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To think a school should be capable of including more than one parent per child in its text message service?

(58 Posts)
FetchezLaVache Wed 16-Nov-16 13:55:01

Just that, really! ExH asked to be added to the school text message system, which they did - only they didn't tell him that he would be replacing me on the system as they can only send out to one parent per child. So DS ends up being the only child in uniform when they text out about an impromptu non-uniform day at short notice, for instance (ExH didn't think to let me know because as far as he was aware, I would have received the same message myself).

So I rang up and asked to be put back on the system, but the only way they can do that, apparently, is by bumping ExH back off it.

Is it me or is this bollocks?? He needs to know this stuff too as he has DS a couple of nights a week and is very involved. Sure, I could just forward him each message as it arrives, but honestly, I'm likely to forget why can't they just send the same message to both of us?

What systems do your kids' schools have? If it's relevant, it's a primary school of about 300 pupils. And should I complain to the head about it?

ragz134 Wed 16-Nov-16 14:00:48

DH and I both get the texts here, so I guess it varies. YANBU.

MauiChristmas Wed 16-Nov-16 14:02:36

We have similar issues with DSCs school - they only seem to be able to email or notify one household of up coming activities meaning DH misses out on most parents evenings, plays, photos etc etc.

Trifleorbust Wed 16-Nov-16 14:02:51

If that is the capability of the system they have (and there is no reason why they would lie) then YABU - what do you expect them to do?

fraggle84 Wed 16-Nov-16 14:02:59

Our school system only allows one phone number per child it's ridiculous

AllPowerfulLizardPerson Wed 16-Nov-16 14:05:35

In terms of tech it's bollocks.

In terms of the service delivery contracted school has with the bulk text provider, it may well not be.

WhatHaveIFound Wed 16-Nov-16 14:07:26

Primary school was one phone number per child - DH complains he never knows what's going on.

High school - Both parents & pupil on the system - DH complains he gets too many texts!

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 16-Nov-16 14:07:45

Ours costs approx 7p per number per text (I know this because when the PTA want to send one they bill us). So naturally they only want to send it once per family.

MooseAndSquirrel Wed 16-Nov-16 14:10:47

We have an app, i assume other schools use it as we have to put in a pin when setting it up. Means I have it on my phone and DD has it on her tablet, so one of us will remember the random non uniform/cakes sales.

Pythonesque Wed 16-Nov-16 14:11:11

I would expect the school to feed back to the provider that their system is not fit for purpose. How else will the constructors of such things get the message they have to do better?

Trifleorbust Wed 16-Nov-16 14:15:12

I think if you admit that you're likely to forget to forward the messages on, it's a little unreasonable of you to make out the school needs to prioritise this issue to the extent of paying for a whole new system of technology. Yes, it's crap, but you and your ex need to communicate.

ego147 Wed 16-Nov-16 14:17:59

I told school this.The head said that would mean that their contract would cost more as they would have to send out to more people.

It's not very inclusive of parents who are separated and who want to be informed.

ninja Wed 16-Nov-16 14:20:24

I agree it's crap and I'm sorry the OP is right, it is a RIGHT that both parents of kids in separated families get the information - those of you who are saying that she should pass on the information just think how this could be abused in a EA situation.

I suspect that it's a cost situation on the school's behalf and if you complain a little bit more it will all be sorted out.

I have it sorted for texts now, and parent pay except for the messages but it's taken a while and is very frustrating.

IPokeBadgers Wed 16-Nov-16 14:22:33

Work in a school with approx. 1800 pupils: only one parent/guardian per child on the school email comms system. I have had many irate/miffed parents on the phone about it. All I know is it is very much down to the cost/ due to whatever the contract is with the service provider.

BrieAndChilli Wed 16-Nov-16 14:25:09

We use an app called schoop - you sign up to receive alerts for your child's year group and then it gets sent out, means anyone can sign up if they have the pin - both parents, grandparents etc.
We also have a weekly newsletter that is emailed out to whoever is on the list. Both me and DH receive this also.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Wed 16-Nov-16 14:25:18

I would expect the school to feed back to the provider that their system is not fit for purpose. How else will the constructors of such things get the message they have to do better?

They may well have done, but that doesn't meant the provider will actually change it. They may say that it's not in demand enough, or that it's just not something they are interested in adding. If they are in a long contract with the school, they might simply not care, as they are getting the money anyway.

gigglingHyena Wed 16-Nov-16 14:46:39

Ours is some sort of package deal, so they pay for a maximum number of phone numbers to be on the system rather than per text. I don't think there's any technical reason you can't have more than one number per child, but it would bump up the cost per year. With the budget so stretched I can see why schools might decided one number per child covers them.

What frustrates me is since we've had the text system in place we seem to have lost all other planning in advance. So many things are just sent out by text the day before. Grrr.

golfbuggy Wed 16-Nov-16 14:55:56

Same system here. It was explained to me as the school system only allows for texting/emailing every contact on the system or simply the primary contact. And since not every contact on the system (some for example will be emergency contacts only) wants the texts/emails they only text/email the primary. It makes sense if that is the system limitation (although I agree it would be nice if they changed it).

halcyondays Wed 16-Nov-16 14:56:23

Ours used to text both parents, now they only do one. I assume down to cost.

Trifleorbust Wed 16-Nov-16 15:01:31

Unfortunately if the system doesn't allow for it and they can't afford to upgrade it, they will just have to suck it up. The OP admits it's nothing to do with not being in contact with her ex, she just forgets. Her problem, I think

FetchezLaVache Wed 16-Nov-16 15:13:56

Thanks for all the replies - it's nice to know most people don't think IABU!

Seems like there are lots of different systems out there, so I think I'll try and find out what kind our school has got. Re cost, that's obviously a fair point, but it just makes it all the more annoying that they send out messages warning us that it's windy and to be careful, repeated links to the deputy head's London Marathon Just Giving page and passive-aggressive thanks to the parents who make the effort to get their kids to school on time...

Yes, ExH was EA so I'd rather not have to contact him more than necessary, especially as he has a tendency to shoot the messenger!

Trifleorbust Wed 16-Nov-16 15:16:34

Maybe schools should revert to a newsletter or just announcements on the website - a lot simpler than navigating the complexities of family relationships where the 'contact' might be either parent, step parent, GPs, aunts, uncles and family friends confused

steppemum Wed 16-Nov-16 15:26:11

Our school insisted one parent per child for years. Then I was away for a week, out of the country and dd didn't get picked up when a club was cancelled. They suddenly found that they were able to add dh to the system and we are now both on.

I think they now allow it for all parents but it took a lot of pressure.

Keep on at the school, this is basic really, dh and I both work, and one day he is 'on call' for kids and another day it is me.

steppemum Wed 16-Nov-16 15:29:25

should just add, when I am working, my phone is off, so I can't pass messages to dh.
If dh was the primary contact, sometimes he is other side of the world, asleep when the text comes in.

LurkingHusband Wed 16-Nov-16 15:32:13

Is such a system compatible with the needs of less able parents - who might need a text for information, but for a carer to receive a text to act on ?

Also the fact the OP said the recipient of the text was able to be changed without their knowledge is - at best poor - and at worst suggestive of a potential failure in safeguarding ?

I have spent 30 years fighting against crap systems. And sometimes it seems every day was wasted.

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