System Update - Thursday 13th September
- Ability to import a file to populate the dinner register; this will enable a school to collaboratively collect the register from multiple staff and import in one easy step
- Previously there was an issue in which parents were making duplicate payments; this has been fixed. This update applies to staff PayPal payments, too.
System Update - Thursday 23rd August
- Allow parent records to overwrite where everything matches aside from GUID. Previously, when a parent record is imported twice with different GUID’s on each record, the second version will be rejected and an error message
- Additional validation to imports to part reject rows where parent has Priority of 9. Setting a parent to P9 in SIMS will allow schools to record where a parent has NOT given consent for their data to be shared with PMX. Adding this validation will ignore those parent records with a Priority of 9
- Imports: Allow students with SIMS GUIDs to be matched to on alternative criteria. i.e.: search for Forename, Surname, DOB if there is no match on GUID first, which will result in a much lower chance of duplicate records being created.
- Ability to bulk import students into custom groups. Create an import that allows students to be added to CUSTOM groups in bulk. Eg, if there are House groups in schools and they have over 80 students in each, it’s difficult to find all the students manually. This would be easier through an import.
- Update Staff rpt.def to not pull Staff genders from SIMS and publish the new rpt.def in PMX.
- Remove Gender from the Staff imports. Staff genders will no longer be pulled from SIMS, and genders will not be pulled from any future imports that might include staff gender.
- Update import validation to accept date format 01-Jan-07
- Update Gender format validation on import to accept male and female
Update - Friday 20th July
We were recently made aware of a bug within SIMS Capita concerning new imports via CTF.
This bug has caused some parents imported via CTF to merge with pre-existing parents of the exact same first and surname. If this incorrect information is subsequently added to ParentMail the parent will receive a registration message from your school displaying the forename of a child which may not be their own. They will not be able to log in as they will fail the verification check of being able to provide the date of birth for the student meaning the personal data will remain secure.
Please ensure you check any new information imported via a CTF and be sure the correct students are linked with the correct contacts before importing information into ParentMail.
For more information on this bug and a response from SIMS Capita, please follow the below link:Permalink
System Update - Due Monday 9th July
- Integration with the MIS system, Integris, for ‘Class Teacher’ export, ‘Tutors’ Export, ‘Staff’ export and ‘Student Parent’ export
- Implementation of SMS ‘Pay As You Go’, allowing organisations to go into a negative SMS balance and be invoiced rather than purchasing SMS top-ups
- New SMS Credit Report created for admin users which will show the current SMS balance and usage.
Android App Update - Monday 2nd July
- In line with GDPR requirements, the gender, date of birth and address fields have been removed
- A ‘Select all’ button has been added for the email, SMS and Online Forms folders, allowing the user to easily mark all items as read/unread with just one action
- Parents’ Evening Manager – A ‘Show on Map’ button has been added, which utilises the organisation’s post code
- Parents’ Evening Manager – The Teacher/Subject list will now update in real time
- An ‘Unread’ folder has been implemented, displaying all unread items in one place
- The ‘Message of the Day’ has been replaced by an ‘Announcement’ feature, which offers a ‘Hide’ function to the user
Payment App fixes –
- The ‘Add to Basket’ and ‘Pay Now’ button truncated (Samsung Galaxy 6S Edge, HTC One and Motorola G5)
- A fix has been implemented ensuring any ‘Donations’ added by the user are added to the total amount, and not to individual quantities
- Previously, when you selected an option for a payment item with options, when part paying the other options were still available to select. This is now fixed.
- When processing a card payment, entering the correct CV2 code after inputting the incorrect CV2 code will allow the payment to be processed
- Functionality has improved when a user chooses to pay in instalments
- Orders that are partly paid will now display in the ‘Overdue’ section when the due date has passed
- Deleting saved cards now displays in real time, instead of requiring a refresh to update
- The ‘To Pay’ and ‘Shop’ sections now refresh once a purchase has been made
Other fixes –
- When downloading a file attachment, the file will now open in an appropriate application if available on the device
- When the app is upgraded, a shortcut will be added to the device home screen to open the app
- Reading an item using ‘Edit’ within the ‘Unread’ folder now automatically removes it from the ‘Unread’ list
- Notifications are now working on Android 8
- When entering or setting the pin to access the app, the numbers are no longer visible
- Pop out menus now automatically close when selecting ‘back’
Leading the way in GDPR compliance
We understand the importance of protecting the data of your parents, students and staff. That’s why the ParentMail team have been working hard to lead the way in GDPR compliance!
Over the past few months, we have implemented a number of system updates and enhanced our services where necessary so that your school can be confident in our compliance with the new regulations.
Although your school were already legally obliged to keep data safe and secure (whether that’s staff and student information, paper files or an electronic database) the GDPR mean your school now has even greater responsibility for protecting data.
The enhancements and updates we have put in place supports you in this task, protecting your organisational reputation and helping you to comply with the new regulations. Schools and businesses who are not GDPR compliant could see fines of up to 4% of their turnover or €20 million imposed from the Information Commissioners Office, not to mention the impact on Ofsted ratings.
So, what have we been doing?
- We will now automatically remove inactive user accounts – ParentMail will delete any inactive user accounts after a period of 30 days (an inactive user account is classed as a parent record which has zero connections).
- Parents can unsubscribe from ParentMail – Parents will have control over their account, with the option to delete their account and unsubscribe from ParentMail communications if they wish.
- Schools can fulfil Subject Access Requests (SAR) – Schools can fulfil parent requests to provide any data the school holds about them, including personal data, user activity and received information.
- Schools can now view a parent’s feed – School administrators can view a list of items appearing in a parent’s ParentMail account but will be unable to view any personal data, allowing administrators to investigate parent queries.
- We now provide remote support sessions – ParentMail Support agents can provide a unique one-time code which must be entered by a school admin user within their account to grant temporary read-onlyaccess to the account for investigation and support purposes. This session will last for 30 days by default, however, both school users and ParentMail staff can end the session early should access no longer be required.
