During the Covid-19 pandemic, most schools had to recur to digital tools to complete some of their daily processes as opposed to completing them on their premises where admin staff, teachers, students, and their families could easily come together. With restrictions easing and schools returning to in-person teaching, the digital management of some of these processes proved to be more convenient and beneficial compared to traditional ways, for example completing school payments on an online platform as opposed to in person, using cash or cheques. However, there is still an ongoing discourse on virtual parents’ evening and whether it’s worth keeping it online, going back to in-person meetings, or taking a hybrid approach.
What schools think
So, is there still a demand for virtual parents’ evening? The answer is yes – there are many advantages to hosting parents’ evenings virtually, and schools are finding it quite successful even though self-isolation is no longer a national requirement.
Tes Magazine have recently spoken to some school staff members to compare the pros and cons of virtual parents’ evening. Tom Shrimpling commented: “Even though face-to-face meetings can happen now, as a school, we’ve decided to keep working through the portal. To keep the conversations succinct and focused, parents receive a short, written outline of the pupil’s strengths and areas for development: this helps to frame the conversation.”
Liz Laybourn, Head at Burgess Hill Girls, also spoke highly about virtual parents’ evening to Independent Education Today: “Staff could do the whole thing at their kitchen table and not have to wait considerable time for their last parent who was still working their way around the hall meeting other staff. Meetings became focused, uninterrupted and specific to the individual child. We have also seen a boost in attendance since we have gone online, and it has made everything more trackable too.”
Undeniably, there are benefits to both ways of hosting this event. Hosting parents’ evening physically allows parents and guardians to build relationships with each other and get a first-hand feel of their children’s learning environment. However, we believe that the virtual parents’ evening platform not only brings more benefits for both parents and staff, it also doesn’t have to be used exclusively for these meetings. Check out our blog to get some inspiration from our schools to creatively make the platform work all year round.
As pictured below, our statistics (up to 6th December) show that virtual parents’ evening was still quite popular in 2022 with over 1 million minutes spent on video calls through our platform, the busiest time being between February and March.
If you wish to have a glimpse of how our Virtual Parents’ Evening tool works, watch the video below and book a demo to get started!
Should you go virtual?
If you have tried virtual parents’ evening before and it’s been a success, we’d strongly suggest keeping it going, for an outstanding increase in attendance rates, allowing your teachers to manage their time and breaks more efficiently, and to avoid overlapping between appointment, which is a common challenge in parents’ evenings in school. If you have never tried virtual parents’ evening, get in touch with our team – make this important event in the academic year less stressful for your entire school community!