A tile in Messenger basically consists of a set of related wizards. It’s a rectangle you’ll see on screen that will have shortcuts to perform common tasks, such as sending a whole school message or sending out absence notifications.
A wizard is essentially a set of simple rules we have put together behind the scenes that makes a user’s job of sending a certain kind of message easier.
For example, when you select the ‘Whole School Message’ wizard, options such as all recipients is pre-selected allowing users to send a message much faster.
By using the wizards, you only have access to the options relevant to the kind of message you are sending. You can still send messages that do not fit any of the wizards by using the advanced messaging view that allows you to select any combination of options that suits the scenario at hand.
Sending a message is easier as we have introduced step-by-step wizards to help you through each decision you need to make when sending a message. It's very quick and simple to use.
In order to use the new Messenger you need to be using one of the browsers listed below:
Microsoft Internet Explorer 10+, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari. However, if your current browser doesn't support the latest version of Messenger, don't worry as you can still use the current system - please do ensure your IT department are aware that in order to use the new features you will need to upgrade your browser.
Click here to check your browser.
Yes, you can access Messenger from any modern smart phone or tablet that has an up-to-date browser. However, some of the administration features i.e. Message History and Account Configuration are not available on small screens. You are also able to send messages from any mobile phone or landline in an emergency using the Emergency SMS and voice function.
The older Messenger interface did work on small screen devices but some functionality was less than optimal. The new interface has been designed with mobile and tablet devices in mind and so responds to the screen size in use and is therefore much more user friendly. Buttons for example are not ‘shrunk’ meaning you can always touch them to activate as opposed to some websites that are not optimised for mobiles and mean buttons/options/links are hard to select.
Yes, you are able to create your own templates using tokens such as 'Student Name' etc.
Yes, parents will be able to download the Groupcall Xpressions app from the App Store or Google Play. You will be able to send free Push Messages to parents and the messages will be delivered to the Xpressions timeline (see below).
Once parents download and sign into the Groupcall Xpressions app, they will see a list of personalised updates about their child and the school in general. Depending on the configuration and subscription in school, this timeline consists of a list of Xpressions giving information in the form of Push Messages from Messenger or partner products (such as catering providers or homework platforms).
An Xpression is the name we give an individual message that is sent to a parent using the Groupcall Xpressions app. It could originate from Messenger and once configured in the new tiles interface you will see ‘Xpression’ as an additional message format alongside SMS, Email, Voice, Letter and Twitter. An Xpression could also be an automatic update triggered by a homework management platform when new homework is set by a teacher or a record of a child’s lunch triggered by the cashless catering system.
Using wizards, Xpressions will be sent automatically and in the advanced messaging it is as simple as selecting ‘Xpression’ as a message format in addition to or instead of the usual formats such as SMS, Email, and Letter etc.
Any parent that has installed the Groupcall Xpressions app and is signed in will receive an Xpression based on the rules specified when the message was sent.
We have made the process of getting parents using the app as simple as possible. Firstly you should make sure your MIS data is as up-to-date and complete as possible. The first step is to request parents provide you with current email addresses and mobile phone numbers for each contact (e.g. Mum and Dad, as opposed to a single shared email address).
Assuming your data is complete and up-to-date, parents can simply download the app and provide their details. No more invitations or school controlled and complex registration processes! Parents simply input their email address and mobile phone number which are then checked against your MIS data to provide secure 2 factor matching on a per school basis.
Take a look at our parent 'help' pages.
With over 5,000 schools using Groupcall Messenger nationally we have been proven as the UK's leading provider of Parental Contact and Truancy Management. See our Case Studies for examples of successful implementations.
Messenger synchronises with your schools Management Information System (MIS) ensuring that any relevant information is current and accurate and avoiding the need for separately maintained databases. Click here to see all the MIS’s that messenger integrates with. We also support manual data upload.
We partner with a number of third party organisations throughout the country so we can work with you to tailor a flexible solution, should you have a setup in your school or local authority that may be otherwise considered as ‘unusual’. For more information specific to your school, please call Groupcall on 020 8506 6100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
No, Messenger will work on any modern computer, smartphone or tablet that has Internet access.