- Safer email attachments – Attachments are must now be downloaded via a link embedded in an email, rather than as an email attachment. This reduces risks concerning incorrect attachments; previously, if an email included the incorrect attachment, parents could still open the item even after it had been removed, whereas this new process means an attachment cannot be accessed if it has been deleted.
- Earlier this year we moved to Rackspace Private Cloud for increased security and protection of our customers data.
- Introduction of new terms and conditions in the form of a software licence including an updated GDPR clause and End User Licence Agreement for parents.
- Renewal of our Cyber Essentials accreditation to demonstrate our implementation of the most important cyber security measures.
System Update - Due Wednesday 13th June
This system update will include the following enhancements –
- A new Parent Data Export is available within General Reports.
- Parents are now able to bulk select and deselect items in their feed.
- An issue has been fixed where scheduled emails were sending 1 hour later than the time set, due to British Summer Time (BST).
- The contact book recipient list now clears when switching applications.
- A widget within Forms has been fixed.
- An issue has been fixed when managing User Type permissions.
- An issue has been fixed when managing group members.
- HTML formatting no longer displays in labels and column headers when creating a form.
- Parent’s Evening Manager – When in setup mode, users can now adjust the ‘Only one appointment per teacher per student’ and ‘Allow parent to leave notes on appointments’ options.
- ‘Remove’ button is now visible in group management to save having open the contact book to remove a single member.
- Read/Unread functionality has been added for Parents’ Evening Manager on the Parent feed.
- Payment statements can now be downloaded.
System Update - Due Thursday 31st May
The system update will include the following system enhancements –
- Automatically remove inactive user accounts – ParentMail will delete any inactive user accounts after a period of 30 days (an inactive user account is classed as a parent record which has zero connections).
- Unsubscribe from an organisation and delete ParentMail account – Parents will have control over their account, with the option to delete their account and unsubscribe from ParentMail communications if they wish.
- Compliance with Subject Access Requests (SAR) – Schools can fulfil a request from a parent for any data the school holds about them, including personal data, user activity and received information. This will be accessed through the Users > List page under the Actions tab with ParentMail.
- Viewing a selected parent’s feed – Through Users > List > Actions, the organisation administrator can view a list of items appearing in a parent’s ParentMail account but will be unable to view any personal data. This will allow an organisation administrator to investigate parent queries.
- ParentMail support agents now have the ability to initiate support sessions which have to be approved by you – If you require support using your account, ParentMail Support agents can now provide a unique one-time code which must be entered by your school admin user within your account to grant temporary read-only access to your account for investigation and support purposes. This session will last for 30 days by default, however, both school users and ParentMail staff have the ability to end the session early should access no longer be required.
System Update - Due Tuesday 22nd May
The System Update will implement a handy new report for your use – the Email Blacklist Report.
The email blacklist report will show you any email addresses that have been blacklisted.
A blacklisted email address is an address that we are unable to deliver messages to. The report identifies which of your users have a blacklisted email address.
Please be aware, when you generate a new Email Blacklist Report, any existing reports listed will be deleted and replaced with the new one. Click ‘Generate Report’ and you will be notified when it is ready.
To generate the report click Reports > General Reports > Email Blacklist > Generate Report > CSV or PDF
Reasons for an email to be blacklisted
Hard Bounce – When an email bounces for any reason, the email address will be added to the blacklist. It can also be due to an email provider adding the email address to their Suppression List, the same email address will automatically be added to our blacklist.
How to resolve – Most of the time it is due to the email address being incorrect. You will need to contact the parent and confirm the email address you hold for them.
On other occasions, it could be that the user email address has been added to a blacklist for too many bounced emails or malicious activity. Please contact ParentMail and provide us with the email address so that we can remove it from the blacklist.
Spam Complaint – When the user marks an email as spam, the email address will be added to the blacklist.
How to resolve – In the case of spam complaint you will need to instruct the parent to unmark ParentMail emails as spam. Once this has been done, you will need to contact us and provide the email address so that we can unmark from our blacklist.
System Update - Due Wednesday 11th April
The system update included the following system enhancements –
- It is now possible to refund PayPal payments older than six months by cash or cheque
- When a bank account changes for a particular payment item, all future payments and refunds will now be made to and from the new account
- Staff members will no longer receive payment notifications or reminders for bulk payment items
- It is now possible to export the ‘Register Activity Report – Individual Student View’ as a CSV file
The system update included the following fixes –
- Previously the incorrect information was displayed when a payment item, paid in instalments, was refunded – this has been fixed
- Previously it was not possible to select product options when creating a manual order; this is now possible
- Cashless and Dinner Registers low balance reminders were still being sent when “Enable Coms” is off – this has been fixed
- Previously payment items would expire upon the date of final instalment, regardless of the payment window; this has been fixed
- Removing the ‘Compulsory Item’ attribute from a payment item originally did not remove them from the outstanding payments list; this has been fixed
- Payments for zero value are now displaying on the ‘View Orders’ page
- The ‘Name’ field on registers is now mandatory
- A caching issue with the recipient picker has been fixed
- Users in ‘outstanding payments’ will be removed when the payment has been completed after the due date
- Users will no longer receive payment reminders for instalments which have already been paid
- The ‘Limit Quantity Per Child’ option is now working for items of 00.00
- Resend barcodes for Cashless users with no transactions was previously not working; this has been fixed
- Previously, the Email New Orders setting ignored the Fulfilment attribute, causing the school to be emailed every time a parent makes a payment – this has been fixed
- The contact book now resets from settings when adding specific users
- Previously, using the search field alongside the ‘Add Other’ tool would allow a user to be added who was already in the register; this has been fixed.
System Update - Due Tuesday 13th March 2018
- You will now be able to view a payment breakdown in advance of payments being transferred into your bank account; this information was previously not visible. Please note, the wording in payment/refund emails has been updated to explain this.
