You can select the right partner, choose the best devices, and meticulously plan the roll-out of your 1:1 device programme, but if you don’t get parents engaged and involved, you’ve no real hope of it being a success.
A 1:1 parental contribution programme is driven by just that – and without parental contributions, pupils won’t get access to the technology they need to engage with your teaching and learning strategy. That’s why it’s vital to consider how you’re going to inform and engage parents about 1:1, and weave it into the fabric of your programme.
Here are 5 tips for increasing parental involvement in your 1:1 programme.
Get in there early
It’s common for many schools to run a 1:1 programme which starts when a pupil joins in Year 7. Obviously, there’s going to be a fair amount of engagement between the school and parents during the transition period between Year 6 and Year 7. The parents and the child will visit your school to get a feel for it, and often students will attend a transition day. This is the ideal period to start getting parents engaged with your 1:1 programme. Setting your stall out early will help them fully understand and appreciate your approach to technology, and help them get used to the idea of the contribution programme.
Make the benefits clear
Parents need some reassurance that their hard-earned money is going towards something worthwhile. You and your 1:1 provider should work with them to make sure they understand the school’s wider technology strategy, and how 1:1 technology fits within this. You should also call out on some of the additional benefits that come with the programme, if applicable – such as insurance, warranty, use at school and at home, and the opportunity to own the device at the end of the programme.
Make the process easy
Trying to get parents to sign up to a process which isn’t easy and painless will only make the challenge of engagement that much bigger for you. One of the key first steps on the 1:1 journey is ensuring the process is clear to parents, and seamless for them to follow. You should ensure that they know how to order a device, how payments will be taken and any other commitments they have. Streamlining the process will largely be down to selecting the right provider, which we’ll get to in a moment. A good 1:1 provider will be able to manage the programme and communicate the process to parents to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Pick the right provider
Selecting the right 1:1 provider will take care of many of the parental engagement challenges for you. Some providers will take on marketing and communication to parents for you, ensuring that they fully understand the proposition and its benefits, and that the ordering process is as smooth as possible. This can include attending parents evenings and other parent events, where your provider can be on-hand to answer any questions about the programme for you. Leaving the bulk of the engagement to your providers leaves you free to focus on driving the technology strategy, teacher and pupil adoption, and ultimately positive educational outcomes.
Share the outcomes
As a result of rolling a 1:1 programme, many schools see real educational outcomes and increased attainment and engagement with pupils. One of the schools we partner with, Denbigh High School in Luton, carefully collected evidence around the effect their new technology strategy had on teaching and learning. The evidence and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. If you have similar outcomes and feedback from teachers and students alike, it’s important to promote and share this with parents. It’ll ensure they stay engaged, continue to make payments, and if they have other children at the school, they’ll be more likely to sign them up too.
Get the help you need
As we’ve mentioned throughout this post, picking the right provider is a key part of getting strong levels of parental involvement for your 1:1 programme. Freedom Tech offer a fully managed end-to-end programme which removes the admin burden for you. We handle all parental communications including marketing, ordering portals and chasing payments. If you would like to find out more about our 1:1 device programmes, get in touch now.