New alerts system for Tipperary schools.
Schools across Tipperary are set to save thousands of euro each year by using a new alerts system which offers a far more affordable ‘text a parent’ solution that totally eliminates costly SMS text message credits.
Irish firm SchoolAlerts.ie delivers alerts using well-known apps for free. Founder and tech expert, Brendan Cunningham, says www.SchoolAlerts.ie will eliminate the need for Tippeary’s 188 schools – 158 primary and 30 second level which cater for over 32000 plus pupils – to rely solely on messaging systems that cost up to 7 cent per individual text.
“Instead we send alerts to parents as push notifications using well-known smartphone apps such as Viber, Facebook Messenger and Telegram that parents are already familiar with. These apps are often already installed on the parent’s phone, so there is no set up involved. It’s ideal for parents with children spread across several schools and the one account can effectively become the one-stop-shop for all school communications.
“Because push notifications do not cost us, they do not cost the school either. Instead of charging for individual alerts like SMS companies would, we charge a far smaller, annual flat fee for our service and schools. Schools operate the system like they would any messaging board and can send each message for free during the school year.
“Several of the schools we’ve engaged with were spending an average €1,000 a year on texts. Our flat fee (€299 per year inclusive of VAT) is a fraction of this. A shocking 87% of schools we surveyed see the cost of SMS texts as prohibitive and in many cases, they said they cannot afford to send all the messages that they would like,” Cunningham explained.
Schools who want to register can visit the Signup Page and enter their Roll Number. Alerts can then be sent to the entire school, to individual classes or to individual parents in the event of an unexplained absence etc.
The school owns the database of parent contact information and the entire system is GDPR compliant. All parents need to do once their school has signed up is register their phone number on the service website so the SchoolAlerts.ie team can independently verify that they are part of a school's contact list.
“If somebody tries to register on our site with a mobile that we do not recognise from a school's contact list, then they will not be allowed to sign up.”
The new system also includes additional features which include creating interactive polls for parents on issues such as school tour venues, feedback, etc, as well as an option to link up with Met Eireann Orange and Red weather warnings which can be automatically forwarded to parents during storm season.