Carlton le Willows Academy takes control of their online payments

Carlton le Willows Academy blog logo | Carlton le Willows Academy takes control of their online payments
By Toby Lester | 8th May 2017 | 3 min read

With 1400 students, Carlton le Willows Academy in Nottinghamshire recently moved from a local authority controlled online payments system to ParentMail’s +Pay platform, to take back control of their payments and offer parents a more complete service.

Previously, parents could pay for dinner money online via the council system, which meant the school had no visibility of what payments had been made. Other items such as trips and clubs still had to be paid for by cash or cheque and this meant the school were running two different systems.

Now they’ve switched to +Pay, 80% of parents and over 100 staff pay online, making quick, easy, payments for dinner money, trips, clubs, shop items and more through a free mobile App.

School Business Manager, Michael Davies told us, “With +Pay, we now have full control over the whole payments process, from setting up payment items to running off reports to keeping on top of administration. We’re now able to offer our parents a complete service in which they can top up dinner money or pay for school trips all through one system, with ease!”

In June each year, the school holds a “trip week” in which 40-50 events and trips take place. Michael told us, “Previously, managing this week was a struggle as we had paperwork, cash and cheques everywhere and trying to keep on top of who was attending what and who had or hadn’t paid was as chaotic as it sounds! Now, the trips are available to book through +Pay, payments are made almost instantly and the administration is all managed online.”

We asked Michael what advice he would offer to other secondary schools looking to simplify the way they take payments from parents: “For a successful launch, I would say to take your time getting set up and ensure that both staff and parents understand the benefits of going digital. In the initial few weeks you’ve got to dedicate time to getting everything ready and ensuring parents are registered, but once you’re using it regularly you’ll find you’re saving hours each week.”

Dinner Money Collection

Collecting dinner money from large numbers of students and staff could very easily become a complicated and time-consuming task, which is why Carlton le Willows wanted an online payments system to work alongside their cashless catering system; “+Pay integrates with our cashless catering provider which means we’ve really simplified how students and staff pay for school dinners. Our biometric system means they can verify who they are with their fingerprint and payment is taken through their ParentMail account – there’s no need for cash.

“Both staff and parents are notified automatically through ParentMail when their dinner money balance is running low and can top up in seconds using the App or on a computer.”

Simplifying the payments process for school staff

“Our office staff are extremely pleased with how much easier +Pay has made managing trips and events and they’ve saved hours as a result.

 “+Pay has really simplified how we accept payments from parents and staff, and we’re looking forward to using it even more in the future. We’d certainly recommend it to schools who want an easy way to manage regular payments from their parents or staff.”

Schools all over the UK are turning to ParentMail for easier, faster, friction free parent payments – if you’d like to know more, get in touch today by calling us on 01733 595959 or emailing