Questions & Answers

  1. Getting Started.


    Firstly, you need to join. Whether you can start receiving SMS immediately will depend wither your School has the service installed. (It’s free for your school to install and use).

    If your School already has School News Channel.

    Using your User ID sent to you by your school, log onto your School News Channel™ USER ACCOUNT by clicking PARENT LOGON on the School News Channel™ home page. You can then select your service type.

    Lost or No User ID?

    Request it to be resent as follows:

    • At the School News Channel™ Home page, Click on PARENT LOGON
    • Click on FIRST TIME USER
    • You will be asked to update and enter your contact details. Your identity will then be validated by your school. This can take up to 48 hours for your school to complete this. Once identity is established, you will be sent your password via email or SMS.

    If your school doesn’t have School News Channel™.

    That’s OK. You still need to join. Once 5 or more Parents requests join, School News Channel will contact your school to install the service – which is totally FREE for your school. This is a straightforward process and will take 14-21 days. We will keep you notified of the progress by email along the way.

    Inviting other Parents

    YES. After joining, login and navigate to the “Invite other family members” section. From there, enter the details of the people you would like to invite and School News Channel will do the rest.

    Is my school getting School News Channel™?

    You can tell whether your school has, or is in the process of installing School News Channel in 2 ways:

    • Request to join. School News Channel will automatically keep you informed of the progress.
    • At the home page, you can search for your school. If it appears, click REQUEST and supply your contact details and click SUBMIT. You will be contacted as to the status and progress of installing School News Channel™ at your school.

  2. Who can use School News Channel™?


    Which family members can access School News Channel™?

    Primary Caregivers (usually a mother and father) can activate the service themselves, directly through the School News Channel™ website. You don’t need to contact the school to do this. In addition, Primary caregivers can invite other family members and special friends to receive SMS about their child. This is called School Social Networking. It may be a special uncle or aunt, friends that car pool, nannies or grandparents. School News Channel™ enables all such people to receive SMS alerts about your child’s school life.

    Primary Caregiver Status.

    Your primary caregiver status is established via your school’s records. If the school does not acknowledge you as a primary caregiver (usually the mother and father), for security and privacy reasons, you will not be able join School News Channel™ or access any information regarding any child held in a user account on School News Channel™.

    Only primary caregivers can allow grandparents, family members and other special people to receive SMS alerts about their child, by updating the RELATIVES SUMMARY section.

    How does School News Channel™ know whether I’m a parent?

    School News Channel™ determines this based on your school records.

    How does School News Channel™ validate my identity?

    The first time you login to School News Channel™- through the New User section, you will be asked to fill out your contact information.

    School News Channel performs a software security cross-reference of the information you provided with school records, and if approved, then requests final validation with your school. Once this is occurs, your password will be sent to you via SMS or email.

    If your school does not verify you as primary caregiver, you cannot gain access to School News Channel™.

    How long will it take to validate my identity?

    Because the validation process involves school staff, this process can take up to 72 hours, (school staffs don’t work on weekends). If you have not received your password after 72 hours – please contact School News Channel™ on 1800 300 346 or email support@schoolnewschannel.com.

    Old Scholars.

    Functionality for Old Scholars to join that don’t currently have children at the school to receive SMS for School Events, News and other services will be available in 2012.

  3. What is SMS School Social Networking?


    It’s a unique feature that enables your other family members and special friends in your child’s life, to receive important school information.

    This is an efficient way for all the people involved in your child’s life to keep up to date with school issues, and also creates a more engaged, supportive network and environment leading to better educational and welfare outcomes for your child.

    How do I invite my family and friends to join?

    As a primary caregiver this is a simple task - Log onto you School News Channel™ user account Click ADD RELATIVE in the RELATIVES SUMMARY section and follow the instructions. Your family member or friends will receive a SMS inviting them to join once this has successfully completed. People have been known to add:

    • Grandparents
    • Family friends
    • Nannies
    • Uncles and aunts
    • Neighbours
    • After school carers

  4. Separated Parents.


    Can separated Parents join?

