How to chase and prevent parent arrears without being the bad guy

Untitled design 50 | How to chase and prevent parent arrears without being the bad guy
By Toby Lester | 10th March 2020 | 8 min read

Pursuing parent arrears is never easy. It’s a sensitive topic, and for office staff on the front line, it’s a difficult minefield to navigate.

Poor cash flow is a huge difficulty for schools, especially considering how tight school budgets have become in the past few years. Unfortunately, it’s a painful necessity to pursue parent arrears.

When office staff are stuck chasing payments, it can consume their valuable time for little benefit in return. This is effectively a sunk cost – their time is valuable, and you are losing it to a task that has little value to your school.

Besides, your staff don’t work at your school to harass parents whose payments are late, and yet they can find themselves fielding hours of phone calls every week that would be better spent on school administration.

Don’t make your office staff the bad guy – there are modern solutions to this problem that can save your staff time and save your school money.

Automate your arrears collection

Nowadays, it’s easy to automate your arrears collection. Set it up, and the money will come in without your staff having to lift a finger, making it easy to stay on top of school catering debt and long-term arrears.

It all centres around using a cashless parent payment system like +Pay. The system can automatically send low-balance notifications to prevent school catering arrears, so parents won’t accidentally slip into the red.

If parents are in arrears for school dinners, clubs, equipment or uniform, the system can send automated reminders to gently push them to pay their debt.

Set up payment windows

If you’re collecting payments for upcoming school trips, it’s easy to set up and send automatic reminders once your deadlines have been reached.

This ensures all your trips can go ahead, no children have to miss out and staff can relax safe in the knowledge that they don’t have to spend time chasing parents.

Make it easy for parents to pay

Modern life is busy enough as it is. Withdrawing cash and sealing it in an envelope is inconvenient, not to mention expensive when children lose it or spend it on the wrong thing. There’s a reason that parents hate paying for school services.

If you make it easy for parents to pay, you may be surprised by the uptake. Parents can pay on their phones for anything your school provides using credit, debit card or even PayPal and PayPoint. This is how parents pay for items in their everyday life, and it’s how they want to pay your school.

Schools use +Pay to collect payments for:

  • Catering
  • Events and trips
  • Clubs and sporting groups
  • Classroom equipment
  • School uniform

Parents love the +Pay app as it integrates directly with PS Connect, the comprehensive parental engagement and communications platform. Schools can send messages out quickly and easily directly to parents’ phones, reaching them whether they are at home or work and allowing them to pay instantly wherever they are in the world. As a result, parents can access everything they need and want to know about their child’s school from the device they carry with them every day.

For more information about PS Connect and +Pay, visit the website today.