Like every good story, ours is full of brilliant ideas, causes for celebration, moments of challenge, exciting developments and, unfortunately, times of sadness. It’s the story of who we are, and we feel it’s the best way to answer the question “why PrimarySite?”.
Rose and Geoff Millington’s spare room was where a passion and a problem collided, turning Rose’s web design hobby and Geoff’s career as a primary school teacher into one belief that, together, they could improve the way Geoff’s school operated and make a difference to children’s experience of using web technology.
Our story continued
They created their first school website in 2002 and within a year had built another fifteen – simply through word of mouth referrals – making Rose and Geoff even more determined to bring beautiful, individual and well-designed websites to every school. Geoff’s understanding of the daily challenges faced by schools gave them plenty of new ideas and Rose’s skill gave him the means to bring them to life. Their purpose-built Content Management System (CMS) was the first such innovation, making school communications via the website simple, fast and efficient.
In 2007, the birth of baby Eddie motivated Geoff to take a leap of faith and leave the teaching profession to become joint Managing Director of PrimarySite with Rose. Under their co-management, the business soared and within three years we celebrated the completion of our 1,000th website.
However, it was only when Eddie started primary school that Rose and Geoff were able to truly look at school life from a parents’ perspective. They quickly discovered how much they relied on “the bookbag” to communicate with the school. It seemed the obvious next step to use this experience to add new capabilities to the CMS and endeavor to create the digital equivalent of Eddie’s bookbag in our websites.
Of course, like small children, the world of technology simply doesn’t sit still and before long Rose and Geoff were adapting PrimarySite’s capabilities for smartphones. In 2014, we launched our first mobile CMS, allowing schools to make updates on the move. However, it wasn’t until the integration of stored contact information and the deployment of bulk emails and texts became possible that we knew we were well on the way to creating a complete communications portal for schools.
It was during this time that Rose sadly lost her two-year battle with cancer. Now it was more important than ever to stay faithful to Rose and Geoff’s vision of “using web technology to inspire and enrich the experience of primary school teachers, children and parents”. PrimarySite persevered through this difficult time and continued to develop new ways to help schools do more in less time and in doing so, following this vision to the letter. This vision has been the guiding force for PrimarySite and fundamental to the values that have taken it from Rose and Geoff’s bedroom enterprise to a business with over 80 employees, serving over 4,000 schools and multi-academy trusts.
In 2016, the Gold and Gold+ communication packages were launched, together with an interactive tool for booking parents’ evenings and a parental app. The next 12 months looks to be an incredibly exciting time for PrimarySite and there are big plans to develop the app and put the digital bookbag in every parent’s pocket – just as Rose and Geoff predicted.