    Yes, just follow the join procedure.

    Can separated Parents join without ex-partner’s approval?

    Yes, if you are acknowledged by the school as a Primary Caregiver (usually the mother and father), then you can activate School News Channel™ directly through the School News Channel™ website without your ex-partner’s consent or approval. Your credentials will then be validated.

    I’m separated and not recorded as a Primary Caregiver with the school

    Then apply to join and School News Channel will perform the process of updating your Primary Caregiver status at your school for you.

  5. School Event Reminder SMS.


    What type of reminders can I expect to receive?

    By joining School News Channel, you will receive a timely SMS alert for all key school events relevant only to your child(ren). Ie. You will not receive SMS alerts for all school events.

    Examples Reminder SMS that you may receive are:

    • Projects / assignments due
    • Notices
    • Parent Teacher interviews
    • Excursions
    • Hot Weather
    • School Closure
    • Casual dress days
    • School Holiday dates
    • Performances
    • School Social Events

    The list is endless.

  6. How does SMS Absence notification work?


    How does School News Channel know if my child is not at school?

    School News Channel™ directly links into your school’s roll and attendance records. If your child is absent or late without explanation, the service will automatically send you an SMS alert with all relevant details.

    Parent’s responsibility.

    You will only be alerted if your child is marked absent without explanation. If you know in advance that your child will be absent, please send the school a pre-emptive SMS to 199 100 010 providing your name, your child’s name and the reason for absence. You will then not receive an absence SMS from the school for that day.

    Student’s responsibility.

    If your child is late to school or has a pass to leave, they must follow the appropriate late procedures of the school. If they don’t, you will receive a SMS as they absent without reason.

    Late to School. Will I get an SMS?

    School News Channel™ has the functionality to monitor and send lateness SMS as well; however each school configures School News Channel™ to suit their parent community, school operations and communication policy. Whether you receive a late SMS will depend on your school.

    How often will I receive an SMS from my school?

    The frequency and type of the SMS you may receive will depend on which service you have joined.

    You will only receive and Attendance alert if you child has not arrived at school without an explanation. Therefore, you will not receive any SMS alerts if this does not occur.

    Other SMS will be sent to you as events that trigger an SMS occur.

    Schools also have the ability to send emergency crisis SMS if necessary to parents who have joined either service.

    What number do I use to send an SMS to my child’s school?

    Send your SMS to 199 100 010. When you first join School News Channel, you will receive the welcome SMS from your school - save this number under School SMS in your mobile phone address book.

    Can I contact my child’s teacher using School News Channel?

    Yes. If your school has the MGM Watchlists module implemented, your SMS message will automatically be routed to both your child’s home group teacher and year level co-ordinator. However, without MGM Watchlists, your SMS will need to be manually forwarded to the home group teacher by your school’s administration staff. Please appreciate this can take some time – and please allow up to 1 day for this to occur.

  7. Receiving an Absence SMS.


    What do I do if I receive an SMS that my child is not at school?

    Firstly - DO NOT PANIC.

    You’ve received an SMS because School News Channel™ has identified via school rolls, that your child has been marked as absent without a reason.

    If your child may be absent, for instance due to illness. If this is the case, and they are currently under your supervision, you can simply reply to the SMS and acknowledge the absence with a reason.

    Otherwise, you will need to determine you child’s whereabouts and inform the school accordingly.

    My child is at school. Why did I receive an SMS?

    If you believe your child is at school, there the following may have occurred:

    • Your child is at school but arrived late and did not go through the school late arrival procedure – therefore according to school records they are absent.
    • Your child went straight to class without seeing the home group teacher / tutor to record their attendance status to present
    • If you sent a pre-emptive SMS to inform the school of your child’s planned absence, the SMS may have been received after the rolls were marked, hence the SMS was sent
    • Your child could be on school grounds, but missed the period in which rolls were recorded.
    • Your child may be on a school excursion and school roll records were not correctly recorded.
    • Occasionally, a relief teacher may mark the roll incorrectly due to lack of familiarity with students
    • The home group / pastoral care teacher has marked the roll incorrectly

    The most import point is not to panic. Establish communication with your child and school then decide on the most suitable course of action.

