Dinner money top up revolutionised at Leicester Grammar School Trust!

With over 1200 students ranging from the ages 3 to 18, Leicester Grammar School Trust now manages all parent communications from one single system; sending messages, collecting payments, consent forms and surveys online, as well as recording student absences and all far easier than ever before.

Since August 2017, ParentMail has helped the school professionalise its communications and as a result they have noticed an increase in responses and attendance at events, with messages being delivered directly into the hands of parents.

The way in which dinner money is topped up however has been the main benefit for staff and parents at the Leicester Grammar School Trust. The school use Cunningham’s as their Cashless Till Provider and before they used ParentMail the only way for parents to know their balance was running low or empty, was by their children telling them, or calling the Finance Department.

Head of Marketing & Admissions, Natalie Hunt told us, “Having to rely on students to remind parents when their balance was low was a flawed system as they often forgot to do it and would consequently continually go overdrawn. It was also frustrating for parents as they had no easy way of keeping on top of what they owed (or what their children were purchasing) and would only hear about it once the Finance Department had chased them or their children remembered to ask them to top up their account. Now, they receive a notification on their mobile with a reminder that the balance is running low and can top up there and then.”

“What’s more, even if parents forget to top up, they can do it instantly on the App and it’s ready for lunchtime – no more children being nagged to top up their accounts, and no more frustrated parents! I think a large majority of our parents would say this has been the biggest benefit for them!”

Sending everything through ParentMail has proven to greatly improve how engaged parents are with school communications. Natalie said, “We previously used a messaging only system which was very easy for parents to ignore and didn’t seem to add any real improvement in comparison to paper communications. A large majority of our parents simply didn’t pay attention to it. Now, they have one account where they can view messages, receive information about events, top up dinner money or pay for school items or complete consent forms, parents are completely invested and parental engagement has flourished as a result.”

School absence reporting has also improved thanks to the absence reporting tool available to parents. Previously, the school struggled to get parents to contact them to let them know of absences and this often resulted in attendance officers having to chase parents. Now, parents can record this in seconds on the app and as a result the school has dropped the time spent chasing absences by 50%!

With a combination of one account for all school communications, a mobile app to keep on top of it all and a massive improvement in the way they can now reach parents, the Trust is incredibly pleased with how well ParentMail has been adopted into school life and would recommend it to any other school or trust looking to reach parents with ease (and keep on top of dinner money payments!)

Would you like to know more about ParentMail and how it could help your school improve parental engagement or go completely cashless?