Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Scholabo is the private social network for primary and pre-schools. The site isn’t meant for pupils though – it’s more aimed at bridging the divide between parents and teachers.
It launched to the UK market in February 2011, and it’s designed to provide a secure ‘gated’ community where schools can send child reports, news, updates and private messages to parents.
Additionally, the platform enables schools to share things like classroom learning resources, school photos and event information.
Simon Moffatt, CTO and Co-Director at Scholabo, says:
“The main aim was to provide schools with a simple and cheap method of parental communication to reduce reliance on paper-based communication, which is bad for the environment, and SMS-based communication, which is expensive and time consuming.”
Scholabo now has around forty schools signed-up from across the UK, with another 350 expected by the end of 2011. But the site is looking beyond the UK, and Moffatt says that it has signed an agreement with 25 schools in South Africa, and they’re currently working to gain traction in the US, Australia and New Zealand too.
The startup has also just announced Scholabo-Mobile, providing a mobile-friendly version of its website. Moffatt says:
“Parents want to receive school information that is pertinent to them, in a secure and structured way. Scholabo provides a simple snapshot of school communications in a secure environment, that allows parents to be truly engaged and involved in their child’s early years development. With the increasing use of mobile browser technology in the likes of iPhones, Blackberries and phones running Google’s Android system, it is a sensible approach to make Scholabo available on the move, and today we can achieve that.”
Scholabo is privately funded with two directors and a handful of contract-based employees. It costs £395 per year/per school, irrespective of the size of the institution.
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