Facts regarding automated messaging and Groupcall
I would be very surprised to find out that the 2000 student school is Essex is a customer of Groupcall, because our messaging system does not sent messages to parents automatically and never has done. I completely agree with you that human intervention is important here and that has always been our view.
It is also worth mentioning that the Messenger system runs locally in school and looks at real-time attendance information. Schools can search on specific attendance codes (usually 'N') to bring up a list of students marked unauthorised absent. Therefore, if students were marked correctly in the register as legitimately off-site, they would NOT come up in this type of search and therefore not be 'pinged'. I can only imagine that the system being used in that school was not looking at real-time MIS data.
Unfortunately, all systems are not the same and I am sorry that the school had a bad experience of this type of technology, but it does work and I am not saying that because I am MD of Groupcall, I am saying it because hundreds of schools have proven it to work over 7 years.