    An SMS can only be sent if your child has been deliberately been recorded absent without explanation. Please note that the default setting is that all students are present at school. Only if your child has been recorded absent without explanation, will School News Channel™ send an SMS alert to those caregivers listed to you and your SMS social network.

    I received an SMS telling me that somebody I don’t know is not at school?

    There are a number of reasons why this may have occurred. The most likely scenario is that your mobile phone number has been keyed incorrectly into school records by school administration staff.

    Another reason may be that if your mobile service is new, the new number may be recycled from a cancelled service, and your company has assigned this old number to you. To rectify this problem contact the school or School News Channel by email at support@schoolnewschannel.com.

  8. Paying for School News Channel?


    How do I pay?

    You can pay by charging the fees directly to your mobile phone bill, or Paypal or Credit card. You will see a separate section appear on your bill called SCHOOL SMS. If you are charging to your mobile account using a pre-paid mobile service, the charge will be subtracted from your mobile phone credit.

    Do I pay for each of my children?

    No. School News Channel is a service for Parents. With the Family Link service, you only pay the one monthly fee for all your children. If you selected the Safety Link service, then you will be charged for each SMS that you receive whenever any of your children have not arrived to school without explanation.

    Do I to pay for each school that my children attend?

    No, School News Channel is a Parent service, so regardless of how many children you have, or how many schools they attend – you only pay the one monthly fee for Family Link service, and If you selected the Safety Link service, then you will be charged for each SMS that you receive whenever any of your children have not arrive to school without explanation.

    How do I know that I have been correctly charged for School News Channel™?

    Firstly, check the fees for the service type you have selected. These can be fount here: Service Options and Fees

    Next, logon to your School News Channel™ user account and verify that your account reflects the service you have chosen to join.

    I have been incorrectly billed. What do I do?

    If you believe you’ve been charged incorrectly, contact School News Channel™ on 1800 300 346 or email support@mgmwireless.com.

  9. Changing your account details or setting.


    How do I change my School News Channel™ service type?

    Log-in to your School News Channel™ user account, Click on Manage SMS Service, Select the service you wish to join and you will receive a confirmation SMS once this has successfully completed.

    My current or new mobile number.

    To update School News Channel (and your school) of you current or new mobile number, log on to your School News Channel™ user account. In the SUMMARY DETAILS section and click UPDATE DETAILS. Your new contact details will automatically be available to your school.

  10. Children at different schools.


    Do I to pay for each school my children attend?

    No, School News Channel is a Parent service, so regardless of how many children you have, or how many schools they attend – you only pay the one fee.

    What number do I use to send an SMS to each school?

    You will always use the same number to send SMS to schools via the School News Channel - 199 100 010

    School News Channel will automatically rout your message to all schools where you are registered as a Parent or Social SMS Network member. Therefore, please remember to put as much detail in your SMS as necessary, in particular your child’s name and your name, to help your school(s) properly interpret and understand your SMS.

  11. How secure is School News Channel™?


    Specifically designed for Schools.

    School News Channel strictly adheres to the highest security standards technically possible and adheres to all Australian privacy laws. We will not share or sell your mobile numbers or communication records to advertisers or any other third party. See our privacy policy.

    Can School News Channel™ be used by others, to access information about my child?

    No. School News Channel™ places the utmost level of importance on the security of all information relating to your child, Parents and school. The information in your School News Channel™ user account, such as contact names and details are only accessible by you, the Primary Caregiver.

    What is the School News Channel™ privacy policy?

    See the School News Channel Privacy Policy at the link on the Home Page.

