by Linda Tanner

A few weeks ago, you couldn’t find toilet rolls anywhere but now they are being chucked around all over social media!

Challenge videos, in which toilet rolls are passed from pupil to pupil and teacher to teacher * – with not a little keepie-uppie showing off, not necessarily from the youngsters – seem a popular way of keeping in touch while schools are closed to most adults and children.

Like this!


Photo collages, online art galleries, celebration assemblies, songs, stories, and even cooking demos are also being shared online, even by schools that earlier in the year were terrified of going anywhere near Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

Seeing familiar, human faces becomes more important as every week of the pandemic passes. It is an aspect of communication we would all do well to remember.

School campuses have of necessity been made much more secure in recent years; staff and students have, ironically, practised lockdown drills as well as fire drills. But safeguarding should not mean isolation: schools are at the heart of their communities and must reach out to them.

The brilliant response from many in doing just that during this crisis, for example the magnificent efforts to ensure that no families go hungry, should ensure that the public now realises that academic education is only one part of what happens in schools.

Strong relationships are vital; schools know their families and their community and the best ones make sure their key messages are shared in the most appropriate way and reflect their core values.

There is no ‘one size fits all’. YouTube clips are fun but need to be backed up by some of the following, and more: phone calls to parents, newsletters, clear written communications from leaders (with translations to other languages where necessary) and consistent imagery.

It’s worth taking some time during this hiatus to think about the image of your school in your neighbourhood and more widely and to plan ways to improve it.

Get in touch if we can help, and sign up for our free comms kit.

Not sure we can offer much on the keepie-uppie front though!

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