Maintaining the bond between School and home, even during a pandemic

Maintaining the bond between School and home, even during a pandemic

With physical meetings ruled out by Covid-19 restrictions, QE turned to technology for its first parental consultation evening of the year.

Teachers and the parents of Year 13 pupils were able to link up online after the School invested in specialist software provider SchoolCloud’s dedicated Parents Evening Video Appointments service.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “This is a crucial term for our final-year students, as they apply to universities and work intensively towards completing their A-level studies next summer. We realised, therefore, that we needed to make special provision to ensure that contact with parents was kept up at such a pivotal time for their sons.

“We will be now be using this channel of communication for all this term’s parent consultation and review evenings; our staff look forward to meeting QE parents in this new, adapted way.”

Several teachers, as pictured here, initially tried out the system from their own offices at the School. Thanks to the security-enhanced aspects of the service – all video calls between staff and parents are encrypted, for example – on the evening itself, both teachers and parents were able to conduct the consultation meetings from their own homes.

Tara O’Reilly, Deputy Head (Operations) said that, from a technological perspective, the evening had been overwhelmingly successful; teachers experienced little difficulty in connecting and communicating with families as parents took up their appointments online.

For their part, teachers acknowledged that the use of technology is ensuring the maintenance of the home-School relationship, even during lockdown.

Julia Lister, Head of Chemistry, said: “The online system enabled the evening to proceed successfully and efficiently,” while Head of Economics Shamendra Uduwawala said simply that it was “a good system under difficult circumstances”.

The Parents Evening Video Appointments service includes an ‘efficient scheduling’ feature, through which the teacher or parent is automatically connected with the next person in their appointment schedule.  It is also designed to work simply through a web browser, with no app to download.