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Truancy management is one of the flavours of the month as OFSTED looks for improvements in this area at every visit. Texting works as follows:
Students who are under scrutiny for truancy (or in some schools all students) have their parent’s or guardian’s mobile number entered into a distribution list in NetMessenger. At a given time, often 9.30 when registration is complete, missing students’ parents are ticked in the list and a standard SMS message is sent to them all with a single stroke. Sometimes the student’s phone is included so that they know that the school knows they are “wagging it”. There’s a case study on this topic from Small Heath School in Birmingham.
Another common use of SMS for schools is broadcasts of snow alerts or other messages to tell students not to come in or to get parents to collect them in a hurry. There’s a case study for that too.
The other thing schools find useful is the ability for parents to text in to the school by sending a message to the school’s Virtual Mobile Number. This looks like a mobile phone number but actually delivers the text to the Fastsms inbox. This can cut down dramatically on phone calls, especially at the start of the day when it is busiest.
The ability to send a text to multiple recipients is used a lot to notify students and/or parents of rehearsals, training, society meetings, anything really where a reminder is appreciated.
This list is by no means exhaustive so if you want to add to it please post a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.