We compare Classlist versus other PTA events and messaging platforms


Looking for an app that’s a one-stop-shop for parent association messaging AND events? Classlist is the only community-first, fully inclusive choice. 

What does Classlist do?

Parents can join your school’s private Classlist community on the app or a web browser without sharing their phone number or email address. They can find each other by searching by child's name. 

A news feed and events calendar keeps parents up to speed with school events and news, and app notifications will alert them when there are fresh updates. They can join year groups, class / form, or interest-based groups that span year groups and develop the broader school community.

Your whole school community ‘lives’ in Classlist, so when you want to promote an event and sell tickets, your audience is already there!  You can reach all your parents in one go, any time of the day or night.

Classlist can be set up and launched in 15 minutes.  Generate a QR code invitation to give or send to parents and you'll have hundreds of members within days.

As new families join the school, you can invite them to join your community on Classlist and they will automatically start to receive your messages and invitations. You don’t have to manage a separate list of parent details to use the events platform.

Best app for school events

If you are currently using a website-based events platform you will be amazed by how much easier it is for your parents to use an app to get comms and pay for events. You can send a newsletter or an event invitation and they will get an app notification. They don’t need to go to yet another website.

In a couple of clicks, they can purchase cashless, paperless tickets on the app without needing to log in each time, or add their email and name. So, it is much easier for parents to pay than in other event platforms. RSVPs are automatically managed for the event organiser. Volunteers can be found and sign up to help for events using Classlist.

Emails from many event ticket websites and providers often go to email promotions or spam folders - meaning your parents won't necessarily hear about your event.  By contrast, Classlist has a sophisticated email delivery system with very high delivery rates, as well as app notifications - so no-one needs to miss out on hearing about your event.

Why public social media isn’t inclusive enough for PTAs

Some parents aren’t able or willing to share their phone numbers, which are displayed publicly on WhatsApp. Families in the military or police, doctors and teachers, or families with complicated circumstances are unlikely to want to join. If there is even one family in your class or school who can't join WhatsApp because they can't share their phone number, then it isn't fair if you rely on WhatsApp to get information out, because you are excluding that family.

Facebook groups have previously been used by some PTAs but an increasing number of parents aren’t comfortable using this platform.

Why PTAs can’t use emails to contact parents

Parent associations generally stopped using email lists to contact parents when GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into force in May 2018. As a data controller, the PTA has a legal responsibility to manage personal data from parents securely, including obligations to delete data; to let parents know what personal data is held about them, and report data breaches. Because email lists are typically kept on individual computers, managed by individuals who may not have GDPR training, it became very challenging to comply with these conditions. Use of mailer engines such as Mailchimp can help, but PTAs then need to let parents know platforms they use, and whether for example personal data is processed in the US. They would also need to show evidence of parents consenting to this.

A comparison of what the four platforms offer

Feature Classlist PTA Events Facebook WhatsApp
Parent finder with pupil name
Community management
Integrated payments
Volunteer management
Optional map for lift-shares
Year / interest group messaging
Topic-based newsfeed
Customisable notifications
PTA website
(Feb 2022)
Create and send newsletter via app
Weekly email digest
Built in parent data management and updating process
Cost Free with ads Free Free with ads Free

Are you on Classlist yet?

Classlist's award-winning parent communications app is the safer alternative to public social networks. It's easy to set up! Be amongst more than 400,000 parents using Classlist in 30+ countries. Get started today!

Find your school