Information for parents regarding SIMS communications for student unexplained absences and late arrivals
Mullaloo Beach Primary School has implemented a new system that will use mobile phone Short Message Service (SMS) to send text messages to parents/guardians/caregivers to notify them of an unexplained absence or late arrival of their child. SMS may also be used to provide information to parents such as school community notices and emergency/unplanned events such as school closures.
Parents will be informed by mobile phone SMS each time their child is absent when an explanation has not already been provided to the school. If your child is absent and a reason has been provided before the time the SMS is due to be sent, you will not receive a text message.
Mullaloo Beach Primary School is introducing SMS communications to build on existing attendance procedures such as notifying the school of a student’s absence through the school app or calling the administration on 9307 2099. This is to ensure that parents are notified as soon as possible if their child is absent from school without an explanation. This system has been shown to assist in making schools (and parents) more aware of where students are and improve student attendance. These factors will enhance learning opportunities for all students and contribute to their safety.
Advantages of using SMS to communicate to parents
It takes a long time for school staff to individually make phone calls to each parent. By using SMS we can get important messages to parents faster and can send a message to one or more people instantly. Parents can also use this system to notify the school of their child/ren’s absence to avoid receiving a text message. The school can be contacted by SMS 24/7.
It can be expensive, from a monetary and time perspective, for school staff to individually phone large numbers of parents regarding student absences. SMS communication to parents will be less expensive for the school and for parents replying via SMS. It also removes the need for parents to wait in telephone queues to provide an explanation for a student absence. The requirement for the school to issue absentee follow-up letters will also decrease.
If there is an emergency situation that requires rapid communication to parents this can be achieved using SMS. This communication would not usually be possible without the use of SMS.
Frequently asked questions and further information fact sheet