- The Self-Serve Payment Reconciliation breakdown now includes a key, clarifying the status for items which are pending or have failed reconciliation.
- The table on the manage bank accounts page is now responsive to lower resolutions. Previously it did not resize in lower resolutions and a fix has been implemented to enable lateral scrolling.
System Update - Due Thursday 22nd February 2018
- When creating a new account, the terms and conditions must now be downloaded by the user before they are able to accept them
- Permissions are now set for new Self Service functionality
- In line with GDPR requirements, the payment CSV file has been removed from the BAC payment/returns email
- Organisation Administrators are now able to set up their own Bank Accounts by way of a self-service utility in PMX – please see section below for details on the new self-service functionality.
System Update – New Self Service Functionality – Due Thursday 22nd February 2018
- New functionality within Payments allows you to add new Bank Account details and edit existing bank account details. To find out how to add a new bank account or edit existing bank account details, click here.
- Net Settled schools can download charge invoices for each payment made into your nominated bank account, backdating to September 2017. To learn how to download charge invoices, click here.
- Gross Settled Schools will be issues a monthly invoice for all charges and will be unable to download their own copies. For information about moving to a Net Settled payment plan, please contact us on Live Chat.
- As a result of the GDPR, taking effect in May 2018, we are no longer able to send payment breakdowns which include the personal information of students and parents via email. You will still receive emails for each payment made, however the breakdown itself can be accessed from within your ParentMail account. To find out how to view and download reconciliation reports, click here.
System Update - Patch2-1.156 - Due Wednesday 7th February
- An issue regarding the school leavers routine whereby a parent associated with another child was being removed has been fixed.
- An issue with the SIMS AutoLink which was causing imports for large classes to fail has been fixed.
- When creating a new account, the terms and conditions must now be downloaded by the user before they are able to accept them.
- Permissions are now set for new Self Service functionality.
- In line with GDPR requirements, the payment CSV file has been removed from the BAC payment/returns email.
- Organisation Administrators are now able to set up their own Bank Accounts by way of a self-service utility in PMX.
System Update – Due Tuesday 12th December (8pm)
Please find a detailed description of the new enhancements below:
- Please note: We will require Users to accept Terms and Conditions before logging on to ParentMail for the first time following this release, due to requirements from GDPR. This will be visible from the login screen after the release goes live and will affect staff and parent users. For more information click here.
- We have introduced a blackout window which will mean system generated messages are no longer delivered between 10pm and 8am. Of course, if an Organisation user sends a message during this time, it will still be delivered.
- When a registered parent connects to a second school, their information will now be shared across both accounts. For example – if your school only has a mobile number for a parent, but the parent already has an account with mobile number and email address at another school, the existing account details will carry over to your school once the connection is made.
- Organisation users will be able to see how many and what devices they are logged into, when they were last active and have the ability to remote logout of unknown devices. For more information click here.
- For staff users, passwords will be required to be at least 8 characters in length and at least one number and one other character will be required and across all accounts. Updates to old passwords will NOT be required and should still work as expected. However, if a user manually changes their password, the new minimum requirement rules will be enforced. For more information click here.
- There will no longer be a gap on paper copies for parents who do not have an address within their ParentMail account.
- Organisation users can now select a tick box to suppress a user’s account. This means the user will no longer be sent communications and will not be re-added by MIS auto links. For more information click here.
- The Help Graphic has been updated to rearrange the order of help available and we have removed the training videos from the menu.
- We have replaced the +44 with a 0 in the contact number in the address field on paper copies.
- If ‘Addressed Paper Copies’ is enabled in Settings then the full parent address will display on the paper copy, instead of just the parent name.
- Email messages can now be scheduled to go out in the future, in the same way SMS messages can be scheduled. For more information click here.
- Email attachments can now be previewed before sending messages. For more information click here.
- Previously the attachment description on Email was inaccurate. When you go to Email > Compose and look next to the attachment button, it previously said: “Maximum individual file size: 10Mb”. This now says “Up to three attachments with a combined file size of 10Mb.” For more information click here.
- Student forenames and surnames can now be added as personalisation tags to both Email and SMS. This cannot be used in conjunction with ‘Send per family’ and will only work with ‘Send per student’. Please note – ‘Send per student with personalisation’ is no longer available.
- We have fixed a line spacing issue which was occurring when pasting from Word.
- Emails and SMS messages can now be saved as drafts. For more information click here.
- The text in the registration confirmation email has now been updated to read:
“Are you using the ParentMail mobile App? Download it for free and receive instant in-app notifications as soon as your school sends a message, which helps make sure things don’t get missed or forgotten.”
- Individual form responses can now be printed. For more information click here.
- Blank copies of forms can now be printed. For more information click here.
- Previously, forced paper copies were only produced for one parent, however, you can now produce a paper copy for each parent if ‘force paper copy’ is ticked.
- The format of paper copies has been standardised.
- The subject line of a paper copy will now run onto two lines where necessary.
- Students will no longer have the ‘Parent’ user type added to their account if linked the wrong way round. For more information click here.
- The ‘Remove Leavers’ tool can now be used to remove JUST the parents associated to a selected group of students – useful if you want to maintain student records on ParentMail for a period of time without worrying about any messages being sent out – this is specifically useful for colleges. For more information click here.
- A bug has been fixed where deleting the DOB from personal details on the feed did not remove it.
- ScholarPack ID’s are not unique across user types leading to the edge case where a parent and a student could have the same ID. We have prefixed ID’s on import from with ‘Par’ and ‘Stu’.
- Progresso gender and name fixes – previously staff names and genders were coming across with opposite values, for example a male staff member would appear as female in ParentMail, and their name would show as Smith John, instead of John Smith. This has now been fixed.
- The Subject line on SMS will now limit to 200 characters – previously the limit existed but you would get an ‘Unknown Error’ message. For more information click here.
- Organisation users can now see a recipient list for archived emails.
- Previously when using parent personalisation within an email in conjunction with attachments, this would corrupt the file name of attachments – this has now been fixed.
