Xpressions – Post Installation

Now you have all the component parts installed and you have a working installation of Xpressions, it's time to begin granting access to parents so that they can see the school and student data.


You should first make sure your MIS data is ready for parental access.


Preparing your MIS

Contact Details in your MIS

To ensure your MIS data is effective please note the following;

  • Phone numbers
    • If the phone number type/location is not set as ‘mobile’ in the MIS, Messenger, Emerge and Xpressions will not recognise that number as a valid SMS recipient, even if it is the number for a mobile phone.
      • Messenger relies on this type/location for SMS delivery.
      • Emerge for Schools relies on this type/location when integrated with Messenger for SMS delivery.
      • Xpressions relies on this type/location for registration of new parental users.
    • Additional Phone numbers can be stored for extended functionality.
  • Email
    • Emails will only be recognised when stored as ‘proper’ email addresses in the format ID@domain.tld (e.g. jbloggs@gmail.com, jbloggs@school.sch.uk etc).
    • If the email is not in a valid format the system will not recognise that address.
    • If the system encounters an error with an email address that is properly formatted, but is not legitimate (i.e. does not exist), the message will be sent by Messenger/Emerge, but later rejected by the receiving domain. This is default behaviour for any email message and is not specific to Groupcall Products and is also true for any other receiving errors such as a full inbox.

Further detail on the specific location of details within the MIS is shown here.

Photographs in your MIS

If your MIS does not make use of Photos, Emerge and Xpressions will not be able to make use of its full range of features and so we suggest you have as many student photos as possible in your MIS.


iPhone_GXapp_Home_5.5When parents log in to Xpressions they will see their child's photo

  • In the case of parents with multiple children, the image based interface relies on student photos to make it as user friendly as possible.
  • When viewing the timeline, the photos make it easier for parents to filter messages to their child or to a type of message such as Homework Notifications.
Emerge for Schools

  1. Emerge for Schools will show student photos which can be shown full screen and used for  a range of tasks such as identification to e.g. Fire Fighters in an emergency or on a day to day basis in a behaviour management capacity.
  2. Photos are also useful for Supply Teachers when taking registers. Emerge for Schools is built around an image based interface and a lack of photos will make it less user friendly and harder to identify and distinguish between students.
  3. Emerge for Schools also displays Staff Photos which can be helpful in identifying members of staff for New or Supply Teachers. Emerge for Schools is built around an image based interface and a lack of photos will make it less user friendly.


It is essential that contacts exist as single records with correctly configured relationships for Groupcall Products to get the most out of your MIS data.

  • As far as possible Sibling and Family relationships should be configured.
    • For example, a student called Ben with a sister called Amy and a mother called Liz should have Amy linked to his MIS record as his sister and his Mother as Liz;
    • Amy should have the same contact record for Liz linked to her as mother and not a duplicate record as well as having Ben linked as her brother.
    • In this example there should be 3 records consisting of 2 students and 1 contact.

Xpressions MIS Data

  • If a parent does not have a Mobile phone number and an Email address, they will be unable to use Xpressions as the service uses these 2 pieces of information for account creation.
  • If student photos are not saved, parents may get less from the system than desired and uptake will be less successful.
  • The mobile phone number is used for authentication of parents. This means that the system will ask parents to enter the last 4 digits of their mobile phone number to confirm that they are the same person as that registered in SIMS. This prevents unauthorised access and so it is imperative that the mobile phone number in SIMS is accurate.
  • School Details - If you are subscribed to the Enhanced Xpressions service parents will be able to view school details.SchooDetails
    • Parents can see your school contact information from the school module on their devices.
    • Each area becomes a link that will initiate an action when pressed - e.g. call the school, send an email etc.
    • The following details are set in SIMS > Focus > School > School Details.
      1. School Logo
      2. Headteacher
      3. School Address
      4. School Phone Number
      5. School Email Address
      6. School WebsiteSettings (website)
        • The website can also be set from within the Emerge Management Console.
        • The value in the Emerge Management Console will override any setting in the MIS so can be used in scenarios where you want to show a website that is more appropriate to existing parents such as greenabbey.com/parentinformation as opposed to just greenabbey.com which may cater for a more generic audience.


See this page for more information as well as information specific to your MIS.


Once you have all the required data in your MIS, your environment is ready for parents to start using the app.

Xpressions - Enhanced and Core Services

Please note that there are 2 version of the Xpressions service - Core and Enhanced.

  • Core includes messaging functionality.
  • Enhanced adds additional data to the messaging functionality from the MIS to allow parents a full view of their child's school life.
    • Enhanced MIS data includes - Attendance, Timetables, Behaviour, Achievements, School Calendar, and Assessments (NB not all features supported by all MISs - please refer to this page for more information.)
Show Features Table
 Messages sent via Messenger TilesAutomated 3rd Party event updates2 way messaging from parents to school Messenger account2 way messaging from parents to 3rd PartiesEnhanced MIS dataSupported operating systemsCost
Enhanced Service*
Where supported by selected 3rd Party Partner companies
Data varies by MIS

Please contact us for more information.
Core Service*
Where supported by selected 3rd Party Partner companies
Included at no extra cost with Messenger.


What Now?

When you are ready for parents to begin accessing their children’s data on their devices you will need to let them know that the service is ready. They can log in right now to the Xpressions app using just their email address and phone number.

You can direct them to parents.groupcall.com where they can find out all  they need to know including how to get the app. Have a look at our collection of marketing materials to help you rollout the service. In order to get the best experience we recommend that you start with a group (such as registration, year or known parents) at a time until you're comfortable moving to a wider audience.

When you have told parents about Xpressions you'll no doubt want to populate the data they can see about their children, so why not start by configuring SIMS to display Assessment in the app.

If you'd like to know more about how often attendance marks get updated you can read more about it here. The marks parental users see for their children will be a maximum of 92 minutes behind the school as long as all technical elements of the solution are operating correctly.

Next Steps...

If you need any further assistance or get in to any difficulty, please contact your School Administrator. Alternatively, they can contact Groupcall Support on your behalf.

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