With billions of users, Facebook is a huge part of society and more recently, it’s also become a huge part of school life, in more ways than one.
Most schools will now have a private Facebook group purely for parents and teachers at the school. This is often run by the PTA and can be a vital forum for finding out everything about your child’s school including forthcoming events, class spellings, non-uniform days, second-hand sales and school trips.
As it’s a private group, it’s a safe environment for discussions about pupils and for images of the school plays and sports days to be shared. Make sure you ask your school’s PTA if there is a group and, if they don’t have one, why not suggest it?
It’s a fantastic way to drum up support for school events and recruit volunteers to help with reading, swimming or school trips. It’s also an almost instant way to ask questions and frees up the reception team from having to deal with numerous requests for the school calendar dates, when the next play is or how much is the school trip?
The school’s Facebook Page
This is much different to a private Facebook group. In a group, people have to apply to join (if it’s set up right) which means it’s easy to moderate and ensure only parents of children at the school can be part of it. The school’s Facebook Page is an outside facing arena for the school to show the world who they are, what they do and how they do it.
It’s almost like their advertising page in the Yellow Pages but in a digital world. Here is a great place to get a feel for a prospective school for your child. The way they represent themselves online can give you a real feel for the school, their pupils and their successes.
If your child is about to start applying for senior school it’s a great place to start to get a feel for their prospective senior school choices. Like a few pages and see which are active, what they’re posting and if parents are regularly interacting with the page. You can even ask questions here, a great way of getting almost instant answers to questions such as uniform, open evenings or taster days.
Some schools even use their page to sell second hand uniform or advertise their second hand uniform sales. Don’t miss the opportunity to pick up uniform at a fraction of the usual cost.
We can’t talk about Facebook without talking about the negative connotations all social media can have not just on children, but also on parents. We won’t go into huge detail here as that’s a blog in itself.
But one thing that we can’t emphasise enough is how to make sure your account and that of your child are kept private. This is a vital step to ensure both you and your child stay safe while online.
Facebook has a very simple and easy to follow privacy check-up, simply follow the steps and make sure you set all your posts, photos and information to just friends. Don’t choose friends of friends as this means all of the people who are connected to your friends have access to your information.
Under the privacy drop down (the padlock icon) you can also choose the option to see how someone else can see your account. This is a great way to double check exactly what your friends can see on your account and what they can’t.
Whether we like it or not, Facebook is a part of everyday life, so use it as a positive tool and information portal.