ParentPay case study
Local Authority: Lancashire
- Manage staff time more effectively and give parents peace of mind that payments are received.
- Introduce online payment system that includes school – parent communication.
- Reduced parental queries and debt, resulting in more administrative time freed up for staff to put to better use on more important tasks.
Shakespeare Primary goes cashless
Shakespeare Primary school is one of 8000 schools using ParentPay. Like many, they started out with a simple objective, however, they soon found the vast majority of parents and staff saw the advantages of a cashless school environment.
Like many School Business Managers, Deborah Latham from Shakespeare Primary School in Lancashire, was concerned about the problems associated with the collection of cash in school.
With a large amount of cash being brought into school, the manual procedure in place was open to error: “Children sometimes left money in book bags or coats and parents insisted they’d sent money in that never arrived.”
The roll out process
The school started using ParentPay to collect payments for uniform, which happened to ‘tie in nicely’ with their existing procedure for uniforms. Then they added school meals, trips and clubs.
Deborah explains how Shakespeare School kept their parents up to date:
“When we introduced ParentPay to Shakespeare, we provided each of our parents with a detailed leaflet to explain what it was, how it worked and when it would be introduced. We made sure our parents were fully informed going into this decision and understood how this would benefit not only them, but the school too.
For our school, collecting payments online was necessary to gain more financial security: this was the driving force behind our decision to push forward with notifying and helping parents.
Providing a specific payment solution, whilst offering flexibility has worked well for us.
If parents are unable to pay online, they call the school and make an immediate payment over the phone. This is convenient as we receive the payment sooner and the parent doesn’t need to visit the school.
Ensuring there are easier methods of payment has changed our school dramatically; paying via credit/debit card is most popular amongst parents, PayPoint is used less as they see how easy and convenient the online alternative is.
Paying online is accepted as common practice now.
The system also offers control of minimum payments, for school meals we set this to £10 meaning parents must pay enough to cover any small debt, or ensure there is credit on their child’s account to cover the cost of meals for the week.”
Save time and peace of mind
Deborah says “A big factor for us is the amount of time saved since implementing ParentPay; no more counting loose change or dealing with angry parents because their money hadn’t made it to the office. As a result, we all have total peace of mind. We’re able to track payments and chase up outstanding ones safe in the knowledge they haven’t been paid yet, a big plus.”
Shakespeare Primary school have benefited from collecting payments online in a number of ways:
“We have seen a noticable difference in how our parents pay. More are paying in advance, some as far as a term for school meals, which was unheard of before ParentPay. Parents are making larger payments as it’s more convenient and safer online, which has also reduced the debt we used to see.”