How to integrate GOV.UK Notify for free SMS messages for schools.
Last updated: 04/05/2023
GOV.UK Notify offers free text messages for state-funded schools.
GOV.UK Notify provides a low cost communication options for schools, including emails, SMS messages and letters. Edulink One is able to connect into this service to offer you the ability to send your text messages for free. There’s an annual allowance of 10,000 free SMS messages per school, but if you go over your allowance, it costs just 1.97 pence (plus VAT) for each text message you send over the free allowance.
The downside of the GOV.UK Notify free/low cost system is that SMS replies are not possible, so you need to consider if this is the right solution for your school.
Learn more about Edulink One’s school messaging system here.
Please note this article was correct at time of publication. Please get in touch with support if the steps or screenshots no longer match up to the process.
How to set up GOV.UK Notify SMS messaging through Edulink One
Your school can sign up here: https://www.notifications.service.gov.uk/
Signing up is easy and once you have an account, you will need to sign in to create an API Key and template for Edulink One to use.
Create API key
1. Sign in to GOV.UK Notify here: https://www.notifications.service.gov.uk/sign-in
2. Select API integration from the dashboard menu.
3. In the API integration menu, select the API keys button.
4. Create a new Live API Key.
5. Copy the API Key – you will need to enter it in your Edulink One settings later on.
6. You now need to create a template for Edulink One to use.
7. Click the New Template button, select Text Message and continue.
8. Give the template a name and in the Message field enter
((body)). Click save.
9. On the template screen, click on the template you have just created and copy the Template ID – you will need to enter it in your Edulink One settings next.
Please note: Before you go live with GOV.UK Notify, you’ll see this check list to make sure you’ve got everything in place. You may see this after step 4, when you first create the live key.
Set up GOV.UK Notify as you SMS provider in Edulink One
10. Now log in to your Edulink One administrator account and go to your Edulink One settings and select the Communicator tab.
11. Enable the SMS messaging option and select GovNotify from the provider list.
12. Enter the API Key and Template ID you noted down from the previous steps and save the settings.
You’re now set up and ready to go.
Please remember to test that messaging is working properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Until 31st March 2021, the free allowance per school was 25,000 SMS messages a year. This was reduced in 2021 to 10,000 SMS messages per year along with updated pricing.
The most recent pricing took effect on 1st April 2023 and whilst the free allowance remains the same, the additional message cost has risen to 1.97p per message. See detailed pricing for the latest rates.
Read all about it here.
Edulink One’s messaging system can send push notifications via the app, emails and SMS messages, depending on what contact details are in your MIS system and your preferences. You can set up messaging in the way that best suits your school. Read about Edulink One’s messaging functionality here.