Monday 23 October 2017

7 out of 10 teachers think the internet could help improve communications with parents

71pc of teachers feel that a secure internet 'parent portal', where parents could see details about their child's schooling, would improve school-to-parent communication,according to a survey of 5805 teachers released today by leading educational ICT provider itslearning (

In the survey of teachers in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the US, 75pc of teachers also rated parental engagement as either 'important' or 'very important' for the success of a child's education. However, 44pc said they didn't have the time or means to communicate with parents as much as they would like.

"Teachers agree that involving parents is critical,but they aren't able to communicate with parents effectively," says Morten Fahlvik, Research Manager at itslearning. "Most teachers speak to parentsat least once a semester. But communication has to occur more often to be really effective. The internet could be the answer - as long as the tool is correctly designed."

How do teachers currently communicate with parents? According to the survey, 46pc of teachers email each of their students' parents at least once a month; 37pc use texts/SMSs and 24pc still send letters.

"Many teachers use a mix of technologies to communicate with parents, but none of them are specifically designed for the task," says Fahlvik. "Teachers want a tool that will improve the flow of information and reduce their workload."

To meet this need, itslearning launched a parent portal last year. As part of the company's cloud-based learning platform, much of the information on the portal - such as grades and attendance - is updated automatically to save teachers time. Teachers can also add specific information about individual students as required.

"The teachers have been extremely positive," says Fahlvik. "We're now surveying the parents to discover how they feel about the portal."

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