Tes acquires Glasgow-based edtech firm SchoolCloud
Tes Global, the international provider of educational software services, has acquired Glasgow-based SchoolCloud, the company behind the most popular online parents’ evening software in the UK.
SchoolCloud was started by Robbie Beattie and Marcus Fields, two Mearns Castle High School students who set about solving a school-wide issue of room double bookings at the age of 15. Their school gave them the grand sum of £100 for the solution they developed, Room Booking System.
Equipped with their first income and some valuable guidance from entrepreneurial parents, they then launched their business from the playground in 2006. Today, over 6,000 schools use SchoolCloud to help them with their parents’ evenings, school events and room booking.
The acquisition of SchoolCloud by Tes further widens the solutions that the EdTech leader offers to schools, including timetabling, pupil management, wellbeing survey tools, recruitment, and online safeguarding and compliance training.
SchoolCloud now employs 15 staff based at their office in The Albus building at Clyde Gateway in the East End of Glasgow. Their software helps schools with room bookings, clubs, events and most significantly parents’ evenings.
Historically a huge administrative burden for schools and a logistical headache for parents, now even the most complicated parents’ evenings are straightforward to manage in just a few clicks. Admin staff no longer need to organise appointment sheets, process reply slips or chase up students. Parents can simply book appointments themselves with allotted and controlled time slots, with an algorithm to automatically find the most efficient appointment schedule for parents to meet with teachers in the shortest amount of time possible.
Significantly, during 2020 SchoolCloud brought video capability to the application, allowing for remote parents’ evenings to take place during the pandemic. Both primary and secondary schools are now seeing this as a way forward to more effectively managing parents’ evenings, with a clear long-term change in approach now being evident across SchoolCloud’s customers.
Even without the challenges of Covid, this allows for parents juggling multiple children’s schedules, childcare, work or travel commitments and even separated parents, to be able to participate in parents’ evenings remotely. Feedback is that it has revolutionised the way parents evening run, making them more professional, efficient, and much more time effective for all parties involved: teachers, parents, and school staff.
Rod Williams, chief executive of Tes, said: “As a leading provider of software solutions to schools, we have seen a growing adoption of technology by schools to help with all manner of tasks, from managing pupil behaviours, to planning class timetables, and monitoring staff wellbeing. However, this year, schools have understandably looked to adopt new technology with a greater sense of urgency. This is likely to leave a longstanding valuable legacy, given the clear benefits SchoolCloud has brough to schools. We’re very excited about this now becoming part of Tes’ offering to schools.”
Robbie Beattie, co-founder of SchoolCloud, added: “We’ve seen huge success as more schools adopt new technology. However, by being part of Tes, we are now part of a trusted partner for tens of thousands of schools worldwide. We know both schools and parents love how SchoolCloud can evolve parents’ evenings and we’re excited at the prospect of now being able to bring this technology to so many more.”
Marcus Fields, co-founder of SchoolCloud, said: “From a classroom project to a solution that can help teachers and parents across the globe, this has certainly been an incredible 16 years. The team around us care deeply about supporting schools and it is fantastic to become part of such an established brand that shares those values.”