Data comes from your MIS using our market leading data extraction software. This has negligible hardware requirements and can usually be installed alongside your MIS. In the case of certain MISs, we also support cloud-to-cloud data transfer.
Yes. You can input your data into the system manually or alternatively the data can be very easily imported into Groupcall Messenger via a csv import schedule. Once stored in the system it can be easily maintained, updated and amended. You have complete control of your system data.
The system can send the following:
No. You can specify if you want a message to be sent 'One per parent' and save additional SMS unit costs as well as avoiding possible annoyance to the recipient. You have the option to send a message for each student/parental combination if you wish.
You have the ability to control who receives a message. You also have the option to send a message to all contacts. You can specify the type of message that you want to send as a preference, and schedule the message to send at a time and date that suits you.
If the contact details aren't available for e.g. no mobile number is provided to send an SMS, then the system will identify this to you and you have the option of sending an alternative message i.e voice or email.
No, you have the ability to send messages from any computer, smartphone or tablet with a connection to the Internet. This allows you to communicate with parents without the need to visit the school. This can be very useful for emergency closures or 'snow days'.
You are also able to send messages via email, the email addresses are either read directly from the schools MIS. Using Messenger for email communication provides you with all the benefits of dynamic group membership and filtering afforded to SMS messages. Email is a free-of-charge method of communication, reducing time and money spent on printing and postage. Attachments can be sent, for instance newsletters in many file formats i.e. word, pdf. jpg etc.
Voice messages are sent as 'natural voice recordings' or ‘text to speech’ messages. Using our fully configurable voice message system you can send a voice message with as little effort as possible.
Voice messages can be sent from the school in a number of ways reducing the amount of calls that come into the office and still offering the recipient the option to leave a voice message in response, i.e. informing the school of a reason for absence.
Attendance (open response)
A message is read offering the recipient 3 options:
Attendance (closed response)
A message is read offering the recipient 2 options:
You have the option to configure multiple users within Messenger. This allows you to give different user rights as well as restrictions on approving messages for delivery. In real terms this allows you to share workload around teaching staff and provides a more accurate message composition, without losing control over how many messages are sent. For example, a PE teacher can compose a message (to inform parents of an upcoming sports fixture), then the administrator or head teacher can then approve that message to be sent, thus ensuring that the message is sent to the correct contacts.
As Groupcall Messenger is a subscription service schools are given increased flexibility without the need to make a long term commitment to the product and are encouraged to trial the system free of charge before subscribing. There are various packages available to suit all school needs and budgets. Please get in touch to discuss your needs, call 020 8506 6100 or email: email@example.com
If you are having trouble sending an email, the file size may be too large. Your ideal file size should not exceed 2Mb. Another way of ensuring the file is a reasonable size is to make the document into a PDF. If you include images within your emails, please ensure that they are either in a bitmap or jpg format to ensure the finished file size is manageable.
The appearance looks different when you go to the Messenger log in screen. We call it 'tiles' and we hope you like the new simple look.
Yes! If a parent is recorded as being an active app user then you can choose to send an Xpression instead of an SMS for those users. When any of these circumstances change, so too will the intelligent route selection made by Messenger v5. That is to say that if a parent is a new app user they will start getting the Xpressions instead of SMSs, and conversely if a parent stops using the app (through deletion or lack of use) they will start receiving SMSs when the appropriate timeframe has elapsed.An Xpression is free to send whereas an SMS costs from 4p a time so is a benefit to the school. The benefit to parents is a single consolidated view of all communications from school. No more checking emails, texts and crumpled pieces of paper to find the detail of the next school event.
Messages can be sent to individual parents, students or staff and any other contact you add to the system such as Local Authority contacts, third party contractors or school governors.
The following filtering options are available:
Messenger can currently just send SIMS reports, specifically Assessment Manager and Profiles Reports.
If you have any further questions that are not shown in this section, please contact us on: 020 8506 6100.