Providing schools with the tools they always needed but never had. SIMS makes school life more efficient and easy to manage for teachers, senior leaders and office staff. Once implemented, SIMS enables schools to quickly and efficiently manage school life and drive improvement.
Rejuvinate your communications and build a stronger relationship between school and home with the all-in-one parent app for schools. Pick and choose the best features to match your school’s needs, ensuring that you’ll always find the perfect fit.
School dinners made easy. Empower students to eat well while improving the safety, efficiency, and productivity of your school’s kitchen. With our fully paperless catering opton, caters and local authorities can manage multiple kitchens at the touch of a button.
Does your school have a good payments system? How about a great one?
We know that 83% of UK schools will be cashless in 2 years, so chances are that you’ve migrated your school payments online, or are at least considering it. You’ve done your research, so you know that some cashless payment solutions do much more than just online payments.
As the UK market leader, we’ve implemented a user-friendly Trips module which is custom-built for safeguarding. Our system allows schools to manage consent forms, emergency contacts, and allergies, as well as payments.
But cashless systems haven’t always been this comprehensive. They started small.
From Croydon and Beyond
Early cashless payment systems were limited.
The answer to these limitations came in 2003 when we launched the first online school payments system, ParentPay. When we launched ParentPay, people needed a little convincing. But a project by Croydon Council in 2004 alleviated these reservations.
The work in Croydon continued and can be pinpointed as the catalyst for a truly cashless revolution that is now happening in schools all over the country.
The first step was to integrate online payments with canteen tills and the school MIS. Trialing this with Croydon Council was a success. The door was now open for schools to adopt a truly cashless solution, something that is now a reality for over 80% of secondary and 75% of primary schools in Croydon.
Successful cashless projects have since been rolled out all over the UK, including the London Borough of Enfield, Northamptonshire, Brighton & Hove, and Lancashire.
Clint Wilson, Corporate Development Director at ParentPay, commented that “the key to success was ensuring that everyone could pay for a variety of school items regardless of whether they owned a debit/credit card or had access to the internet, enabling schools to collect and manage all income online regardless of the payment method – so combining online payments with cash collection through PayPoint outlets in local stores was crucial”.
ParentPay is tried and tested. Used by over 11,000 schools and 4 million parents, we have only continued to improve since the success of the Croydon project.
Some schools, like Billesley Primary School in Birmingham, have noticed a significant increase in income since adopting our system. Within the first 3 years of use, Billesley noticed a 114% total increase in online income.
Finance Assistant, Shazia Begum, explains how Billesley Primary School “looked at a number of providers during the procurement process, and ParentPay’s reputation and experience, as well as ongoing developments with other school MIS and platform integrations, made it a clear choice for us”.
Ongoing support was important for Billesley: “The support and implementation team have been really helpful and supportive” says Shazia. “As with anything new, there were a few teething problems which have been resolved with minimum fuss. The ParentPay support team can talk you through any issues you may have and follow up with an email”.
It’s happening in MATs too.
Avocet Multi Academy Trust in Suffolk was looking to improve efficiencies when it came across ParentPay. Zoe Stewart, Trust Finance Office for Avocet Multi Academy Trust, says that “as a trust, the key benefits have been the more efficient and effective use of admin staff time across all schools. The cloud-based system has proved invaluable for managers to access individual school information from any location”.
Parents have also noticed the benefits of their school’s online payment system: “Parents are happier with this option because their child is spending money where they intended”, said Zoe. The convenience of their school payments system has also lead to increased income for Avocet, with a 55% increase in online income over 3 years.
Getting their parents on board was key for Avocet Multi Academy Trust, and Zoe Stewart recognises that “as with anything in schools, change can be met with resistance. However, once we recognised the major time savings for the Academy, we knew that it would be of huge benefit to both staff and parents. We gave parents a full term’s notice, guided them through the process with detailed instructions in our weekly newsletters, and of course, we’re always happy to offer our assistance via the school office”.