- A spelling mistake within Forms which said “Edit From Settings”; this now says “Edit Form Settings”.
- Previously if the school edited a form after it had gone live, parents would no longer be able to respond. This has now been fixed.
Patched on 18/01/2018 –
- Certain “All Responses For This Form” reports weren’t generating; this has now been resolved.
- It was not possible to edit the payment item if the purchase window was set in Daylight Savings; this has now been resolved.
Important Update for Schools Using Payments - 13/11/2017
UPDATE: This issue has been resolved as of 16/11/2017.
Following a recent server update, Payment/Refund emails may not be successfully reaching you. Our Development Team are aware of the issue and they are currently working to fix the problem.
We hope to be in a position to send over all the emails that may have failed to reach you by Thursday November 16th, 2017.
If the issue is affecting you and you have access to ParentMail please open the reconciliation report which is located in Reports > Payments Reports > Reconciliation Report > select the account and date range. From here you will be able to retrieve information regarding payments and refunds.
We understand that these emails are key to your reconciliation process. Please be assured that out Development Team are working on this as their number one priority.Permalink
System Update - ParentMail Dashboard - Due W/C 11th December
Please find a detailed description of the new features below:
‘You have saved’ dialog displaying how much in 5p increments using the following packages:
– Economy SMS
– Online Payments
– Events (Descoped the functionality of archiving due to complexity)
Be aware events will still be counted as savings, but when the event is deleted this will remove the saving. (This has been discussed and accepted for release)
‘Your Applications’ dialog allowing the following:
– Visual display of active packages
– Video element selectable for each package
– Package not taken enquire button enabled to prompt sales of interest
– MIS link toggle (ON/OFF)
– MIS last import information
‘Your Stats’ dialog advising the following:
– % of families receiving SMS
– % of families receiving Emails
– % of families who have a PM account
– % of families logged in using the APP
– % of families which are unsubscribed
– % of paper copy families
Two new reports as follows:
– Money Saved
– Vital Stats
System Update - Payments - 01/09/2017
Over the Summer Holidays, we’ve made some significant improvements to our Online Payment system, which will make life much easier for you!
Our attention has been particularly focussed on the Reconciliation process, where we are now giving you far more transparency than ever before.
An email was sent to all Payment Schools on Tuesday 5th September, however if you did not receive this or wish for someone else in school to receive this email, please let us know the email address and we will send this out to you.
It is very important you read this document as the changes made will make a difference to the way you reconcile and are invoiced.Permalink
Payments - Minimum Transaction Charge - Introduced from 01/08/2017
In exchange for providing an online payments service we calculate our fee at a transaction level. In accordance with HMRC guidelines we apply a 20% VAT charge at a transaction level. We are also required by HRMC to apply a minimum VAT per transaction of £0.01.
In an effort to provide absolute clarity to school finance staff (as we know just how difficult it can be to reconcile where rounding up or down to the nearest pence is required) we will be implementing a minimum transaction charge of 5 pence from 1st August 2017. The aim is to deal with situations where small value Payment items (under £5) result in the calculated VAT amounting to a fraction of a pence.
To put this in to perspective, this will only affect transactions which are under the value of £5 and it’s highly unlikely that you will notice the difference in real money terms.
If you have any questions about this change, please contact us on Live Chat.Permalink
System Update - Updated and Improved Reports
We’ve been busy updating the Reports within ParentMail to ensure we’re giving you the information you need in the easiest possible way.
This new release brings you lots of new reports, as well as enhanced descriptions and attributes.
You will find the following reports have now been added or improved:
- Email Message History – This report will show you the emails that have been sent by your organisation within the selected date range.
- Staff Users – Connection Status Report – This report will show you all staff and non-parent user types associated with the school and their connection status, such as Connected, Not Connected or Unsubscribed.
- Parent – Connection Status Report – This report will show you all parents associated with the school and their connection status, such as Connected, Not Connected or Unsubscribed.
- Parents with missing contact information – This report will show you the parents that are missing either an email address, a mobile number or both. If they have all the correct contact information they will not show on this report.
- Parents Evening: Class Teacher – This report will show you your students and the class teachers they are linked to – this will be used when creating a Class Teacher Parents Evening.
- Verified User Changes – This report will show you all changes made by the school, import or by a parent to personal details.
- Pupils that require a paper copy – This report will show you all students at your organisation who will require a paper copy when sending communications.
- Absence Reporting – This report will show you all the absences within the date range that you select.
Reports which will be removed:
- Parents who are verified – You can find the information you need on Parents – Connection Status Report.
- Parents who are not verified -You can find the information you need on Parents – Connection Status Report and Staff Users – Connection Status Report.
- Unsubscribed users – You can find the information you need on Parents – Connection Status Report and Staff Users – Connection Status Report.
- List of contacts associated with each student – You can find the information you need on Parents – Connection Status Report.
- Email Only Parents – You can find the information you need on Parents with missing contact information report.
- Mobile Only Parents – You can find the information you need on Parents with missing contact information report.
- Subsidy report – Report removed as not used.
- Parental Consent – You can now find this information within View Orders for a specific item.
- When viewing orders for a specific item, you will now be able to export if parental consent has or has not been given.
- The ‘Manual Payments for a Selected Date Range’ report will now show payments made through the view orders screen in bulk.
- The View Order export will now include parent and student forenames and surnames in separate columns.
- We have removed pagination of reports so that they will now appear on one page.
System Update - Bulk Invoicing - 22/06/2017
Bulk Invoicing is now available for all schools using Payments.
This is a free of charge enhancement which will allow schools to quickly and simply create individual invoices for lots of parents – each with varying amounts. It will save admin staff huge amounts of time.
An example of where this would be useful is for Breakfast or After School Clubs, where children attend various sessions and need to be charged different amounts. Currently schools either create these invoices manually or within +Pay create separate Payment Items for each child – both of which are extremely labour intensive!
