Former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy has backed a Liverpool-based venture hoping to connect parents and schools.

Speke-based Parentapps, founded in 2015 by Kevin Clayton, is aiming to create a new communications model which will allow parents to receive updates directly from schools, without relying on students to pass on the information.

“Parentapps operates in a really big area, which is schools and parents, and so it touches upon everybody,” said Leahy.

“That is a big idea and if you can make a useful contribution to the day to day lives of nearly everybody then that is something that matters.”

The company produces a bespoke app for each client school and allows parents to communicate with the school directly about sickness or absence from school.

“I think the education sector is an untapped market,” said Leahy.

“Digital technology is revolutionising the way we live our lives. But if you look at a schools today, they are quite conservative around IT. They haven’t been able to fully embrace all the potentials of digital technology.”

Parentapps currently has 350 schools signed up to its service and currently employs 15 people at its south Liverpool base.

“The traditional form of communication is giving children letters to take home to their parents,” added its founder Clayton.

“Those letters contain all kinds of important information about school trips, changes in policy, consent forms, events and so many more things.

“Such important communications are often put in the hands of very young children who would often stuff them at the bottom of their school bags and forget about them – it is a serious weakness in the chain.

“Our app, which can be individualised for each primary and secondary school, and nurseries, does away with that process in an instant saving the school time and money and reducing its carbon footprint.”