We have worked with many schools over the years to implement SchoolsBuddy. The hints and tips below are some that we have learned help make a successful implementation.
- Communication is Key! - When introducing SchoolsBuddy, let the parent community know why you have decided to use SchoolsBuddy, which modules the school will be using and how it will help both them and the school. For example, if some payments will be taken via SchoolsBuddy in the future, explain which these will be and why.
- Launch in stages - think of the launch as a marketing campaign. Announce it in stages, giving some more information in each message.
- If you are sending out Activation emails rather than using Single Sign-On (see Accessing SchoolsBuddy below), do this just before the first time you want parents to log in so they don't miss/lose/delete the email or forget their username/password. The Activation emails often end up in Spam/Junk folders to encourage parents to check these before contacting you if they don't think they have received one.
As each school has their own SchoolsBuddy site, it is not possible to parents to find the log in page by 'googling'. We recommend adding the SchoolsBuddy URL (link) to your school website on the appropriate page (parent area, parent information etc).
There are two ways parents can access SchoolsBuddy:
- Single Sign-On - if parents will be using SSO linked to another system, there will be buttons on the log-in page which they can click to access the appropriate system. Some examples of these buttons are shown in the image below:
- Activation email to create a SchoolsBuddy username and password - Super Admins are able to send Activation emails to users - this guide gives the process - Sending Staff, Pupils and Parents an Activation Email. The username will be the email address that is listed on SchoolsBuddy on their record and pulled in from your school MIDS/SIS.
It is also possible to amend parts of the wording of the activation email - see later in this guide.
There are guides in our Help Centre specifically for parents. We recommend that you review them before deciding if you wish to create your own guides.
If your parents will be accessing SchoolsBuddy directly, rather than using Single Sign-On, there are some guides related to having difficulty loggin in that you might wish to link to from outside SchoolsBuddy. This link will take you to the page of parent guides - Parent User Guides.
You can set a Welcome Message for parents which is displayed on the dashboard when they log in. This can be added by any staff member with Super Admin access.
It can also be helpful to include links to the guides relevant to the parts of SchoolsBuddy your parents will be using.
Parent Guide to Using SchoolsBuddy
Making After School Club Selections (ASAs, ECAs, CCAs)
Making an Instant Book Booking for Activities/Breakfast Club/Trips
You could also add helpful links to the staff Welcome Message, such as how to take attendance.
There are some templated emails in SchoolsBuddy that are sent out as part of some of the processes. The wording of them can be found in a report. To find this go to Reception>Reports and then select the report named Email Templates HTML Viewer.
Amendments to the wording can only be made by the SchoolsBuddy Support team so if you wish to request any amendments to wording, please raise a support ticket with the name of the email and the wording you would like amended. Please allow 24 hours for the changes to be made.
If you are using Activation Emails, one of the first ones you might want to look at is Parent Welcome. This guide gives more information about the automated emails - Automated Emails