    Does School News Channel™ comply with Australian Privacy and Child Safety Legislation?

    Yes. School News Channel and MGM Wireless™ go to extreme lengths, above and beyond all State and Federal Legislation. MGM Wireless™ systems have been validated by Education Department in Western Australia, New South Wales and New Zealand as meeting all Australian Child Safety and Privacy Laws. View our Privacy Policy.

    Which Australian Privacy Laws does School News Channel comply with?

    The Privacy Act 1988 (Australia) – Section 9, and Section 19 of the Privacy and Personal Information Act (NSW) 1998 and SECTION 33 of the QUEENSLAND - INFORMATION PRIVACY ACT 2009.

    Will my mobile phone number or personal details be shared with others?

    NEVER. Your information is confidential. School News Channel™ adheres to all the relevant privacy legislation and your information will never knowingly be provided to anyone other than your school.

    Will I receive advertising or spam SMS resulting from using School News Channel?

    Never. To ensure your mobile number is safe from spammers, School News Channel™ only uses Australian Telecommunication carriers to transmit your SMS alerts. Using only Australian carriers means there is no risk of your mobile number being sold to advertisers or spammers. School News Channel adheres to strict Australian Privacy and Child Safety legislation.

  12. How do I stop using School News Channel™?


    Cancelling.

    WARNING. Before you cancel you service, you must understand that this may pose safety and welfare risks to your child. By cancelling the service – it's unlikely you will be informed at all if your child has not arrived at school. This may put your child’s safety at risk. Due to the large school staff workloads involved in contacting parents, most schools will only notify parents by letter if your child has not arrived at school without reason for 3 consecutive days – if at all.

    To stop or cancel my School News Channel™ service simply logon to your School News Channel™ user account Click on Manage SMS Service, Select unsubscribe. You will receive a confirmation SMS once this has successfully completed.

  13. How does School News Channel™ work in an emergency?


    Will I receive an SMS in case of a crisis at my child’s school?

    Yes*. Regardless of the School News Channel™ service type you have joined, you will be able to receive alerts about a crisis or emergency at the school.

    *Unlike Attendance or School Event / Social SMS reminders – which are automatically generated by School News Channel™, Crisis mass SMS Alerts must be manually constructed and sent by a school operator. Therefore, whether you receive and SMS will ultimately depend on the Crisis Management capability of your school.

  14. Your school.


    How much does it cost the School?

    It’s FREE. There are no costs for the School to install and send SMS messages to parents provided by School News Channel™ services. All support services are also free.

    School News Channel™ is provided with professional services for training and assistance in reviewing the attendance management, roll marking, general communication procedures and policies. These training services are provided by former School Principals and SMS communication experts.

    How does a school get School News Channel™?

    You school can apply to have the service installed here, or School News Channel will contact the School Principal whenever there are 5 or more Parents that have requested the service.

    Can Parents request their School to install School News Channel™?

    Yes, by clicking here.

  15. Who owns School News Channel™?


    MGM Wireless Ltd – an Australian Stock Exchange Listed Public Company. (ASX:MWR).

    Who is MGM Wireless?

    MGM pioneered the use of SMS communications in schools. As a world market leader, we have built a reputation for developing solutions that deliver strong student welfare, safety and attendance improvement.

    Over 750 schools trust us because our solutions work, plus the Education Departments Western Australia, NSW (Sydney Region), and New Zealand. Our solutions deliver tangible benefits in student safety and welfare. Today, MGM Wireless is the undisputed leader and the most trusted name in Automated School Communication and Attendance Solutions for schools.

    School News Channel™ is the latest development in Automated Attendance Communication Solutions with the aim to improve safety and attendance but to also empower parents, family members and special people who are important in your child’s life.

    Investing in MGM Wireless.

    MGM Wireless Limited is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Shares in MGM Wireless Limited, may be purchased through your Stock Broker. ASX code: MWR

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