


Minisoksmakehardwork Fri 29-Aug-14 09:22:20

Our school still sends out paper copies. If we need another we pop to the office and if wanted the secretary will email it to us. But standard issue is paper in book bag.

Small school though so maybe that helps.

awsomer Fri 29-Aug-14 10:11:19

Schools are under so much pressure to cover themselves in hundreds of different ways with regards to security, which can lead to really silly situations like this.

Write to the school explaining your frustration over the new system and concern that it is actually detrimental to parent-school liaison. But you'll need to come across as understanding of the need for security; perhaps word it in a way where you suggest a revert to the old system, as it it fulfilling it's role of communication more successfully than the new (which after all is it's primary function and should be the priority when evaluating which version of the system is best) but that to overcome the security issues a waver should be signed by parents agreeing to an understanding and awareness of this. Additionally, the school could come to an agreement over what details are passed on via Parentmail (Sports Day notices, etc) but that more sensitive information (new staff lists maybe?) be sent out as paper copies.

Unless their issues with security are actually about viruses being spread via email? In which case you probably have no hope convincing them to revert to the old way!

Idontseeanysontarans Fri 29-Aug-14 10:24:13

Out school got so pissed off with parent mail they switched to WisePay smile. The system started sending out 5 or 6 texts to every phone and the attachments never worked properly do after a year of complaints they ditched it thank God!

Kimaroo Fri 29-Aug-14 10:24:37

Yes, I didn't like the new version but now I have downloaded the app I am permanently logged in. Hopefully the school will continue to prompt me via my email that there is a message to read because it's not part of my routine to go to the app unprompted yet.

And absolutely fine that the school save on printing costs! One sheet of paper and ink to us is negligible but to the school it is a major cost! Besides, many times I have just put a form in the recycling because it doesn't concern us. Also saves on photocopying and distribution time.

redskybynight Fri 29-Aug-14 10:27:15

We can do either ... I like logging into the system because that way you can check that you haven't missed any messages, it often seemed that parents in the playground knew about things that I didn't !

tittifilarious Fri 29-Aug-14 12:24:32

I don't "get" Parentmail. Do schools pay to use it? Why is it better than just sending emails directly from school? Someone still has to type and upload the message don't they?

I understand the plus pay bit of it, but I distinctly remember at the introductory talk being told that as the school was charged per transaction, one big transaction was preferred to lots of small ones. I think this is why the school only uses it for dinner money and after school club payments - they still use cheques for everything else. And I have a bundle of issues about how they handle cheques. Apparently it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to send one cheque in to cover 4 things. No actually it isn't - you're just incompetent and can't allocate sums to cost centres I've done it hundreds of times

Villager21 Fri 11-Sep-15 21:02:14

Parentmail seems to have become an insane concept. They send you an email to tell you that you have a message. Why just deliver the message? It is akin to the postman hammering on your door to tell you that he has an important letter for you but he won't give it to you, instead he's going to take it away and you now have to drive to the nearest postoffice to collect it.

It's absolutely useless and has effectively destroyed all communication at my son's school. I'm now in the situation where every term I ask for paper copies of everything because it's more reliable and faster than using parent mail.

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