Mumsnet founder shares ‘talking tips’ at a Snaresbrook school

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts visiting Forest School in Waltham Forest

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts visiting Forest School in Waltham Forest - Credit: Archant

The founder of popular website Mumsnet visited a school last week to discuss with staff and parents their biggest shared issue and how they can better communicate.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts visiting Forest School in Waltham Forest

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts visiting Forest School in Waltham Forest - Credit: Archant

Speaking at the Forest School’s communication conference, Justine Roberts, 48, shared the journey of how her site was created and its success which sees it generate more than 70 million page views per month.

Following a consultation with 100 parents on her site, Justine shared what she felt was the biggest issue facing parents and schools.

She said: “There’s a lot of concern about targeting social media generally and children’s use of the digital world.”

Where other generations are able to refer to a point in time of how things were previously done, the parents and educators of the “digital generation” are both learning how to navigate today’s digital world.


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“We are the first generation that has not be able to reference our own upbringing,” said Justine.

The entrepreneur said parents constantly faced a decision on “how concerned to be” regarding children’s use of social media and summarised the results of the consultation.

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In most places, schools were found to be doing a good job but many users of Mumsnet gave examples of where things could be improved, such as providing information on staff school absences, supply teachers, up-to-date information on school websites and sending out information early and often.

An audience member raised a fear, shared by other school staff members, that some comments made on sites could be detrimental to individual members of staff and the reputation of a school.

This created a reluctance for schools to talk to parents on internet sites, however Justine urged schools to engage.

“Use social media for informational purposes, then it doesn’t just become the place where bad things happen,” said Justine.

Sites can take down comments personally attacking staff members.

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