Caldecote Primary reduces dinner money debt thanks to +Pay

Posted by Jessica Brierley 3 years ago

Caldecote Primary School in Cambridge has been successfully using ParentMail Communications since 2007, and has recently taken +Pay, our online payments service, achieving fantastic results.

The school previously used another online payments service which proved problematic for them. Now with 95% of parents paying via +Pay either online or from their mobile, they have reduced their dinner money debt substantially and the amount of cash and cheques held in school, saving time and money in the process.


Business Manager Lesley Whitehead tells us; “Moving to ParentMail +Pay has been fantastic for us. Parents were very unhappy with our previous payments system and many refused to use it. Now we have 95% of parents paying online who love ParentMail and wouldn’t want to use anything else.”

Lesley explained that one of the main problems with their previous online payment service was parents found it complicated and confusing, and many continued to pay by cash or cheque. This all needed to be manually added to parent accounts, which was something they didn’t have time to do.  Parents were left unsure whether money had been added to their account, what their balance was or if it was running out. With ParentMail +Pay this information is available to them instantly and automatically.

Lesley also told us that dinner money payment reminders are much easier for the school now they’ve switched to +Pay. “Previously I had to print a paper reminder for each parent, and at the end of the week I would often find these reminders left in the cloakrooms. Even if they did make it home, I am certain that the majority would remain unseen in the bottom of a bag.” With +Pay, the school can set a minimum balance on their account, and parents are automatically reminded to top up their dinner money.

The school use +Pay for dinner money, trip payments, in school events, donations and have found that it has been particularly helpful for their breakfast and after school clubs.

Parents have given lots of positive feedback to the school; “One of the main positives we’ve had from parents about ParentMail is that they get their messages instantly – whether that’s on their mobile, tablet or computer. If something comes in at 3.30pm, when the children have gone home, the parents are reading it by 3.45pm, whereas in the past they would have had to wait till the next day, or until their child decided to get it from their bag!”

If your school could benefit from an online payment collection App, which makes it easy to collect, manage and bank parent payments please leave a comment below or email

Posted on June 24, 2014 | Last modified: 28th October 2016

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