Parentpay: A School Guide

Paul Main

How can school leaders get the best out of Parentpay?

What is Parentpay?

Over 11,000 schools across the UK use ParentPay to collect payments for school meals, uniforms, trips, clubs, and other expenses. ParentPay is built for small primary schools, secondary schools, Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs), Local Authorities, Independent schools and caterers.

Launched as a safe, easy and cashless way for parents to pay for items for their children's education in 2002, ParentPay has developed into a suite of nine products, enhancing several areas of the student-parent-school relationship.

In 2021, with the acquisition of Education Software Solutions (ESS) from Montagu Private Equity, ParentPay Group, the owner of the ParentPay solution, became UK's largest technology-based business.

This guide explains everything you need to know about ParentPay. So, if you're thinking about joining the cashless revolution, check out our guide today!

Benefits for schools

ParentPay is a new way of collecting school fees and expenses that helps schools reduce the administrative time spent on banking procedures, keep accurate records of payments made to every service for every student, and avoid the difficulties that can often occur when payments bounce. ParentPay also reduces the amount of paper ‘waste’ that is created and allows for easy and quick refunds to be made back to the payment card.

This eliminates the need for schools to carry out wasteful paper work, and means that refunds can be made quickly and easily back to the payment card.

ParentPay offers a more efficient payment collection process, reducing the amount of money held on school premises. Additionally, ParentPay helps improve school-home communication by integrating its email/SMS messaging centre.

With ParentPay, you can easily manage multiple school income reports. This means less paperwork and fewer headaches for teachers and administrators.

ParentPay for Parents

Parents often struggle to understand why their child's school charges them money. They think it's just another fee that goes towards paying teachers and other staff members. Parents can now see exactly where their money is going and how it affects their child's education. This gives them peace of mind knowing that their money is being used wisely.

It allows parents to pay their children’s school fees whenever and wherever they want and prevents them from writing cheques or searching for cash to send to schools.

And because they're instant, there's no need to wait for cheque clearance. ParentPay is quick and easy to use, and parents will never need to miss a payment or have insufficient credit with automated email/SMS alerts.

Another benefit of ParentPay is that it saves you time. Instead of having to go through endless paperwork, you can simply log onto the ParentPay website and enter your details. All of this information is stored securely and automatically. So you never have to worry about losing anything again.

Parentpay Login
Parentpay Login

ParentPay Services

School shops

School Shops offers a payment processing platform that makes it easy for schools to collect payments from parents for all many types of school items. With ParentPay, schools can maintain a flexible and robust online catalogue of extra-curricular activities, school equipment, uniform, exam fees, clubs, wraparound care, and holiday clubs.

Parents can simply scan the barcodes on the items they are buying to pay with ParentPay. There is no need for parents to login to ParentPay.

ParentPay also provides full visibility of transactions and reports on parent debt to help schools reduce inefficiencies and supercharge their savings.

Thousands of schools have gone completely cashless with the School Shops from ParentPay.

School Trips

School trips can be a lot of work for teachers – organising, booking, and paying for them can be a hassle. With ParentPay's online trip management system, schools can take the pressure off and streamline their office.

The online trip management system makes planning trips easy and painless for any size group, regardless of age or location. Schools can gather consent from parents and set free-of-charge or limited places.

Parents can use multiple methods of paying for their children’s travel expenses – in one go or in instalments – from anywhere at any time.

Donations and Gift Aid

Whether you’re looking to boost your school’s income or simply simplify your fundraising efforts, setting up a Donations page is a great way to get started.

Setting up a Donation page is quick and easy, and you can add your school’s logo and branding, set a fundraising target, and share your page within minutes. Schools generate invaluable additional revenue with online donations and boost your income by at least 25% with Gift Aid.

By minimising the amount of cash held in school, you’ll save school office time valuable for other tasks and enable more efficient cash administration.

Parentpay App
Parentpay App

SchoolCloud Parents Evening

Parents often struggle to find time to meet with their children's teacher. This can lead to missed opportunities to improve student learning and engagement.

SchoolCloud Parents Evening is a web-based platform that allows parents to book online appointments with their children's teachers. This means schools can send automated messages to parents directly through the app, saving staff time and ensuring everyone gets the information they need.

The module encrypts video calls for safe and private video appointments, enabling parents to join meetings on the go from anywhere. Integrated with your school management system, SchoolCloud Parents Evening syncs your teachers, students, and classes.

