Reviewed by
Bill Gillespie and Rosemary McDowall

Timely communication seems to be difficult for many schools. Notes can be forgotten, left at the bottom of the bag with the squashed banana, or binned by a zealous parent on a mission to clean a child’s bedroom.

Some schools have developed mobile apps to communicate with parents and, one company, Notes from School, appears to have gone a step further. It has developed a system that lets schools send notes that are logged and tracked, with responses from parents and carers saved and sorted for follow-up.

The notes can be sent to computers, smart phones or tablets. Most importantly, the company says, this takes place within a secure environment and schools using the system will find that Notes from School marries up with the Sentral operating system so all the information is available, from individual pupils to school classes, years or groups. This makes it simple to target the appropriate audience.

Notes from School allows schools to send newsletters, excursion or band notes, inform parents of changes to routines, request responses or announce events. Any note can carry an attachment. It is simple to send out the school newsletter and attach a poll to find out, for example, if changes to the bus timetable are working. It is possible to attach a small media file to show children collecting awards or action from special events.

With secure access to the Notes from School console you can create, edit and publish your school notes, doing away with folders and stationery.

Notes from School simplifies tracking responses and approvals and has an Emergency Notification System (ENS) that enables rapid distribution of notices with specific instructions for parents or carers. The recent bushfires in NSW highlighted how valuable this could be, coupled with the effective tracking receipt and response function.

Information for review was provided by Notes from School Pty Ltd. Rosemary McDowall teaches at North Sydney Boys HS and Bill Gillespie at Elanora Heights PS. They can be contacted at