Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

It’s not just staff at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Coventry who are feeling the benefits of +Pay; parents are thrilled to be making easy, cashless payments, too! Part of Romero Catholic Academy, the eight-school Multi Academy Company set out on a mission to go cashless to reduce school debt and support parents with easy online payments and are thrilled with the results.

The challenge

“Before +Pay, we struggled with dinner money debt,” says Lisa Harding, Office Manager at Sacred Heart. “When they were in arrears, we would remind parents to send children with a packed lunch, but pupils would still turn up without and we would always provide a meal for them.”

“The school is responsible for dinner money debt, at the end of the day, and it was only increasing. We had a lot of foot-fall in the school office, too, with parents queuing out the door waiting to pay, particularly at the end of term. Dealing with cash payments and parents could take up hours of staff time every day, time that we could ill-afford! Admin tasks were stressful and time-consuming. Numbers were often wrong in the kitchen, resulting in waste – cashless really was the only way forward!”

Working with parents

“We were already using ParentMail for home/school communications, so we were excited to try +Pay,” says Marie Taggart,  School Administrator. “With parents already using the ParentMail app to manage Parents’ Eveningmessaging and Online Forms, most parents were pleased to be able to manage payments through the app, too.”

School staff worked very hard to support parents during the introduction of +Pay: “We communicated with parents, providing information, answers and guidance early on; we focused on sharing the benefits of the system with them and the uptake was great! We had an iPad set up to provide support in the school office. A small number were understandably wary of a new payments platform and some had concerns around security. However, the system is so flexible, we could work with these parents and provide barcodes, so all payments still went through ParentMail.”

Reaping the rewards

“Now the system is fully embedded in school, the benefits have been numerous.” Says Lisa. “With students preselecting their dinner choices, the kitchen can plan ahead, reducing waste and related costs. We don’t spend hours every day processing, counting or chasing parents for cash. It has hugely improved our productivity in the office. For parents, low balance reminders are really helpful. They can top up in the ParentMail app on the go and at a moment’s notice.”

“We were really pleased with the training and onboarding process. The ParentMail Support Team are always happy to help and our Account Manager has supported us every step of the way. It’s been great being able to support and rely on other schools in our Academy too. When we need help from ParentMail, Live Chat is very helpful – practically any queries are solved very quickly.

“We measure the success of +Pay by parent uptake and feedback, which has been fantastic. What’s more, when we log into the system every day, we can see how much money we are saving. We delivered the support parents needed at the beginning and are reaping the rewards now!”

“+Pay is a lot safer than banking lots of cash and we now have very few cash collections across all of our schools. The platform is reliable and secure and the implementation has been plain sailing – we would never go back. Would we recommend +Pay to other schools? Absolutely! It may seem like a big change and appear be a huge challenge initially, but don’t be put off; going cashless with ParentMail is absolutely worth it and parents love it, too!”

Join Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and thousands of schools across the country enjoying the endless benefits of +Pay! Get in touch to find out more and to book a free a demo.