Another example is for Nurseries who will charge parents differing amounts depending on the number of days their child attends.Permalink
Payments - Reconciliation Reports - 05/06/2017
We are pleased to announce our new suite of payment reports have now been released – making your payment reconciliation process has now become easier!
The new reports are ‘Order Reconciliation Report by Submission Date’, ‘Order Reconciliation Report by Transaction Date’ and ‘Reconciliation Report By Submission Date’.
The best practice guide can be found on your help site: https://www.parentmail.co.uk/help/schoolhelp/payments/reconciliation/Permalink
System Update - 28/04/2017
Parents can now delete any saved debit/credit cards from their account. Please note, cards can only be deleted through the web version, not through the mobile app.Permalink
System Update - w/c 10/04/2017
- Users can now import pre-admission students and parents into the system. Instructions for how to do this can be found on the help site under Imports.
- Last year we turned off the SIMS auto link over the summer period and turned it back on when the majority of schools returned to help ensure a smooth summer roll up process. However, for those that return earlier, we have made it so that schools can now turn the auto link back on when they choose to. Please note; it is very important that schools complete the summer roll up process before turning the auto link back on, as not doing so may result in schools re-importing their leavers. Full instructions for the summer roll up will be available on the help site nearer the time.
- For those enabling the auto link, we have made the warning message very clear that if they enable it without removing leavers it may cause errors in their account. (See above)
- We have added a time stamp to the Absence Report to show the time that parents report absences.
- We have updated the images used within emails so that they will load regardless of privacy settings and will help stop emails going into parent’s spam folders.
- We have fixed a bug where previously if you cancelled out of the contact book, when going back in to select members the previously selected users were still selected.
Meetings and Events
- We have fixed a bug within Meetings and Events where previously editing the start date of an event did not amend the month in the parent feed.
- We have fixed a bug which was causing the time for events to be out by one hour.
Parents’ Evening Manager
- You can now add a time as well as a date for the booking window.
- We have fixed a bug which was causing some parents’ evenings to not display in the parent feed.
- Users will now able to add a student to an existing form
- Users will now be able to preview forms with page breaks before sending them.
- We have added “Time Submitted” to the “All Responses Submitted” forms report.
- Users will now able to preview email paper copies.
- Previously, paper copies were not generating for those with the user type “Grandchild” – this has now been fixed.
- Postal addresses can now be added to paper copies of Emails and Forms.
- Postal addresses will now be included within the “Pupils that require paper copy” report.
- We have fixed a bug which was stopping users with “Force Paper Copies” enabled from receiving paper forms.
Payments Update - 27/02/2017
- Schools are now able to archive payment items. Items which are over a year old and have expired will be auto-archived. Schools can “unarchive” by going to Payment Items, selecting “Archived” as the Status, selecting the Item > Actions > Unarchive.
- We have added a tick box to payment items so that schools can force items to appear in the ‘To Pay’ section as a mandatory payment.
- We have fixed a bug which was stopping “Show Hidden Accounts” from displaying after Settings had been selected.
- We have fixed a bug which was causing date validation to fail when updating a product.
- We have fixed a bug which was causing the fulfilment list to time out.
- Reminder dates can now only be set before the due date of a payment instalment.
- Payment alerts have been updated to record and report bar code payments for deleted students.
- Previously, schools were unable to edit a payment item if it had a due date – this has now been fixed.
- We have fixed a bug with the date picker when creating a payment item.
- Within Order History, users will now be able to search using the Order ID, rather than the Transaction ID.
- We have fixed a bug which was displaying ‘Product Price’ twice within the view order page.
- The fulfilment note will now include the child’s name when printed.
- Org users will now be able to view manual orders within “My ParentMail”.
- We have fixed a bug which was showing paid instalment due dates as overdue.
- Previously, if an item had 12 instalments, the user would be unable to see the amount to pay. This has now been fixed.
- When removing a leaver from an account, their name will now appear on the transaction report against historic payments.
- Previously, when a payment item was attached to specific users, who were later removed from the system, the item would become available to all users. We have fixed this to ensure that even once leavers have been removed, the item will not become available to any other users.
- The Register Balance Report which will now display the price band name of deleted price bands.
- The ‘Sort Order’ within Register Activity has been improved.
- We have fixed a bug which was stopping the Register Activity filter from working correctly.
- Previously, if the first transaction of the month within the Transaction Report was a refund, it was causing errors within the report. This has now been fixed.
- When running a second payments report, previously the date picker was not working as it should. This has now been fixed.
- We have improved the speed in which the Transaction Report is downloaded.
- We have fixed a bug which was showing the total refunded amount incorrectly in parent’s emails when multiple items were refunded.
- We have fixed a bug which was allowing some parents to add a negative quantity of a payment item to their basket.
- All relevant refund information will now be included in both email and payment receipts.
- We have updated the functionality with payment card nicknames to include Latin alphanumeric characters, spaces and some symbols such as a full stop.
- Within the donations section, we have fixed a bug with decimals.
PMX Update - 07/12/2016
Parents Evening Manager
- PEM administrators can now book parent appointments before and after the event is available to parents for booking.
- We have added a “Resend Invitations” button to each parents’ evening which will resend invitations to all parents who haven’t yet booked.
- You can now bulk select ‘walk in’ slots for all teachers across a parents’ evening.
- Archived parents’ evenings can no longer be modified.
- A fix has been made which will ensure that any siblings or triplets with the same surname and first name initial will be imported correctly.
- Users are not able to have the same email address or mobile number on a ParentMail account. To avoid an error when a parent registers, when importing, schools will no longer be able to add a second parent with matching contact information to another parent.
- A bug has been fixed which sent registration messages out to parents even if Comms had not been enabled.
- There will no longer be negative badge counts showing in the parent feed.
- Organisations will now have the ability to have “Re: Student Name” on or off for both Email and SMS.
- Removing a user from ParentMail will now remove all related connection information.
