With many schools across England looking set to join our neighbours in Wales and Scotland by starting to reopen in March, is your school ready? With two weeks to go, it’s likely that you’ll start to see a surge in calls from parents trying to get to grips with yet another new normal. The increase in call volume is likely to be sustained as everyone – teachers, parents and kids alike – readjust and communication is key. A few simple measures will make sure your school is set up to deal with increased pressure on your phone system over the coming months and years, all of which can be achieved by a VoIP system:
Automated Message System
Many parents are likely to have similar questions at various points throughout reopening: what are the rules around picking up and dropping off? What about breakfast clubs or after school activities? What enhanced hygiene and social distancing measures will be in place? Using the helpful auto attendant system to direct parent queries and ensuring there are appropriate automated information messages to deal with common queries can help reduce the pressure on staff needing to answer every call.
Dedicated Phone Lines
Although things are moving quickly, it’s highly probable that you are still going to be facing a significant number of children needing to self-isolate due to family exposure. Setting up a separate telephone number for those parents to be able to make contact quickly and easily will ensure that communication is swift and efficient at all times.
Set Up Your Hunt Groups in Advance
One huge benefit of a VoIP system is the hunt group feature. This allows you to put staff into linked call groups; multiple phones will ring allowing any one of a number of colleagues to answer. With a sudden surge in calls as we’re all expecting, this feature will help reduce the number of missed calls and lessen the pressure on a single staff member to deal with all queries.
What About Staff Working Offsite?
With the probability of staff still needing to self-isolate as and when required, it may be necessary to provide flexible methods of communicating with those based offsite. A VoIP system provides that ease of use allowing staff to use a physical handset, computer or mobile phone app to keep in touch with those not based in the school. It’s easy for colleagues to keep in touch or for pupils to contact teachers needing to work remotely.
To discuss how we can help get your school set up for success, give us a call on 01237 420010.