by: Mark Kelly
ParentHub provides a smartphone app and text message service that enables schools and teachers to engage and communicate with parents. The company suggests parents are an under used resource in the education sector and with improved engagement could contribute more to students’ education, school life and the school community.  
ParentHub offers a web service for schools and teachers, and a smartphone app for parents. This allows two-way messaging, although parent to teacher communication can be controlled by a teacher or school, for example, restricting the number of parent to teacher communications that can be made on a specific topic.
Using ParentHub, teachers can log in and see their classes, link to the school’s MIS and select individual parents or groups of parents with which they want to communicate. In addition to the messaging service, ParentHub is developing further features that will turn the product into a wider communication solution. For example, schools will be able to send letters, newsletters, homework and timetables via ParentHub.
ParentHub started two years ago and is based in Manchester. Its product is being used by 35 schools around the North West and uptake by parents is high. In terms of cost, a school of up to 250 pupils pays from £500 a year, including five free SMS messages for every pupil. Implementation is relatively easy as ParentHub links to a school’s MIS and a series of installation guides are sent to a school’s IT manager. Alternatively, ParentHub will install the product free of charge. This is an innovative, albeit relatively new product, that displays a great deal of potential.