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News

SMS truancy alert for Hampshire school

Avanquest Software : 03 February, 2009  (Application Story)
Eastleigh school combats escalating truancy problems by making use of text messaging parental alert system from Avanquest
Crestwood College in Eastleigh, Hampshire is using an Avanquest text messaging solution to support their anti-truancy initiatives.

Crestwood has over 500 students. They are no different from any other school and truancy is a problem. Unauthorised absence was growing. Crestwood recognised that the best way to tackle truancy was to work with parents to reduce truancy numbers.

Contacting the parent or guardian by phone each time their child failed to turn up for morning registration was becoming harder. Theresa Holman, Attendance Officer at Crestwood was spending more and more time making calls, not getting through, leaving messages etc. The College realised that the number of calls needing to be made would not reduce, they would probably increase as the initiative gathered momentum, so they have found a quicker and more reliable way of communicating with parents - by text message.

Text messaging is an unobtrusive method of communication. Information and support from the school can be given discretely to parents - who might be in an office or situation where a phone call cannot be taken or will be overheard.

Electronic registration carried out through SIMS (the Schools Information Management System which holds database of pupil and parent information, including the mobile numbers of parents) is able to verify pupil names against non-attendance. A list of target mobile numbers is collated and a text message immediately sent to the parent's mobile phone to notify them that their child has failed to turn up at school - all automatically.

"Because text messaging is instant, it has cut down the time I used to spend making phone calls and delivers better results. It has helped me get students into school and makes it easier for us to keep in regular touch with students and parents in ongoing situations concerning absence." Theresa Holman, Attendance Officer.
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