Payments Update - 09/11/2016
- Previously, if there was a delay between ParentMail and the Payment Gateway the parent would see a spinning wheel until the confirmation was made. To improve the user experience and avoid duplicate payments being made, the transaction will now be confirmed instantly and parents will receive an email payment receipt once the Payment Gateway has confirmed that the payment has been made successfully.
- The maximum payment cart size has been reduced from 100 items to 60 items to improve speed of response.
- Previously, users were unable to refund a ParentMail 2 order where the same payment item appeared in the order twice. Users will now be able to refund these items.
- An error message will now appear if a user tries to refund an un-refundable deposit.
- Previously, if reminders were turned off for instalments there was a bug which sent reminders that day. This has now been fixed.
- In Cashless Account Linking, the badge account will now only include “Active” accounts.
- Previously, parents with accents in their name were unable to process card payments, this has now been fixed.
- When creating payment items based on a previous item, the users would be carried over. This has now been fixed.
- Previously payment reminders were not being sent at the correct time, this has now been fixed.
- Previously where a payment item price was £0, limit quantity per child would not work. This has now been fixed.
- The Transaction Report will now reflect the bank account in which the payment was made.
- In Register Activity > View Transaction, the user will now be able to select a date range for the transactions they want to view. Previously this would only show the past two months.
- Users will now be able to print receipts directly from the manual payment confirmation dialogue without going to Documents to Print.
- Cashless Transactions will be sorted by Transaction ID rather than by Transaction Date.
Android App Update - 14/10/2016
Bug Fix: Parents will now be able to see payment items in the “Other” Category
Bug Fix: New categories will now be displayed
Bug Fix: Previously there was a bug in payments where parents using the Android App were unable to purchase items where parental consent was required, this has now been fixed
System Updates - 03/10/2016
Parents’ Evening Manager
- New status’ – Active, Archived and Error added to Parents Evenings “search by” drop down menu.
- Teachers first name initial has been added to bookings.
- Warning messages when setting up parents’ evenings have been updated to remind schools to import their data before creating their parents’ evening.
- Schools are now able to email a list of all booked appointments to parents and to staff.
- Schools are now able to delete parents’ evenings with errors and archive old evenings.
- The booking window will now close per session, rather than per evening.
- Schools will now be able to make last minute bookings even when the booking status is closed.
- The PEM Class Teacher import will now remove older classes before creating new ones, to avoid parents being able to book appointments for old class groups.
- The Promotion Tool will now run smoother and handle larger data sets.
Back Office Payments
- We have re-designed the settlement process to pay funds in 24 hour blocks based on transaction dates. This will mean that all transactions processed midnight to midnight weekdays and midnight Friday to midnight Sunday at weekends will be sent to schools as one payment. We will no longer see payments being paid out of sequence; transactions will be in transaction date order. This change will also enable the use of either the BACS summary email or as many schools have requested the PMX generated transaction report to reconcile payments to their bank.
- ‘To Pay’ will now change to ‘Pending’ on the Transaction Statement.
- The BACS payment date will now be +2days after payment made. Previously this was +1 day.
PMX 1.8.1 – 31/08/2016
- Previously, when 1 record in a SMS batch failed, the rest of the batch would not send. This has now been fixed.
- In Forms > Responses > “Email all responded” was not working correctly. This has now been fixed.
- Parents will now be able to view the options they have selected for their payment item.
- A PayPal refund will now be updated Org side at the time that the refund is made.
- Previously, an error would appear when refunding offline barcodes which read “Please specify a payment method to refund this transaction”. This has now been resolved and schools can now refund these payments by cash or cheque.
- Previously, editing instalment reminders to No (off) wouldn’t save and the reminder remained ‘on’. This has now been fixed.
- Previously there were balance conflicts when multiple items and dinner money payments were made on the same day. This has now been resolved.
- The reconciliation report can now be downloaded on the Edge Browser.
- Previously, if “alert users on creation” was on, it would send an immediate notification even if the purchase window started in the future. These will now not be sent until the date of the purchase window.
- We have fixed a bug which was stopping some PayPal payments from processing.
- Previously the system was struggling to load large amounts of payment items within a set time which resulted in an error message. This has now been fixed.
- Schools who have migrated from ParentMail 2 will now be able to refund payment items which were carried over. (Cash or Cheque Only)
- Previously, if a parent had been deleted the fulfilment would fail. This has now been fixed.
- Previously, refunds were displaying 2 transactions when there were both card and PayPal transactions – this will now display as 1 transaction.
- Previously, orders for different children at the same school were grouped together under one name. This has now been amended so orders are displayed for both children.
- The PayPoint page will now close automatically.
- Updating the Price Band previously did not update until the next day – this has now been fixed and will update instantly. Price Band values are now displayed on the Take Register dialog for each day.
- On the Balance Adjustment Tool, when selecting “Finish” all changes will be saved.
- “Show Deleted” on the CC Reconciliation Report now works as expected.
- Previously, paper copy generation of fulfilment notes would crash if the fulfilment date was missing. This has now been fixed.
- The Register Activity report will now include dinners by price band.
- In the Register, the week picker was not matching the date shown on screen, causing a queue failure. This has now been resolved.
- In Register Activity, the export was not working for a single user. This has now been fixed.
- In the Register, “Add Other” no longer allows parents to be added.
- In the Register, adding someone to a price band did not update the member count on screen. This has now been fixed.
- In the Register, you can no longer add a 2 digit year as this was formatting to 00(Year). The User must now use the Calendar selector as the text field can no longer be inputted.
- A change in bank account on Registers will now update all user products.
- You are no longer able to refund a dinner order more than once from Order History.
- You are now able to assign Admin Assistants, Teachers and Head Teachers to a register.
- Previously, in Register Activity, selecting ‘User A’ then searching and selecting another user would not send a barcode or a reminder to User A. This has now been fixed.
PMX V1.8B – 13/07/2016
- Newly registered parents will see messages, events and PEM notifications 7 days prior to registration.
- In Events, you will now be able to deselect an individual student.
