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Five tips for driving parent engagement in your school community

In the average Australian household with children, a mother will work 77 hours a week (20 hours of paid work, 30 hours of household work and 27 hours of childcare), and a father will work 75 hours a week (46 hours of paid work, 16 hours of housework and 13 hours of childcare).

That’s not even taking the commute into account, or trying to squeeze a bit of personal time into an already hectic schedule. Let’s face it: parents and carers are often incredibly time-poor.

But engaging busy parents in the education of their children is often key to academic success. The federal Department of Education has found that “when schools and families work together, children do better, stay in school longer, are more engaged with their school work, go to school more regularly, behave better, and have better social skills”, while parent and carer engagement provided a core theme of the 2018 report produced by David Gonski, ‘Through Growth to Achievement’ (better known as Gonski 2.0).

So how do you balance the busy lives of parents and carers with an increased need for their engagement? Compass provides many tools to make this possible, but the first step is to get parents and carers using Compass. In this blog, we explore a number of tips for driving parent engagement with Compass in your school.

1. Make logging in as simple as possible

Parents and carers can’t use Compass until they’re logged in, so it is important to make it as easy as possible for them to complete this process. The simplest way is to embed a link to your school’s custom login URL on your school website’s homepage.

You can obtain your school’s direct URL login from the Compass School Search page. We recommend embedding the button below with the correct link on your website. This will make it much easier for parents and carers (and staff and students) to navigate directly to your school's Compass account.

Please click here to download high quality copies of these buttons.

2. Promote the new parent overview video

Compass can seem complicated if you’re new to it, and the last thing parents and carers want or need is more complexity to deal with. We’ve been working on a brand new video designed to provide a general overview of Compass to parents and carers, and then direct them to our digital guide to help them get all the tips they need to begin using the app or the portal.

We recommend sharing this video with all new parents and carers within your school community as a simple way to get them on board. Even parents and carers familiar with Compass might learn something new from the video, so make sure they have an opportunity to view it too.

3. Direct parents and carers to the digital parent guide

While we endeavour to make Compass easy and intuitive for parents and carers to use, inevitably there will be questions about how to use the app or the portal to fulfill certain functions. We’ve made sure everything is covered in the digital parent guide.

We recommend including links to the digital guide on your website, so parents are never in doubt if they have questions or concerns relating to how they use Compass.

View the parent guide here.

4. Print or purchase copies of the guide

If you would prefer a physical copy of the parent guide, we have a number of options for schools: print off the guide with your own printer, or purchase glossy printed copies - a great inclusion in your school’s enrollment package, or to have sitting on your admin desk to share with parents throughout the year.

5. Update your school’s phone voice message

You may wish to update your school’s voice message to include an alert prompting parents to navigate to Compass for tasks such as logging an attendance note. In time, parents will begin to use Compass as their first point of contact for this kind of activity.

Something as small as encouraging parents to navigate to Compass for events payments or attendance notes will ultimately bring them closer to interacting with the app for the things that really matter, such as tracking students academic performance.

If you’d like more information or ideas, chat with our consulting team today!

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