Newsletter

Classlist Roundup: January 2021 – Share In Our Growing Success

Own shares in Classlist
In this issue:
A chance to own shares in Classlist: Upcoming investment opportunity
Welcoming New Schools: From Singapore to Scotland
Product Updates: Improvements in groups and comments
WhatsApp:  new rules risk more parents being left out
Lockdown loneliness: Four ways Parent Associations can help
‘Family Links’ webinars: Family emotional health and wellbeing
Fight the digital divide: A use for old devices
Remote working for PTA Teams: Some ideas

Own a share in Classlist for as little as £10

Classlist has in just five years become the UK market leader in building school parent communities, with over 300,000 users.  Your contribution as an Ambassador/Rep has been at the heart of this success.

Building on your hard work and feedback the app has grown to include events, marketplace, fundraising, volunteering and more. We have flagship schools in 14 countries, with parents adopting Classlist from Singapore to New York.

We are:

  • now raising investment to reach more schools, in more countries.
  • partnering with Crowdcube, the biggest UK crowdfunding investment platform.

You can own a share of Classlist for as little as £10!  Parents will have special access to buy shares in Classlist when the investment round launches privately on Tuesday 26th January. It will open to the public a couple of days later.

More news on this shortly – but if you would like more info right away click below!
Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Please Invest Aware

Welcoming schools from Scotland to Singapore

United World College Singapore
Over the break schools have been launching Classlist worldwide. A special welcome to the Ambassadors and Reps of three schools in Singapore – United World College, Dover Court International School and the Australian International School, ranked by the Good Schools Guide as 3 of the top 5 international schools in the country. These very large schools have wonderfully active communities with parent groups for sports, ongoing education, shared interests – and currently lots of virtual events.
On this side of the globe, parent councils have been busy on-boarding Scottish schools to Classlist, with over twenty joining in the last few weeks. We were charmed to hear about Duck Races, a Scottish “Poohsticks”, where children jump in the river in wellies to launch plastic ducks, with parents safely on the banks sipping coffee and urging them on. To be resumed post-Lockdown.
So many great ideas from new schools. Our recent blog on community groups has some suggestions on making a success of your community groups – you don’t have to wait for lockdown to end for that to be useful!

Product updates: Improvements in groups and comments

Our software developers have been busy with continued improvements to Classlist.
They also include upgrades to groups such as
  • the ability to set a logo for each year and class to personalise them
  • improved display of group logos
  • notifications for Ambassadors when new groups are created
  • easier for Ambassadors to edit community group details and admins
We’ve also enabled
  • adding photos to comments
  • replying to specific comments

WhatsApp: new rules risk more parents being left out

Recent headlines about WhatsApp forcing users to share data – including phone numbers – with Facebook have caused alarm in the media and amongst some parent groups. Some parents may now be unwilling to join or stick with existing WhatsApp groups because of these new concerns. Another major concern which Ambassadors and school staff have raised for some time is that some parents simply can’t share their phone number with other parents – for reasons of their job or family circumstances. Sometimes those left out of a group need the support of other parents the most.

One headteacher told us “It isn’t fair for parents to be left out of class or school related discussion or activities just because they can’t join a class WhatsApp group. We prefer an inclusive app like Classlist that all parents can join, even if they need to keep their number private”.

Six connections to reduce loneliness

Loneliness is increasing due to the rise in working from home – magnified by the pandemic. A December 2020 global study commissioned by the neighbourhood app Nextdoor found that knowing as few as six neighbours reduces the likelihood of loneliness. Our own Classlist survey also showed parents trust fellow school parents even more than their neighbours.

Another interesting fact is that the Financial Times recently reported that working mums have found it particularly difficult to find work during the pandemic.  So building a network of six school connections could be could be really valuable.

This is where Parent Associations can help right now. In a normal year you would be busy arranging Spring and Summer parent activities: and there’s no substitute for school gate interactions and events for building personal relationships. But you can still help organise alternatives offering much needed support and friendship for your parents.  Read more about our 4 easy ways to tackle loneliness in your community.

Supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of families

Image of parent with child

These are challenging times for the emotional health of children too. Inevitably, there is an impact on our family relationships. However there are tips and strategies that you can start using right away to support yourself and your loved ones.

‘Family Links’ has over 20 years of experience and has reached over 219,000 parents with its programmes. In the current situation, they have developed webinars to support parents/ carers and children that can be accessed by anyone, anywhere. Topics covered:

  • Managing difficult feelings
  • Developing emotional resilience
  • Understanding Teenagers
  • Managing boundariesIf you would like to find out more, visit the Family Links website.

Help fight the digital divide: A use for old devices

Image of parent with child

Children without laptops or internet are getting left behind whilst having to learn remotely. ‘Keep Kids Connected’ in South London are fighting digital poverty and they need your help. Working with local schools in the London boroughs of Kingston, Merton and Wandsworth, they are able to get tech to the kids that really need it, and re-homed over 1,000 devices in 2020.

So, how can you help? If you live in one of the 3 boroughs ask parents if they have an old device (8 years or under) no longer needed. ‘Keep Kids Connected’ volunteers can come and collect it. They will wipe the data, refurbish and re-home it within Kingston, Merton or Wandsworth. Click here for more info.

Don’t live in South London? Help by donating items via the ‘Keep Kids Connected’ Amazon Wish List here: Or, look for similar schemes in your local area to share with your parents – there are lots starting up as a result of the pandemic.

Remote working for PTA teams: some ideas

Here at Classlist we’ve become fully virtual – like Parent Associations  – and have been trying out different team activities to keep our team connected. Here are a couple of ideas which have worked:
  • Weekly Fri-YAY sessions. Each week we pose a fun social question and share responses on a group video call at 4.45 every Friday afternoon.  From “my favourite film moment” to “my worst cooking disaster”. It’s a great way for us to have fun, stay connected and learn a bit more about each other, especially when newcomers have never met other team members in person!
  • A step fitness competition, with team and individual goals. A bit more traditional but all helps work off holiday treats and gets us outside in the bleak midwinter.
Why not try these activities or something else with your parent association or other school parent groups?    Let us know what you’re getting up to!

Keep your community going

For those of us in the UK, Lockdown 3 is in some ways harder than 1 or 2 because things were finally starting to move forward: then suddenly stopped. School leaders tell us they are desperate to re-open their schools, and welcome their parent community back for real, in-person events.
With the vaccination programme rolling out and clearing skies ahead, you have a vital role to play keeping parents engaged and positive. Some PTAs are already looking forward and planning good things for later in 2021. It’s so important to keep the community drumbeat going meanwhile.
Please do keep sending us your ideas for how to keep parent communities thriving during these unique times!  We love hearing from you.
Whilst we are all working from home, we are very much still here for you – let our friendly Help Team know if you have a question. And if you are new and would like a demo see here.
Susan and Clare
Classlist Founders

About the author

Clare Wright

Clare Wright

Clare, co-founder at Classlist, is the number one Ambassador champion within Classlist, and has years of PTA experience!