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(15 Posts)
TogetherWeMake Fri 27-Nov-15 20:24:23

Hi there, wondering if any of you can offer suggestions or share your experiences of different ways parents communicate outside the playground? I mean about school issues, or events that are happening, or ideas, etc. (other than email or google group)
We had a big situation blow up about the school flu imms programme this week & it highlighted the need to have a system or a place or a way parents can exchange ideas & info.
Not sure if it's significant to the discussion but there are only 60 or so kids in our school.

sky1010 Fri 27-Nov-15 20:31:48

The parents at my school have a Whatsapp group:

Fizrim Fri 27-Nov-15 20:36:50

FB group - it's for the PTA originally but is used for general questions (is it dress up day today?) as well.

writingonthewall Fri 27-Nov-15 21:31:00

If such a small school then maybe just emails cc'd to all?

TogetherWeMake Fri 27-Nov-15 21:51:29

Thanks SKY1010, FIZRIM & WRITINGONTHEWALL The problem kicked off cos an email went round to all the parents & some parents felt like it was a data infringement or invasion of privacy or some such nonsense. Email is out. A FB group was set up last year but nobody EVER used it.
A whatsapp group might work but then everyone needs to have a smart phone to be on it & there are some anti-tech mums.

lrb978 Fri 27-Nov-15 22:10:07

Was the data infringement because all email addresses were seen by all? If so, it is easily rectified still using email, just send it using the BCC option. BCC stands for blind carbon copy and means that the email addresses cannot be seen by other recipients. And to be fair, I wouldn't be overly impressed for my email to be given to 60 families out of my control.

BackforGood Fri 27-Nov-15 22:54:17

I was thinking the same as Irb978
Surely if you send an e-mail to any group, then you put everyone's addresses in BCC - that's a very, very basic thing to do.

Are you talking about the school sending info out, or about parents discussing things, as I see them as 2 completely separate things.

TogetherWeMake Sat 28-Nov-15 07:35:30

The bcc thing is a good point. All addresses were seen by all BUT in sept every year we give our info to the school & they print a list of all our names addresses phone nos & emails &give each family the list (with the agreement that it's not to be used for commercial purposes, which in this case it wasn't). But apparently some were sensitive about the info actually being used. Maybe the topic of the email was the problem as it was a discussion about immunisation which people can get exercised about!
The school uses the list to send out info & historically the parents haven't really used it

AuntieStella Sat 28-Nov-15 07:43:07

The school should not be circulating a list of parental contact details unless the parents have opted in.

And as it's a PITA to check each time who has opted in or out, using BCC is the straightforward way of emailing groups whilst protecting individual privacy.

Using other platforms doesn't work, as not everyone uses the same ones. For example, I've never been on FB and don't want to be. I'd take missing social communications from other parents on the chin, but would find it totally unacceptable if a school tried to force me to join or miss announcements.

BackforGood Sat 28-Nov-15 13:26:40

I think the school are on very dodgy ground issuing other families' contact details to the whole of the rest of the school, however small the school is shock. Surely there are data protection issues there. How clear do they make it that this is something you can opt in to if you would like to ?

TeenAndTween Sat 28-Nov-15 15:03:15

Agree bcc is the way to go for sending info out by email.

Our school also uses parent text for reminders, and twitter for casual.

VocationalGoat Sat 28-Nov-15 15:07:07

Don't you have class reps as go betweens? They communicate with the class regarding all class and pertinent school issues via email. This opens up dialogue if you wish for that.

VocationalGoat Sat 28-Nov-15 15:10:33

60 kids... So a new school.
Two parents volunteer as class reps and meet with the teacher and head from time to time. They will have a class list and email stuff like homework issues, mufti day reminders, how to opt in/opt out of the school based flu immunisations. They'll remind parents of important upcoming dates for school. Basically they are class secretaries and as I said, go betweens/communicators.

Fizrim Tue 01-Dec-15 09:29:06

I've never had the other parent's contact details from the school - the juniors won't even give you a class list of the pupil's names! They need to have an opt out system for the information, even if it's a small area where everyone knows each other they should not be circulating personal details like that!

DD's current school uses Parent Mail, which is an email system but no, you don't see everyone else's email address and that should not happen at all.

Urgent message are sent by text to mobile phones, eg clubs cancelled on the day or school trips running late. Do they use that at all? Although it is so small they could possibly ring everyone affected on the day.

The school are completely in the wrong on this one. When you give your information each year do they have any clauses about data protection or what they'll use the information for? Because they should! They need to urgently overhaul their procedures which will be difficult because they've already put the information out there.

BathTangle Tue 01-Dec-15 09:36:09

vocationalgoat why does 60 kids = new school? Our local school gas that many kids and is nearly 300 years old!!

Anyway: I know where you are coming from OP. It is tricky: some schools use PTA as a forum for such discussions: class reps take parent views and they are debated with school leadership team. Others just have informal parent email discussions. Neither is perfect!

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