We have had ParentPay for nearing 3 months and have over 60% of the lower years registered. However its trying to promote the facility and stop people having to queue for the reval (topup machines) for the school canteen.
We are going to start adding school Trips to the system and have recently added School uniform also.
I am interested to hear how other schools have promoted this, even if it wasn't you, what has your school done, whether it be posters/website or letters home.
Promote it at every opportunity you get. We put it in every newsletter, parents evenings, meetings etc its always mentioned. Staff are asked to promote it as well to support our finance office and it is working. You need to get every trip and thing on it though, as we were doing dribs and drabs and people were oh thats not on so why bother with it, so we now put every little thing online and they are great at it now.
Where daughter's school fails with ParentPay is timing. Letters come out and the cost doesn't appear on ParentPay until two or three days later.
Don't get me wrong; I'm a huge fan of ParentPay, but I like to turn letters round quickly otherwise they get lost.
Daughter's school saw PP usage increase once it was announced that lunch card topups could only be done at morning break. They don't have machines; it's always been a case of seeing a cashier and the queues annoyed the kids.
Cheers for the ideas, yes we are trying to push it at every available opportunity. We had a meeting with the Trip person who was flapping, everyone else was all for it.
Not yet been asked to do a trip, meeting was over a week ago...
What if you make the prices of goods/services cheaper if done via PP?
State, that it's a cost saving scheme by the school, that significantly reduces admin, paperwork, and saves time, so for those that use the system, they will get a discount. Others have to pay a higher price.
It would be hard to implement if everything has prefixed pricing, but for future trips or other variables, make it an incentive to pay via that system.
Cheers all for the suggestions, very helpful.
We have added our first trip onto PP and it is a milestone, only because we had to take any excuse out the way.
I do like VikPaw's suggestion and may put that forward as a suggestion. At the moment, the prices will reflect the increase in PP fees.
Poster going up tomorrow when I get it done along the lines of "Bored of waiting to top up your account? Top Up online via ParentPay" in relation to the canteen catering system
I had a chat to our admin officer who deals with the day to day stuff in ParentPay (I do technical and the MIS Imports and support her when needed), and she said she's found our use slip down again as parents are just getting lazy and sending cheques in again. I do think that we are going to have to make trips cheaper on ParentPay to encourage usage, or ban the cash and cheque for them, but for us its such a rural area banning them will not be that successful and could create a lot of parental issues so I don't think we would get away with it.
Fiddling with pricing can be a bit of a pain, though. What you could also offer, to show that it's a quick method, is that the first 100 parents to pay for a trip (or whatever) with PP, get £xy off.
Similarly if you sell other school items, like uniform, calculators, even photos, but it depends on if that goes straight to the photo company.
Things need constant remarketing, otherwise people forget, as has been said. If each new project has some small incentive tied in, people will feel the need to take advantage. Especially in such hard times.
+Pay - Helping Schools Manage and Collect Payments from Parents) 3 months ago and the reason we chose it was because it's built into our existing ParentMail system. This means we never get a disconnect between messages and payments as they are part of one system.
As you setup the payment item you setup the email/text reminders at the same time and then the system fires out 'new payment event' announcements by email automatically the moment you put the payment event live! (The reminders only go to the relevant parents so not everyone get bothered by loads of announcements )
It's very neat and works brilliantly.
With regard to promoting again this is really easy. Every regular communications message we send home via ParentMail has a footer we can build, which constantly reminds parents about the payment facility. We've also used posters and parents evenings to get the message across and have over 90% of our parents registered with ParentMail ... and therefore automatically registered to use +Pay.
Lastly because we can take payments over the phone from parents we now collect overdue funds from hard to reach parents in this way, and we are talking about encouraging parents to call in to pay over the phone (or in person if they prefer) routinely to make it easier for them.
For us the aggravation of getting money from parents at the right time is big enough to justify making someone available to take their calls when they want to pay.
Sorry about the verbosity but I hope it was useful!
Anybody got phone numbers for ParentPay. Trying to contact them re pricing but their site has an email query form only - hate that, would rather speak to someone directly!! Thanks
Thats great thanks!
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