ParentPaperwork is a Melbourne business is helping schools save time and money so teachers can get back to teaching.
Each year around the world tens of millions of people sign hundreds of millions of paper forms on behalf of their children or relatives. It’s a labour intensive, unreliable and inefficient process.
ParentPaperwork is a new online platform to automate paper forms in education, dramatically reducing cost and improving liability management. The system manages excursion forms, permission slips and many other forms parents need to complete for their children and send back to school.
Fiona Boyd and David Eedle founded ParentPaperwork after counting the dozens of forms they had signed for their three children over the course of a few months. They started consulting a number of schools in their local area last year and uncovered just how much teacher time and school resources are needed to manage the many paper forms sent out by schools each year.
ParentPaperwork has only been available for a few weeks, but Fiona Boyd, the company’s CEO says the response has been strong:
“The feedback from schools is overwhelmingly positive. We are now live in two schools and have another two dozen more who we have demoed to or are negotiating with. We’ve even had enquiries from New Zealand.”
“Principals and teachers know just how much work is needed to look after all their paper forms, every hour we save them is another hour teachers can spend in the classroom.”
Fiona and David have a long track record in online ventures, they founded the online jobs and news company Artshub.com.au in 2000, selling the business in 2006. Schools can find out more at www.ParentPaperwork.com.
Fiona Boyd 0418 576409
David Eedle 0419 876 942
Workflows are a powerful tool in ParentPaperwork to ensure that the proper permissions are secured before a Slip is distributed to parents, or that certain tasks are completed – for example, for a Victorian state government school enter the information to the DEECD Student Activity Locator. Up until now users have had a limited ability to manage the workflows associated with form templates. Today we’ve introduced a new way to manage and edit the workflows.
Click on Forms to list your Form Templates.
You’ll see a new edit option under the Workflow column, this will display the workflow associated with your template.
Depending on the Step type, you can edit various information about the Step. For example, the first Step, to ‘Create’ the Slip cannot be removed, neither can the ‘Queue’ and ‘Send’ steps as these are required in order to trigger distribution of the Slips. For example, if you click to edit the ‘Create’ step, you’ll see that you cannot edit the Action, but you can allocate which Users can action the Step.
You can insert new steps by clicking the relevant Add New Step button. Typically this is to introduce an Approval step, whereby you want the workflow to move to a particular person (or selection of people) who can approve the sending of a Slip.
You should add two new Steps, firstly the ‘Send for Approval’ step. When this is actioned by the User, it will trigger an email to the ‘approver’ so they are notified that they need to log in and action the Slip. Secondly an ‘Approve’ step, which the approving user(s) will action to show that they have signed off on the Slip. They would then usually action the Queue Slip step. Thus the workflow might look like this:
If you change your mind, you can delete the Steps you have added. Y
We’ve released a small update today in response to feedback from schools, the ability to configure the ‘From’ email address for the emails sent by ParentPaperwork to schools.
In the past the emails sent to parents always had the ‘From’ and ‘Reply To’ emails as ‘email@example.com’, and the ‘From Name’ as ‘ParentPaperwork’.
We’ve made two changes:
- The From Name will now be the name of the school, instead of ParentPaperwork. We think this makes much more sense, parents can now easily recognise the email is coming from the school.
- Users can now control the From/Reply To email address. By default it remains as ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, but you can now configure it to be something else. This is important if an email ‘bounces’ because the recipient’s email is incorrect, the bounce message will be sent to the From email address, thus a school can now choose to receive those bounces and know that a parent’s email address has problems.
Here’s what the email might look like:
Notice the From Name is the name of the school, and the email address is no longer ‘email@example.com’.
How to change the From Email address
As part of these changes we’ve also slightly reorganised the Settings menus. If you click the cog at the top right you’ll find an option called Settings.
Click this, and it will open a new page that consolidates together your options.
Click the Configuration option.
By default the From Email Address will be ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. To set your own, uncheck the Use Default option and type the new address in the field. You could set up a special email address at school just for this, for example, email@example.com.
To reset back, check the Use Default box.
We’re pleased to announce a new feature for ParentPaperwork, the ability to limit the number of responses submitted by parents. This has been an idea suggested by several schools, and made complete sense when it was explained to us.
Some schools are using ParentPaperwork to capture RSVPs for events and functions, for example, a Father Son Breakfast, and usually these types of events have a limit on numbers.
When you add or edit a slip you will now see a new set of options called ‘Limit Responses’. By default it is set to ‘All’, meaning all parents can respond to your Slip. If you change this option to ‘First’ a new field will appear where you can enter the number of responses you wish to capture. For example, if you only want the first 30 responses you would enter ’30’ into the field.
When the 31st parent clicks the link in their email to respond to the Slip they will be shown a message explaining that the number of permitted responses has been exceeded.
After feedback from customers we’ve updated the permissions system for Users, to give you more flexibility and control over what Users can do and see within ParentPaperwork.
You access the User List from the Settings menu by clicking on the cog at the top right of your browser window. Click to view a User, then click the Edit button.
There are two new options:
1. User Permission
A User can now have “Edit Permission” or “Read Only Permission”. The default is “Edit Permission”, which means they have full access to add, edit and delete information. If a User has “Read Only Permission” they cannot add/edit/delete anything, all they can do is view information.
2. Only the User’s Slips
If this option = “Yes”, the User will only see their Slips – that is, Slips they have created, or are on the Workflow for. The Default = “No”, which means Users will see all Slips as standard.
A reminder that this only applies to Users. Administrators continue to have complete access to everything, including the ability to manage Users, Student Attributes and Form templates.