- The Register Activity report has been failing to generate for larger schools. This has now been fixed and will generate.
- Negative starting balances can now be added to dinner registers.
- When you press ‘cancel’ when taking the register, you will now see a message warning that you will lose your changes, and will be able to confirm if you wish to proceed.
- The Register Activity report now exports all pages if “Select All” has been ticked.
- Previously, changing the date on the register deleted any changes previously made. This has now been fixed.
- Previously the register would auto sort which caused confusion. This has now been removed.
- We have added a new report, “Register Price Bands” which has a date range selector and details the number of dinners per price band as well as a total. This can be found in Reports > Payment Reports.
- Register Recon Report and Cashless Activity report will now generate quicker.
- Parents in the Free School meal price band in Registers will not receive payment reminders.
- Unmatched cashless accounts can now be hidden.
- Previously, fast moving items were not clearing out of the basket after 20 mins. This has now been fixed.
- Low balances for cashless catering were not being sent – this has now been fixed.
- We have limited the number of users to 5 in ‘Email new orders’ and ‘Cashless Catering Pending Balance notifications’ in Payment Settings.
Based on feedback from our customer satisfaction survey, we have designed a new registration process which simplifies and improves the parent experience.
Click here to view the new registration process
This update includes:
- Upon registration, parents will need to enter their email address twice to avoid registering with an incorrect email address.
- ‘Ms’ has been added to the list of title options for parents when registering.
- The mobile number can no longer be duplicated across multiple records; if a user attempts to add an existing mobile number during registration, an error message will appear stating: ‘A user with that mobile number exists already at this organisation’.
- All system notifications will be formal. For example, previously all messages would say “Dear Stephanie” but will now say “Dear Miss Brown”.
PMX V1.8 – 03/06/2016
- The Contact Book will be updated so that users who are both staff and parents can be selected as either user type.
- “Send Email Registration” will only be available to send to ‘Parent’ user types who are connected to a child. If the user type is a parent but is not yet connected to a child, sending an email registration will not be an option.
- The unsubscribe link will display in all email notifications.
- ‘Event Reminders’ and ‘Added to New Organisation’ messages will default to summary notifications, not instant notifications. A new parents’ evening will default as an instant notification. Parents will still be able to edit their notifications from within their ParentMail account to change between instant and summary notifications.
- Fixed a bug which previously was causing problems with the Contact Book when using Internet Explorer 11.
- A time and date stamp for the last login of the parent will be added to the feed.
- The system will generate paper copies for children without parents on PMX.
- The pie chart on the overview screen will update each night.
- Fixed a bug which was stopping Emails sent via Economy mode from sending.
- Fixed a bug which was sending some users multiple emails regarding changing their email address.
- The ‘Reply’, ‘Forward’, ‘Archive’ and ‘New Email’ buttons will be removed from messages sent to a staff member’s inbox.
- If ‘Force Paper Copy’ is switched on, the user will not receive an email to their inbox.
- Fixed a bug with Economy mode which was stopping SMS emails from being sent.
Meetings & Events
- Schools will be able to create repeating events.
- Fixed a bug which previously showed parents as having booked more slots than they had.
- If parents confirm they are attending an event, which is subsequently cancelled, parents will receive an instant notification letting them know about the cancellation.
Parents’ Evening Manager
- Parents who register within 7 days of the creation of a parents’ evening will receive an invitation to book their appointments – previously they only received this if they registered before the event invitations had been sent.
- We have updated the reminder for schools to import their data before running a parents’ evening to make it clearer what needs to be done.
- Organisations will be able to run reports showing unsubscribed users.
- Update to the Meetings and Events report will show which parents are attending.
- SMS Reports will include manually added mobile numbers.
- The ‘View Recipient’ and ‘Download Recipient’ report for SMS now match as manually added mobile numbers will now be included in both. (See above)
- Larger reports were previously taking too long to process and timing out – these will now process far quicker.
- Transaction reports will contain refund transactions.
- Added a new CSV report to Absences so that parent messages can be collated.
- Updated fulfilment reports to include item options – such as sizes, colours, etc.
- New categories added for schools to select when creating a new item – Clubs, Lessons/Tuition Fees, and Events.
- Users who are not using Online Payments can now view our demonstration video within PMX.
- Fixed a bug on the parent feed where fully paid items were showing in the “To Pay” section. Once items have been paid in full, they will no longer appear in this section.
- Fixed a bug where the price of an item is reflecting wrongly for an item that has the option to leave a donation with it.
- The minimum amount for PayCash will be £2.50.
- The recipients list for refunds in Documents to Print will now show the child’s name rather than the purchaser’s name.
- The recipient list in Documents to Print will now generate for batch payments.
- Parents will receive a notification telling them they have been added to a waiting list after selecting “Add to Waiting List”.
- The refund order page will show options for payment items, for example the size or colour of a jumper.
- Users will be able to edit an item which has limit quantity per child set to ON.
- Fixed a bug which was stopping parents from having a limit on the quantity of payment items they can buy if the organisation has set a quantity limit.
- Users can now print receipts for refunds.
- If a parent has part paid for an item, and the final payment is made as a manual payment school side the item will change from part paid to complete.
- Users will be able to select individual students when processing a manual order.
- Manually ordered items will be shown on fulfilment reports.
Back Office Payments (BOP)
- We have added payment notifications to confirm when and what we have paid schools by BACS. This will be sent out either daily, weekly or monthly dependent on your settlement frequency and will include details of orders paid and amounts as well as the total being paid. This summary will be emailed to the email account(s) we hold in the PMX system. Please note that this does not replace the monthly settlement and charge statements.
iOS App Update - 17/05/2016
– View the app version number on the login screen.
– Fixed an issue preventing the selection of payment card expiry dates
– Fixed an issue causing the app to close when trying to view a form offline.Permalink
iOS App Update - 09/05/2016
- The new menu is accessed using the menu button in the top left corner of the the screen or by swiping from the left side of the screen to the right.
