Parents · School

PRESS RELEASE: AttendApp successfully accepted on to UCL Institute of Education’s EDUCATE program

AttendApp successfully accepted on to UCL Institute of Education’s EDUCATE program

AttendApp has now successfully piloted its application and helped schools to improve parental engagement by providing analytics on the most and least engaged parents. Furthermore, the application helped schools to streamline communications, save administration time and reduce costs. During it’s incubation phase at on the Educate program, AttendApp is now looking for scale up school partners.

London, 19th September 2017, AttendApp is a ‘PRM’, the leading Parent Relationship Management tool; the application takes away the admin burdens of maintaining parent engagements, by allowing schools to easily and securely publish communications on one platform, measure engagement in real-time, and send automated reminders and notifications when engagement drops. AttendApp also helps parents to stay on top of all their children’s needs on a simple and secure mobile application.

Features tested in closed beta: news and events, messaging, letters and events 

AttendApp successfully ran its closed beta launch with three schools, a select group of parents who said:

“AttendApp helped us drastically reduce the admin time required in sending out newsletters”

Secondary School

“We could finally see which parents were engaging, and target those who were not., this allowed us to focus our efforts on the parents (and students) that needed the most assistance.”

Primary School

“We were looking for a very long time for a solution which could give us viability on engagement, but also a secure way to share information with only parents at our school, without having to resort to twitter.”

Secondary School

“It was so easy to use! I could finally see what homework was being set”


“I absolutely loved that I could easily see the most up to date information at my son’s school, especially the school calendar, it really helped me organise my very busy calendar and free up many hours.”


“It was just so easy to get the latest information, and not get stressed out about what’s due when”


“There is finally a way to ensure my husband never missed parents evening or important dates!”

A very happy mother 🙂

AttendApp is available on iOS, Android and web. AttendApp are now looking for scale up partners (schools who want to test new features across multiple year groups and whole schools) to be the first to test its exciting new features!

Please contact the AttendApp team on or call 0208 144 7372.  You can also book a demo with us below:

About AttendApp

AttendApp is a Parent Relationship Management (‘PRM’) tool which allows schools to inform, interact, measure and increase parental engagement in a simple, secure and social way across mobile technologies



Parents · School · Teacher

GCSE and A-level results: it’s not just the grades that matter

Source: Institute of Education

GCSE and A-level results: it’s not just the grades that matter

File 20170810 27655 1a279l5
Why GCSE and A Level subject choices matter. shutterstock

Jake AndersUCL and Catherine DilnotOxford Brookes University. 

A-level results will soon be out, with more than 300,000 students eagerly waiting to find out if they’ve made the grade. Then come GCSE results, with even more students keen to find out how they’ve done.

Whether students are heading to university, into an apprenticeship or straight into employment, chances are they will all be wishing and hoping and dreaming and praying of a set of grades that will reflect their level of academic accomplishment.

For would-be university applicants, there is often a requirement that students take a particular set of subjects at A-level – and achieve a certain grade – to be in with a chance of getting a place on a degree course. To study medicine, for example it’s often required that an applicant has taken chemistry and biology at A-level.

In this way, the subjects a student chooses to study at school can have long term consequences. In England, young people start making decisions on subject choice at the age of 14 when they pick GCSE options. For many pupils this may seem far too early to be thinking about what they want to do with the rest of their life. So given the fact that many students may not have decided what career path they want to take, are there subjects that are “better” to study than others?

The current advice

The Russell Group – which is made up of 24 leading UK universities – publishes an annual guide to A-level subject choice for 16-year-olds known as “informed choices”. This suggests A-levels in science, maths, languages, history and geography are good choices for students to take if they want to keep their options open.

This is also in part why the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) – which aims to give students a wide background in a variety of subjects at GCSE level – was introduced in 2010. According to the schools minister, Nick Gibb, it includes subjects the Russell Group identifies as “key for university study”. To count towards the EBacc, a pupil must achieve GCSE grade C or above in English, maths, history or geography, two sciences and a language.

Keeping career options open.

With this in mind, our research set out to understand the implications of subject choice and if these choices then play a part in whether students go to university – and where they end up studying.

