A common issue we often hear is that a school is just about ready to give up on their school app because they’re just not happy with the results. It could be that parents aren’t downloading, or that parent engagement is much lower than was expected. But instead of abandoning your App it’s important to stop and ask, ‘what has gone wrong?’

School Apps appeal only to a small part of your overall school community

Let’s face it – if you’re an independent school, engaging current parents can be easy (which may not always be the case for government schools). Parents generally want to know about school events and activities and want to stay informed. But many school Apps are still failing to sufficiently engage parents or are experiencing dwindling numbers. Why?

With over 2 billion mobile apps, why would your community download your app?

Part of this is due to something called “App fatigue” – quite simply, people are switching off new Apps, or just can’t be bothered updating them anymore. In fact, a recent study in America found that only 49% of people had downloaded a new App in the past 30 days [1]. Even worse, of those, only a quarter had bothered to use the App a second time.

These trends can also be seen in Australia. A recent study conducted in Adelaide reviewed school development professionals and found that approximately 50% of these people had not downloaded a new app in the past 30 days [2]. What can schools do to encourage use of their school App in this changing and complex environment

Apps are still important for effective school communication

While many school communities are experiencing reduced engagement with their App, a good school App, supported by a sound communication strategy, has enormous benefits; it may even be a game-changer for a school. A great App helps your school develop its professional image. A great App engages your entire community, making it proud to be associated with your school and fostering school community relationships. The key is to make sure   you have the right App for your school (See upcoming blog – Top 5 questions to ask when shopping for a new school App).

Take a smart approach to school communication and app strategy

Instead of just picking any school App and hoping that it works, consider what features you really need and develop your own App engagement strategy. For example, should your school app be able to track usage so you can see exactly which news articles your community engages with and reads? How will you reach the parents that download your school app but never use it? MGM’s own School Star App was developed with this in mind .  Its smart approach will show you which news items your parents are reading, and which are most-liked.

And finally, write your content in the right way

You only get one chance at a first impression; this is also true for school Apps. Research shows that of the parents who download your school app, only 25% will use it again [1]. As such, if you want to make sure that your parents stay engaged with your school App, you need to be able deliver engaging content which piques and maintains parent interest.

In an upcoming blogpost, we’ll be providing advice on How to Hook Your School Parents with Engaging Content.

To request a free school communication consultation for your school by an MGM expert, simply click here, fill out your details and an MGM Consultant will be in touch.

[1] Fortune Magazine Comscore Report, September 17 2016/

[2] EducatePLus SA NT Chapter PD – May 2017

[3] comScore MobiLens US Age 13+, 3 Month Average Ending June 2016 vs June 2015