Keresforth Primary School

Time to read: 2min 5 Aug 2023

Phase: Primary

Local Authority: Barnsley


To give parents the convenience of paying online. To become a cashless school.


A SIMS-recommended system that integrates with SIMS Dinner Money. A System that was excellent value for money.


A huge reduction in staff time, efficient collection of debts, and a great reduction in paper usage.

Keresforth Primary discovers the perfect engagement system for them…

Initially, the school just wanted to give parents the choice of being able to pay online or by card for convenience and attain the facility of sending text messages. Further down the line, the school decided to become a cashless school. Immediately after that, the school determined that their next step would be to start using the Clubs module for their Breakfast Club and After-School Club.

Why Keresforth Primary felt Schoolcomms was the best choice

The school considered a couple of systems, but Schoolcomms was recommended by the SIMS team who supported the school when they went live. The text system was very easy to get used to and the staff uses it daily now. Since School Gateway payments are integrated into SIMS Dinner Money, Keresforth Primary did not need to look for a different dinner system.

Keresforth Primary looked at 3 providers and decided that the Schoolcomms Clubs module offered excellent value for money and parents would not need to get used to a new/second system.

Schoolcomms helps make the day-to-day easier for staff and parents

After introducing Schoolcomms payments system for parents, the school was quickly able to notice how some pressure was taken off the reception staff on a morning and even resulted in the reduction of amount of cash they had to balance.

After going cashless and having used the Clubs module, the school was able to identify the benefits almost immediately:
“Clubs has reduced admin time further and reduced/eliminated any outstanding payments. Becoming a cashless school has reduced the workload in the office by an average of 2 hours per week.”

Overcoming challenges…

The school was convinced that upon going cashless, they would have to deal with parents who would have certain difficulties with using the system. That is why, for the first week, the school decided to set up a laptop in reception to register these parents and show them how the system works.

The impact of adopting Schoolcomms

The biggest impact for the school has been the freeing up of administration time. Most parents pay dinner money on time and in advance. Therefore, the school has very little debt (on an average week their debt is approximately between £6 and £20).

Keresforth Primary has even utilised the system to collect payments for school trips:
“We use the system for all school trips so at the click of a button we can see who has paid and who hasn’t. Processing the settlement fortnightly is much easier than balancing and banking cash/cheques in school.”

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