ParentPay case study
Local Authority: St Christopher’s Church of England Academy
- To remove cash and cheques from the classroom. Make payments easier to track. Make reporting and reconciliation easier.
- Collect payments online with direct settlement to the school bank account and online reporting.
- Streamlined, efficient and more secure payment collection. Offers school and parents peace of mind.
Why St Christopher’s CofE High School went cashless
Joanne Nutter, School Administrator at St Christopher’s High School in Lancashire talks about why her school decided to collect payments online.Joanne outlined the challenges being faced on a daily basis with cash and cheques coming into school:
“Pupils were bringing cash and cheques in for trips and clubs and handing this to teachers, it wasn’t very practical, convenient or secure. By deciding to take online payments we eliminated many problems asscociated with cash collection.
Using ParentPay has made it much easier for us to track income, the audit trail is clear meaning we don’t lose track of any payments and ensures money is spent on its intended purpose.”
The benefits of online payments
Joanne talks about the positive changes since using ParentPay:
“ParentPay has reduced the need for having to manually collect and count cash in school on a daily basis. Receipts are provided automatically for the parents upon payment, they can be easily reminded when their balance is running low and are prompted to top up.”
In addition to this, Joanne feels the school is more secure: “School income is settled directly to our school bank accounts and reconciliation is easier. Reducing the amount of cash in school is safer for everyone and is far more efficient, enabling staff to spend time on other demanding tasks in the office.”
Encouraging parents to pay online
Joanne summarises how St Christopher’s have encouraged their parents to get involved:
“We have been proactive in promoting ParentPay in school from day one. We ensure the parents of our new intake year 7 pupils are informed of our preference for online payments at their induction meeting, so they are aware of the procedure in school.
We send out letters to parents informing them of up and coming trips and clubs and really encourage parents to pay via ParentPay.
We offer support to parents who are a little unsure and help them to log in or activate their accounts if they haven’t already done so. Teaching staff were also keen to use the system and encourage students to use ParentPay; it helps them too as it reduces the burden of collecting cash and cheques from pupils during the day.”
Joanne adds: “The majority of our parents are happy to pay online now, some still want to make manual cash payments, although we are comfortable with that, we do suggest they try using ParentPay first.
Once parents have used the system, they see how easy it is. We are also considering introducing PayPoint with ParentPay, which allows cash based payers to top up ParentPay in local stores.”
Advice to other schools
Joanne shares some useful insight around getting started: “Promote ParentPay to your new intake as early and as much as posssible, then work your way through the school.
Let them know the benefits and always use ParentPay as the default method of payment, only offer other alternatives if really necessary.
Paying this way will prove the best way for parents and the school. Parents can also see what their child is eating, offering the peace of mind their money is being spent on its intended purpose.”