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MIS Systems Thread, Schools using Text messaging - average message numbers per year? in Technical; We're pondering text messaging atm. Wondered if anyone would mind giving me some figures to work with? If you're using ...
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    Schools using Text messaging - average message numbers per year?

    We're pondering text messaging atm. Wondered if anyone would mind giving me some figures to work with?

    If you're using text messaging to contact parents, roughly how many messages (nearest thousand) get sent out per year?

    For how many kids?

    For what things?

    And are your kids Horrible/Average/Pussycats? (with regard to behaviour/attendance/truancy)

    And what's been the average parental response?

    cheers

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @pete:

    We use CallParents which has been fine and is relatively easy to set-up:

    How many messages = cost £2k per annum to date = 6p per txt

    For what things = Everything which involves the parents knowing about

    Our Students are = Average

    Parental response = good

    Good luck




    How many students = 750

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    pete (14th September 2011)

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    WithoutMotive's Avatar
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    We use a service called Teachers2Parents (Teachers 2 Parents).
    Can't give you any figures at the moment but parent response has been excellent.
    We have around 950 pupils.

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    pete (14th September 2011)

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    We use schoolcomms but it's reserved for emergencies only. Comparatively, it's probably one of the most expensive, but we generally only use the email side so it's no biggie.

    It can be very useful, but you need to set guidelines as to exactly what it will be used for, and stick to them, to manage costs. It adds a burden to maintain the mobile contact data which can change a lot. The burden is there anyway, but this highlights it!

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    pete (14th September 2011)

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    GNewnham's Avatar
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    We have 773 pupils in the school and sent 10765 last year. We dont really use for attendance, though - mainly for change of pick up times, sports fixture info, snow or weather alerts etc. It is a facility in iSAMS.

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    pete (14th September 2011)

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    john's Avatar
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    We use ParentMail and that was good value compared to all the others listed above when I looked at it, renewed it for a second year and still got some of my original 10,000 texts left after a year

    We use it for Snow / Weather closures, late buses, parents event reminders, reports being issued and odd fund-raising event that the PTA have run.

    We have just under 500 students.

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    pete (14th September 2011)

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    I hope I'm not classed as advertising here but if I may I'd like to offer some advice.

    Texting is great for emergencies or where you want to get short messages across to parents but it's totally useless where you want to convey more detailed information. It is also really important that schools don't overuse text messaging as our research shows parents become 'text weary' and can fail to spot important messages amongst all the rest! (It also generally* incurs cost each time you send messages).

    This might sound like strange advice from a company that gains some of it's revenue from text messaging, but we're big fans of helping schools to engage their parents and that means 'mixing things up' i.e. using the right communications channel for the right situation, and email for example is much more useful for detailed information.

    After 10 years (next month) in the communications game, we recommend that schools look to vary their approach.

    *A word of caution for schools buying 'unlimited' text bundles for a flat fee ..... please check how many messages you are sending! You may find when you divide your annual premium by the number of messages you actually send, that it is rather more expensive 'per text' than you thought.

    Paul.

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    we use redSMS via their API from a little app based on our MIS database. We tend to buy a block of 10,000 SMS per year which is good enough for us (about £480) 500 students

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    BulkSMS from a spreadsheet app which pulls data from the MIS (CMIS). 2300 students, I'd expect 10000+ SMS sent last year, I think next year will easily double that.

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    38774 text messages since 21/11/2011. Text's are used for school closures, well done messages, missing homework, missing pe kit, 100% attendance, x amount of lates.
    We use SMS Provider | Bulk SMS Software | SMS Marketing | Mediaburst to send our text messages through. It has proved useful as we found we had a 10% fail rate on mobile numbers for our parents. We have 1217 students on role.

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