We looked at the subjects chosen by young people at the age of 14 and 16 and found that pupils who study the full set of EBacc subjects are slightly more likely to go to university than those who don’t.

Our research also revealed that studying certain A-level subjects often leads to a place at a better ranked university. So a student who studies some combination of science, maths, languages, history and geography is more likely to attend a higher ranked university, than a student who chooses A-levels outside of these subjects.

Vocational vs traditional

Our research also revealed that studying more vocational subjects at both GCSE and A-level may be less helpful in terms of getting into a higher ranked university. We found that those who studied applied GCSE subjects (which are more vocational) were less likely to attend university.

These vocational style GCSEs were introduced in 2002 and include subjects such as applied business and applied home economics. But their introduction has since been criticised, as many of the qualifications have been downgraded in performance tables.

Making the most of your A-levels?

There was found to be a similar picture at A-level. Students who studied the more vocational study subjects – such as accounting or business – were more likely to go to a lower ranked university.

The most striking results were in law. Consistent with anecdotal evidence that higher ranking universities “don’t like” law A-level, our research shows that studying law at A-level is associated with attending a lower ranked university. So although a 16-year-old who aspires to have a career in law, accounting or business might think that an A-level directly related to the profession would help them take their chosen path, this may not actually be the case. But whether this is because law A-level is perceived by universities to be an easier A-level, or because those with law A-level are applying to lower ranked universities is unclear.

Either way, what all this shows is that while the subjects young people study in school are important for next steps in education, there are some subjects that can be more important than others in helping to further horizons.

The ConversationAlthough that said, it’s important to emphasise that the differences are not large. Ultimately, it’s far more important to perform well in whatever subject studied. But still, when it comes to students deciding what subjects to choose at A-level or GCSE, it might be worth them trying to keep their options open, where possible.

Jake Anders, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Learning and Leadership, UCL Institute of Education, UCL and Catherine Dilnot, Senior Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


Healthy tips for giving your child access to tablets – the ‘play diet’

Dr Rosie Flewitt argues that rather than setting fixed time limits with digital technologies, it’s more helpful for parents to think about how these technologies can help their children to learn.

Source: Read: The Sun

Follow the ‘play diet’ pyramid as advised by leading child psychologist Dr Amanda Gumner

Follow this ‘play diet’ and your kid should feel happy and healthy, Dr Gummer says

As long as you balance out your tots’ physical activity and social interactions with iPad games and movies – it’s perfectly healthy to allow them access once a day.

At what age can I allow my kids to use iPads and smartphones?

Children under 13 are not allowed to use Facebook or Twitter

Children under 13 are not allowed to use Facebook or Twitter

Technically, a child can use an iPad or smartphone from when they’re a baby, but it’s important you only let them watch or play with age-appropriate content.

Try looking through the Fundamentally Children Good App Guide, which has independently reviewed apps for each age range.

You can also browse the Literary Trust’s selection of calming and focus-boosting apps too.

Here’s a selection you might want to try:

  • Toca Nature: Children can plant trees and bring the animals that live in them to life. They can also grow mountains and create lakes. Once the children have created their world they can go through the magnifying glass to visit their world and feed their animals.
  • Pinnochio: Published by Pink Paw Books, this story app is based on the popular fairy tale and is a good one for use before bedtime.
  • Snap Scene: Kids can take photos of their surroundings and tag it with their own voice recordings. It’s great for creating a story around a photo and for developing speaking skills.
  • Geo Challenge For Kids is full of quizzes and puzzles which teach players about the world we live in.
  • Crazy Plant Shop Breed bizarre plants and deal with mysterious customers while learning about genes and biology.

Kids under 13 are not allowed on Facebook or other social media sites, but it’s easy for them to fake their date of birth if they want to create a profile.