Group Manager

As your Multi-Academies Trust grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to see the details of what's happening. This makes it hard to understand where problems lie and why certain decisions were made.

Group Manager gives you a bird's-eye view of your entire group of schools. With just a couple clicks, you can quickly check up on everything from attendance rates to pupil numbers.

Managing multiple schools in a cluster is easier than ever, thanks to Group Manager. No longer do you need to worry about keeping track of hundreds of individual accounts. Instead, you can simply prove a central point of settlement once and let the rest happen automatically.

Group Manager also saves hours of pouring through single payments and their accompanying spreadsheets. All you need to do is enter the relevant data once and it will automatically populate all other areas of the report.

All of this comes together to provide a powerful tool for managing your finances.

Parentpay screenshot
Parentpay screenshot

Cashless Payments

Parents are always looking for ways to save time and money, so cashless payments are definitely something that schools are going to be interested in. ParentPay has been created with just that in mind, allowing schools to collect payments online for a variety of items.

One of the biggest benefits of using ParentPay is that it allows schools to accept payments by card, bank transfer, and PayPoint. This means that parents can pay easily and quickly, and the funds are settled accordingly as agreed. Income can be split between central and local banking, which is great news for schools that want to allocate funds to different areas of the school.

Parents can also order and pay online, which is great for reducing food waste.

Schools can communicate important information to students' families via text message or emails. Overall, the Cashless Payments feature in ParentPay is a good solution for school districts looking to collect payments online.

Medical Tracker

Medical Tracker from ParentPay is the industry’s leading first aid, medication and care plan software. With over 4 million users worldwide, ParentPay provides schools with a safe, reliable, cost-effective way to record injuries, illnesses, medications and other health-related issues.

Parents trust ParentPay's Medical Tracker to protect their children’s well-being. Parents can easily access reports on incidents, illnesses, medication administered, and more, without having to fill out forms. They can even share information with parents, teachers and doctors.

With ParentPay, schools can quickly and accurately track incidents, illnesses, medication administrations and more. This means fewer paper forms to file, saving time and resources.

Schools can also benefit from the ease of use and reporting features of ParentPay. For example, school staff can simply log an incident on their mobile device, and ParentPay will automatically pull up the relevant data from the MIS.

With the Medical Tracker, you can easily record a DfE compliant incident in under 30 seconds. Plus, you can share information with staff members, track visits to the first aid room, and even notify them of serious incidents such as Covid-19.

Meal Manager

ParentPay's Meal Manager is an online tool that schools can use to create allergy-safe, pupil specific menus. The Meal Manager allows parents to communicate accurate allergen information to schools and limit the options available for at-risk pupils.

Schools can integrate Meal Manager with their MIS to maximize efficiency. This means that schools can track their most popular school meals, monitor costs, and manage stocks.

With Meal Manager, schools can also access real-time analytics, reports, and dashboard to gain insight into their services.

Meal Manager was created to give schools the ability to offer safe, healthy meals while reducing food waste. By integrating Meal Manager with their MIS, schools can improve efficiencies and increase revenue.

Club Management

Whether it's sports, music, additional language lessons, or anything else, the Club Manager module in ParentPay allows schools to manage everything online.

With Club Manager, you can easily organise school's breakfast and after-school activities. Plus, you can streamline your school club bookings, allowing your pupils to experience all the fun your school has to offer.

And since the Club Manager is integrated with SIMS, you can even let your pupils join clubs through SIMS groups. This means that your pupils can attend classes together, regardless of where they live.

Plus, you can create online payment forms and register them directly in Club Manager. This makes it easy to collect payments from parents and ensure pupil safety.

You don't even have to manually keep track of records with printable online registers. So you can spend less time managing your school's activities and more time focusing on your students' progress.

Finally, you can monitor the popularity of each club and see exactly how busy each activity is. This gives you the ability to drive bookings and ensure child protection during after-hours.

Conclusion

Teachers who use ParentPay find it easy to access payment information, track student progress, and collect payments online. Parents appreciate the convenience of paying bills online, and teachers love being able to quickly pay students' fees and save money at the same time.

Parents and teachers alike benefit from the security of knowing that their children's financial records are safe and secure when they're not in school. And parents are happy to pay their child's tuition online rather than having to wait until the end of each month to send a paper check.

We hope this guide helps you understand how ParentPay works and how you can use it to improve your life. We'd love to hear your thoughts on ParentPay, so please let us know below.