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Parent Pay

(38 Posts)
HardHatForTesco Sun 03-Dec-17 13:51:33

We are at the very early stages of considering moving to parentpay - can anyone offer any insight as to the pros/cons. We have a demo booked for January but if anyone could give me information on the running costs it would be really appreciated.

MongerTruffle Sun 03-Dec-17 13:56:48

My son's (primary) school uses it and it's awful IME. The concept is brilliant (I would suggest using a different service), but the website often stops working at random intervals.
The (secondary) school I work at uses Tucasi Scopay. The website looks quite old but it always works. We also have the option of paying in school by cash or preferably cheque.

RightOnTheEdge Sun 03-Dec-17 14:01:58

My dcs school use Parentpay and I have had no problems and find it easy to use.

Smartiepants79 Sun 03-Dec-17 14:06:53

My childrens school use it and I've never had any issues with it. Fairly easy to use and works fine.

TheSameCoin Sun 03-Dec-17 14:15:44

My kids school uses ParentPay and I’ve never had any issues with it. I use it to book and pay for school lunches, pay for breakfast club and school trips. I’ve always found it fine to use.

imtherebutimnotthere Sun 03-Dec-17 14:21:53

Have been using parentpay all this year with absolutely no problems, quick and safe way to pay for meals and trips.

SisterhoodisPowerful Sun 03-Dec-17 14:25:23

Lots of parents at my kids school don’t have the computer literacy skills to sign up - never mind use it. School secretary is stuck doing all the faffing about supporting parents. It makes drop offs a pain in the arse as kids can’t just hand envelope over to teacher. Instead, there are queues of parents trying to pay alongside parents signing medication forms & the like. School has offered to let parents use computer room which is utterly pointless if they don’t know how or have younger children or work.

I can see the benefits of a paperless society, but more needs to be done to support parents/guardians with these things.

ArsenicNLace Sun 03-Dec-17 14:26:45

My son's school uses Parentpay and it's fab. Never had any issues. Used to just be for school meals but can now pay for other stuff too.

Total godsend as school was the only reason I had a cheque book which I hate.

Haggisfish Sun 03-Dec-17 14:27:25

I love parentpay, too.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 03-Dec-17 14:41:44

Our primary school uses Sims Agora which works fine

ReinettePompadour Sun 03-Dec-17 14:47:37

My dc schools use it but its dreadful.

The schools preset the minimum top up amount which for me is too high. We have to put £10 on the lunch but my dd doesn't have school lunch and may only want a cookie occasionally but I have to put the full amount on. So my money is sitting in parent pays account accruing interest and its not being used by my dd.

They allow the children to go overdrawn with no limit fixed. My friends son had gone almost £20 overdrawn and wasnt told until the end of term. They don't send emails to say you are overdrawn either. If you go 20p overdrawn you have to pay the minimum amount to put it back in credit so £10 for me. If its July and you are changing schools you will lose that money if you pay off that 20p. They dont do refunds.

The schools set the parents passwords which in my case was just my childs name. I couldnt change it to something more secure which I was shocked about given they store your credit card details for future payments. Only the school can change it. When my son had a school trip missing from the payment options I couldnt add him or pay for it. Only the school could add/remove these options. My dd was accidentally added to a school trip which was thousands of pounds. We couldnt remove her and parentpay constantly reminded the school we hadn't paid and they kept calling me to pay even though she wasnt going.

When my children moved schools I couldnt get them removed from the system. The old school was supposed to do it but never bothered. Parentpay always refer you back to the school no matter what the issue.

Theres plenty of negatives about using it. I dont rate it myself. I think theres better sites to use. I think some banks offer something for this purpose.

MongerTruffle Sun 03-Dec-17 14:48:38

Must be just me then. fsmile

PinPon Sun 03-Dec-17 14:50:40

My kids school uses parentpay and I’m happy with it - much easier way to pay than searching for the right change to put in an envelope to send to school...