Make sure you install parental controls

Pete Turner, consumer security expert at cyber security company Avast has several top tips for keeping your tablet safe:

  • The best technology-based defence for keeping your kids away from things they shouldn’t be seeing is to install parental controls. Although this is best for younger children who won’t be able to work out how to circumvent them.
  • If you’re using wifi while away from home, check your connection before giving the device to your child – there’s a padlock symbol which tells you if your connection is secure.
  • Ensure that location services are turned off on all devices when you aren’t using them. A child could easily share a photo, whether by mistake or on their social network profile and inadvertently give away their location.
  • Use protection – security software like Avast’s even comes as a free mobile and tablet version to minimise risk to your devices.
  • Make sure you talk to children of all ages about what they are doing online, what they might see on the internet and most importantly, what to do if something happens.

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How long should you let tots use tablets for every day?

A woman plays the game Candy Crush Soda Saga

Candy Crush Soda Saga is meant to be for adults – but plenty of kids love playing the game

It’s the golden question: how long can I hand over a distraction gadget without morphing into a bad parent?

Unfortunately, there’s no golden answer.

Dr Rosie Flewitt, an expert in early communication and literacy at the Department of Learning and Leadership in University College London says “we must stop blaming parents” for child’s over-use of gizmos.

She says that rather than prescribing a healthy ‘dose’ of digital interaction, it’s more helpful to think about how you can help your child learn with technology.


Should I give let them use a tablet before bedtime?

Kids who use their phones before bed are more likely to sleep badly

There’s been a lot of debate over screen use before bedtime, with some research suggesting it stops little ones from getting enough kip.

One study showed that kids glued to phones, laptops or tablets 90 minutes before bedtime were twice as likely to suffer a bad night’s sleep.

But Dr Gummer says it’s OK to allow your kids iPads in their PJs, but they must hand them over before they’re tucked up.

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Let them use iPads with you so they become a tool for life – rather than a prized toy

Dr Flewitt says that it’s all about making sure any interaction with a tablet is for a specific purpose and not a lone activity.

“There’s nothing wrong with handing a child a suitable app for five minutes while you’re doing the washing up, but you can make sure that what they are doing has a purpose.

“For example, you could sit and talk with your child about what to say in a text message to a friend, or help your child make a short WhatsApp video message to send to a family member.”

Change privacy settings on every app

Snap Map

Snap Map allows users to share their locations with their friends

Pursey adds that many children use Snapchat to communicate with friends, but the recent Snap Maps feature is a great example of why you need to check settings.

“The new feature tracks locations, which can leave children vulnerable but instead of turning off location services which would disable apps like Find My Friends, you can get your children to select “Ghost Mode” on Snapchat, which prevents their Snapchat friends and strangers seeing where they are but still allows them to use the app.”

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Set ‘house rules’ for technology


Brief your kids on cyber security so they don’t put them – or your other family members – at risk

Nick Shaw, vice president of internet company Norton advises setting some house rules for chatting online, downloading files and visiting safe websites. 

He says: “As the parent, don’t become the enemy, become the friend – be aware that children like to imitate your behaviour so teach them the best way to surf online safely and lead by example to provide them with a positive role model.

“Teach young children to use strong and unique passwords across all their accounts and never to share passwords, even with their friends. We’re seeing account theft (a junior version of identity theft) happen to children in primary schools.

“Encourage kids to think before they click: whether they’re looking at online video sites, receiving an unknown link in an email or even browsing the web and seeing banners or pop-ups, remind your children not to click links which may take them to dangerous or inappropriate sites. Clicking unknown links is a common way people get viruses or reveal private and valuable information to criminals.”


Let your child get bored…

From books, arts and sports classes to iPads and television, many parents do everything in their power to entertain and educate their children. But what would happen if children were just left to be bored from time to time? How would it affect their development?…

Do we need to stimulate our children at all times? Is it ok for our children to feel bored? According to the World Economic Forum children need time with themselves.



Tips to raise “good” kids from Harvard Psychologists

Being a parent is not easy…This article reminds us, parents, of some simple but very important elements for a child’s development.

  1. Spending quality time with your children
  2. Let your kids see a strong moral role model and mentor in you
  3. Teach your child to care for others and set high ethical expectations
  4. Encourage kids to practice appreciation and gratitude
  5. Teach them to see the big picture

According To Harvard Psychologists: Parents Who Raise “Good” Kids Do These 5 Things