We speak to Amell Amatino, a PTA Chair at a primary school in London, who talks candidly about getting started with Classlist at her school. A more cautious approach to setting up than some, but then every school community is different! This is what she has to say:
‘When I first came across Classlist I thought it looked good, but I approached it very cautiously. Some parents already had active networks on Facebook and WhatsApp, so I knew there would be resistance to the idea of introducing another website. But the PTA were keen to have just one platform for everything we do, a site that was safe, secure and open to our whole school community.
The PTA were keen to have just one platform for everything we do, a site that was safe, secure and open to our whole school community.
I decided to take a couple of months to do research and see if this really was the right site for us. It had to be easy to use and it had to improve PTA communication. Once I was sure, I got input from the PTA. They liked it, so we did a demo for the class reps and got their feedback. By now it was clear that a whole group of us wanted to use Classlist – we could see it would save us time and admin work and improve communication with the parents.
But we did meet parental resistance. Parents grumbled that it was another online platform to get their heads round and that they hadn’t heard of Classlist. We had to do a lot of talking, explaining the benefits. But, with a slowly, slowly approach, within one month we had 191 members (in a school with 220 children).
It’s already made life easier. Instead of a newsletter where the communication is just one way, we now have two-way conversations with parents.
It’s already made life so much easier. Instead of a newsletter where the communication is just one way, we now have two-way conversations with parents – posting information up to the whole school and getting responses. It’s easier to collect money for events. I know that the more parents use the site, the more benefits we’ll see. I wouldn’t go back to our old systems. And I know the parents like it – because the complaining in the playground has stopped!’