PAY+ allows schools to receive online payments for a variety of services including schools meals, trips, clubs and funds. PAY+ also provides schools with their own, school branded, online school shop. It includes access to a range of financial reports and a full audit trail with a breakdown of all payments. The monitoring of arrears is easy and, as PAY+ includes the AutoText service, payments can be chased by text, email or letter.
The Pay+ website contains all the necessary information to manage school meal administration on a daily basis. The system keeps track of meal charges and free meal entitlements based on information exported from your school's MIS. Meal charges are automatically deducted from the existing balance and new payments are credited to accounts. This allows both administrators and parents to have access to accurate account balances in real time.
Paying for meals
When parents log in, they will see their children's account status and can make payments to top up that account. Each payment is immediately credited to their account. Payments can be made either in pre-configured amounts defined by your school or you may allow them to enter any amount they wish instead. When children's meal accounts are in arrears, the amount will be shown in red, as a negative number to highlight this fact. Free email alerts are used to notify parents when their account balance is low. These alerts are also integrated into the ParentComms:Mobile app. Staff members who take school meals can also log in and top up their own accounts online. Anyone entitled to free school meals will not be asked for payments unless the entitlement ends. Once the entitlement ends, meal charges will be made each day.
The administration tools provided allow your school to generate daily meal numbers for the kitchen, including any special dietary requirements for each pupil. Lists can easily be split by years and classes and all information can be printed directly from the screen or exported to Excel. This will help you reduce the time dedicated to this task while exercising a tighter control on meal numbers and reducing waste. Administrators can also easily monitor meal accounts and contact those in arrears with a few simple clicks through the integrated texting and emailing functions. The data available within the Dinner Money module helps administrators gain a complete overview of all meal-related information and fill in catering returns.
When a new school trip is organised, it can be set up in the website as a payment item and targeted to the correct parents. Only the parents of the children due to participate in the trip should be able to see this entry. You can also choose to notify parents of the event by sending a text or email directly from the site.
In setting up each trip, your school can provide as many details as necessary, such as destination, start and end times, any special instructions and even images to give parents as much information as possible. Parents using the mobile app will automatically receive a notification when a new trip that includes their child is created.
A consent form is configurable online so that authorisation and payment can be provided simultaneously. If necessary, selected pupils can be exempt from having to pay if prior agreement with the school has been reached. However, their parents can still provide authorisation online. As the authorisation is a key part of the trip module, payment can only be made after the authorisation is completed to avoid any discrepancies in the process.
Schools can easily monitor the progress of authorisations and payments for each trip so that a trip leader can know which pupils are confirmed to attend. Trips costing more than a nominal amount can be set up to accept payment in instalments, so that parents always know what amount is left to pay. You can use reports to easily chase any parent who has failed to respond by sending a text, email or even generating a physical letter via the site. Trip details can also be updated at any time should anything change after the item is set up.
After school clubs & activities
Pupils participating in clubs or other activities, such as music lessons or sports clubs, can have these activities paid for online. Your school can post a list of all the clubs and activities to promote awareness among parents. Applications can be taken in the usual manner or an online process can be implemented.
Once pupils have joined the club or activity, you can create each one as a payment item and target the correct group of parents automatically. Payments can be monitored as they come in. An overview showing payments received against payments required is available. Automatic reports let you quickly identify those whose payment has not been submitted and they can easily be chased up by text, email or letter.
Schools that request contributions to a school fund, or multiple funds, can collect such contributions online. Although such contributions are voluntary, seeing the reminder each time parents log in will encourage more people to submit a payment.
Pricing can be set on a per child basis or a discounted price can be set per family basis. Other options are also available including the ability to exclude parents in hardship from receiving such payment requests at the school's discretion. Payments can also be configured to be accepted in instalments. Income can be monitored as it comes in and actual payments received can be measured against expectations.
An online shop offers your school the ability to sell a range of products. These can be school uniform, tickets to events, downloadable products or anything else you wish to make available to parents. Each item is uploaded and configured by your school. This gives you full control over how items appear and provides the opportunity to attach as many images and properties to each item as needed.
The shop can be used to manage stock numbers, allowing your school to exercise tight control over stock and re-order popular items in good time. Out of stock items will show as unavailable if selected for purchase. Each item can be uploaded with a combination of properties such as size, colour, type and gender - you have full flexibility to define the properties you require. In addition, you can attach restrictions to items, such as a maximum quantity for tickets. An easy-to-use, adaptable template is provided to upload products to the shop. Items purchased online can be collected or posted. For easy distribution upon collection, you can access a report detailing which items have been ordered and check them off when a parent presents their receipt. Alternatively, you can choose to send purchased items by post, and in such cases, a school-defined shipping charge is added at the point of payment.
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