Why Classlist is the Christmas present you didn’t know you needed

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It’s true what they say: the customer is always right. So when we reached out to head teachers and school senior leaders to tell us how they were getting on with Classlist, we wanted to share the gift of their testimonials - just in time for Christmas!

With school leader concerns about the use of WhatsApp on the increase, we’ve found that head teachers fear the spread of misinformation and the reputation damage that can cause.

Classlist is a solution to WhatsApp woes. It’s a more user-friendly version of a parent directory, more inclusive than public social networks and solves the data protection problem of email lists.

Because Classlist is moderated, discussions don’t get out of control, or spread misinformation.

New parents can find other parents easily by searching through the child’s name, or the adult’s photo. They connect without sharing phone numbers or email addresses and join the new community seamlessly, meaning their children integrate more easily.

Parent teacher associations easily communicate with selected audiences - year groups, classes, interest groups. They can organise sell-out fundraising events, securing volunteers, taking cashless payments, selling paperless tickets and with RSVPs managed by the app.

Jennifer Harrell, Communications Chair, Southbank International School said: “Classlist has paid dividends in more ways than expected. It’s far more than a digital parent directory. Not only do we have a more efficient way to welcome new families, we have moved all PTA communications and management of all social clubs and events onto the platform. We are extremely happy with Classlist.”

A controlled social network for schools

In the UK, schools up and down the country and in the state and private sectors agree - Classlist solves the problem around safety and moderating discussions on social networking sites.

Tania Botting, Head, Greenfield School said: “Classlist has been really popular. We use it to target particular groups of parents. They don’t miss out on information; get fewer emails and it moves them away from WhatsApp. The Parent Association and Class Reps find it great for comms and events.”

Tracey Hartley, Headteacher, John Hampden Grammar School said: “We particularly like the positivity it has brought for families, specially during COVID. It has been great for supportive conversations. Parents also use Classlist to arrange lift-sharing, find missing PE kit, and get to know each other. They are less likely to use WhatsApp.”

Rachel Snaith, Bursary and Development Officer, Harrodian School said: “It takes parents off WhatsApp groups and gives us a bit more control. We love it.”

Josephine Marsh, Head Teacher at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Chalfont St Peter said: “We really like Classlist. It’s well controlled: we know who’s on there so it’s a safe environment for parents to share information about the school and their children.”

A dream for parent teacher associations

Classlist provides a one-stop shop for PTAs for communicating with parents and fundraising for schools.

Richard Murray, Head Teacher at Christ Church Cathedral School said: “Classlist has completely transformed our parent teacher association’s ability to organise events, fundraise and communicate.”

Zafira Dewey, Chair of St Aidan’s School Association, Coulsdon said: “We had Facebook, WhatsApp and email. Classlist has brought it all together.”

Olu Oke, Class Rep and former PTA Chair, Hampton Wick Infant and Nursery School said: “Classlist is really changing our PTA in a substantial way. The whole school is communicating with each other, with ease. We are seeing a real change in engagement and communication.”

Nicole Joffe, Co-Chair, Fulham School said: “We love the paid ticket capability. It has revolutionised our finances and freed us to spend time on other things, so the helpfulness goes way beyond what we imagined.”

Emily Price, Chair, Friends of St Mary’s Twickenham, said: “Classlist’s brilliant features have breathed new energy into our parent community. I love being able to communicate directly with the parent body, rather than bothering the school - that’s a big administrative saving for them.”

Suzanne McGillivray, PA Chair, Kingston Grammar School said: “We have found it really easy to sell event tickets, and also to get volunteers to help at new joiners days. Parents tell me they feel more part of the community. We love Classlist.”

Use Classlist to welcome new parents

The largest school in the world, United World College South East Asia was full of praise. Richard Ellard, former chair of the UWCSEA Parent Association said: “It’s a great tool… a powerful way to welcome new parents.” With 4,200 parents to connect with, that’s quite a benefit!

Philip Waldner, Friend’s Committee, Guildford High School said: “Each year, new parent joiners find an organised community to welcome them.”

Resolves the issue of connecting parents to each other

Choosing a school for your child is a huge decision and often, months of deliberating will have gone into the selection and recruitment process. But all too often, when the parent finally signs up for the school, they are lost socially until someone adds them to a parent-controlled WhatsApp group. This is disorienting for the parent (confronted with an anonymous list of phone numbers) and removes any element of control for the school itself.

Arabella Stuart, Admissions Director at Sevenoaks School said: “It’s a wonderfully easy way for parents to connect, arrange social events and support each other - it’s brilliant.”

Lynn Knapp, Head of Windmill Primary School agrees. She said: “Classlist has been really effective. It is very inclusive for all our families and resolves the burning issue of connecting parents to each other.”

A window on the world of boarders for parents

A recent innovation - led by schools - is to use Classlist to ensure parents are connected with the activities their children are doing at boarding school.

Mark Hammond, Head of Bede’s Prep School said: “I’ve used Classlist at two schools. It’s a school-driven closed social network where parents participate. Our boarding housemistress is now driving forward boarding groups using Classlist, which is a really exciting way to involve parents.”

Educational technology leaders rate Classlist

We were pleased to hear from Educational Technology Director, Brian Lockwood, of Copenhagen International School. He said, “Classlist’s dead simple - I hand it over to our PTA and they just run it. It’s a trouble-free solution and less hassle than Facebook. It’s such good software and such a successful programme.”

Rachel Bowen, Head of Digital Media, Headington School agreed: “Classlist has literally saved me hours in admin time.”


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