Shannaratiger Sun 03-Dec-17 14:52:44

My son's school uses Scopay and it's excellent. No minimum payment set, keeps track how much is on his account. If parents still want to pay cash though it's no problem. Can also pay for school uniform on it.

wonkylegs Sun 03-Dec-17 15:00:01

My DSs school has used it for a while now, no problems, there was a bit of a wobble at the start as there are a fair proportion of families with no computer access at home but they pay at paypoint at the shop down the road from school with a barcoded letter.
You don't have to store credit card details if you don't want to (I don't) and our school doesn't have a minimum payment amount.
I've never been unable to access it when I've needed to and they even let me pay by Amex (they almost stopped it but continued after a review)

badbadhusky Sun 03-Dec-17 15:03:09

The schools preset the minimum top up amount which for me is too high. We have to put £10 on the lunch but my dd doesn't have school lunch and may only want a cookie occasionally but I have to put the full amount on. So my money is sitting in parent pays account accruing interest and its not being used by my dd.

^ I was coming on to complain about this, but someone else beat me to it. DS has packed lunches most days, but we’ve put some lunch money on his account for the odd days when he wants a hot dinner. The min. school meal threshold is about 6-7 meals’ worth, so getting on for half a term’s meals for our son. I’m studiously ignoring the daily reminder emails because there’s still £10 on there.

To the person who said their details are still linked to the old school, write to them (email best) explicity asking them to remove your details noting the Data Protection Act requires them to ensure their records are accurate & up to date. Give them a reasonable deadline to make the required changes and say you’ll raise your concerns with the Information Commissioner’s Office if they don’t update your record, then do it if they continue to drag their heels.

HardHatForTesco Sun 03-Dec-17 16:05:15

Thanks - I know how it works from a parents perspective as my daughter's school uses it (and I've never had any issues).
* SisterhoodisPowerful *
Your feedback is interesting - one of the reasons we are looking into it is to reduce the time admin spend dealing with money for dinners / trips / snack fund etc

Doomhutch Sun 03-Dec-17 16:57:44

it seems to increase admin, from my POV. Every trip now needs each child to have their own barcode to pay, and then another one when they lose the letter.

I can see having it for school dinners, but not for everything

superram Sun 03-Dec-17 17:13:21

It charges the School 50p every time you make a payment which the school has to add to the cost of trips-adds up over a few trips and if paying in instalments.

HardHatForTesco Sun 03-Dec-17 17:23:29

Wow - 50p per payment!!!!

That is much higher than I expected

Council Sun 03-Dec-17 17:30:01

I've used it as a parent and as a school and find it excellent in every way.

From the school point of view, it's important to move to parentpay for all payments as quickly as possible though, or you end up with two jobs instead of one. I did it at a school in a deprived area and was amazed how quickly parents took to it.

The charge isn't as much as 50p superram. It depends if it's a debit or credit card (one is a %) but it's not 50p on every transaction.

At the first school I worked at, in a very deprived area, we resisted on the assumption that parents didn't have access to the computers they'd need but now it's very easy to do on their phones as they do all seem to have those. People who don't have back cards can have a card they charge up, similar to a electricity meter key using paypoint.

I've definitely set my own password Reinette, it's very personal to me and not something the school could have given me.

HardHatForTesco Sun 03-Dec-17 17:33:15

Oh that's interesting about the fee not being 50p each time.

TheHobbitMum Sun 03-Dec-17 17:39:06

Both my kids schools used to use parent pay but moved to Wisepay after so many issues. Never could use parent pay successfully but wisepay has been easy and hassle free

Moodykat Mon 04-Dec-17 11:32:56

We run Parentpay and I have this morning been sat trying to bring dinner money payments up to date. I hate it. I find it clunky and irritating to use from this end!

castasp Mon 04-Dec-17 12:51:32

I have a DC in one school that uses Parentpay and one that uses Wisepay - as a parent I find both of them OK, so Wisepay might be another one to look at?

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