Support for larger screens:
- The app will now resize on the device screen using the extra space available. (iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, iPad Mini, iPad, iPad Pro )
- Authenticating with TouchID will non longer present the pin entry page behind the TouchID prompt.
- If the device is unlocked using TouchID and the app is opened within 1 minute you will no longer be prompted for TouchID to access the app. (only avaliable on devices running iOS9 and greater)
PMX V1.7 – 09/11/2015
– When schools update parent information, the parent will now only be sent one notification to confirm multiple changes, rather than a notification per change.
– The registration process has been simplified which means parents no longer need to input their child’s date of birth.
– The date format in Forms is now being shown correctly.
– A bug which stopped some reports from generating for ParentMail Administrators has now been fixed.
– Entries in ‘Documents to print’ can now be deleted.
– Attachments will now be included in emails sent to parents’ email inbox.
– After registering, parents will automatically be connected to their school, removing the need to go through the connection process.
– When creating a parents’ evening, a notification will now be displayed reminding the user to re-import their data before creating the event to ensure it’s up to date.
– SMS credits will now be deducted at the time the SMS is scheduled instead of at the time it is sent, to avoid schools going into negative credit balance.
– A date and time stamp has now been added to documents to print, so that users will know when the last download of documents was.
– The Sent page within SMS has been improved to be more aesthetically pleasing.
– The feed will now show “No messages currently available” when the parent has not yet received any messages.
– The ‘forgot my password’ routine has been improved so that it is easier than ever for parents to reset their password.Permalink
PMX V1.6 – 22/06/2015
– Where parent records in SIMS do not match with records in ParentMail, parents will only be asked if they want to accept or reject the changes once. If the parent rejects this change, they will not be asked again.
– You can now add international mobile numbers to parents – please note texting this number will cost x2 text credits
– Schools can now have the same reg name and year group names if they want to. For example both a class group and a year group can now be called “Owls”. Previously this was not possible as names needed to be unique.
– A “bookmark this page” icon has now been added to the log in screen.
– ‘Inbox’ has been changed to ‘My ParentMail’ and includes emails, forms, and will include payments once available. ‘Absences’ has been removed from this list and has been added to the left hand menu as a “root menu option”.
– Each user now has a history section which lists previously sent Emails, SMS, Events, Forms and Payments.
– The overview pie chart on the dashboard has been updated and now shows students with registered parents.
– Schools can now generate a report which will show a list of students whose parents have not responded to a form.
– In the parent view, there is now a new button to help parents to go back to the Home page.
– When Forms and Parents’ Evening events become expired they will be marked as read on the parent feed.
– “My connections” has now been added – this allows parents to choose which organisations they will be connected to, and allows them to unsubscribe, should they wish.
Auto SIMS link
– Auto SIMS link instructions and installation files have been added to the Downloads menu in Settings
– The Org Administrator can now turn “AutoLink” on and generate an API key – to be used in the Auto SIMS link installation process.Permalink
PMX V1.4 – 23/03/2015
– Parents will now receive an email and an SMS registration if there is a mobile number and an email address on the system.
– Schools can now schedule sending of text messages.
– Schools can now add a mobile number to send an SMS, without using the recipient picker.
– Attendees will now show in alphabetical order
– Schools can now schedule events for the future where attendance confirmation is required. The event will only appear in the parent feed when the booking window opens.
– Event reports will now show all users that have been invited, and their attendance status.
Forms, Permissions and Surveys
– Schools will now be able to clear a form using a “Clear Form” button. Previously there was no option to remove the last form you had created.
– Schools will now be able to add a specific number of form responses as a maximum rather than selecting a default of ‘100’ ‘200’ for example.
– The report will now show which parent has booked the appointment.
– There is now an export for tutors that will pre-populate the tutors import template with student data in reg group order – this will be particularly useful for non SIMS schools using Parents Evening Manager. (The guides will be updated accordingly).
– Double-barrelled names will have capital letters on both names. Previously the second surname would not pull through correctly from the import.
– Twins will now import correctly onto PMX. Previously the system would assume that they were 1 user and not import both.
– A user can now be both a parent and a staff member.
– The unverified parents count now updates in real time.
– Schools are now able to de-select a child from the recipient picker when searching for them via their name.
– Reports now show in alphabetical order. Please note, pupils requiring paper copies will be in class order first, then all other users will be shown alphabetically.
– Previously schools were unable to see “Documents to Print” for forms, where “Show PEM classes” setting was on. This has now been fixed.
– The Auto SIMS link will only update if there has been a change to the data.
– The overview page will now show the Auto SIMS status since the last import
– Schools can now ‘bulk delete’ to remove leavers and their linked parents. To do this, go to “Settings” and “Remove Leavers”.
– The inbox for absences now shows clear instructions for schools as to how to turn this function on.
Please note, these updates will not show on the App
– The parent feed has had a brand new design! It now looks similar to the App, and is even easier for parents to access their school communications.
– Parents who are already using PMX, and are then connected to a new school, will be able to see messages from their new school from the past 6 days. Previously, feed items would not generate for the new school.
– The number of places remaining for an event will now show on the parent side – and will be updated in real time, so parents will be able to see if places are running out
– Cancelled Parents Evenings will now be removed from the feed.
– Parents will now be able to see appointment information on the feed where an appointment is already booked for another child.
– The name of the parent will be included in the Parents Evening Invitation
PMX V1.3 – 12/02/2015
- Messages sent before a user has registered are now displayed on the feed. Parents will be able to view these messages once they have registered. Please note, these only show the last 7 days’ worth of messages before the parent registered.
- All name lists and reports are now ordered alphabetically by surname.
- Previously, archiving messages would show as “delete”. This now reads ‘archive’ and messages will be stored here for the foreseeable future.
- In the view recipients list, messages are now viewed as “sent” rather than “unread”.
- 2 new relationships have been added – ‘Step Son’ and ‘Step Daughter’.
Parents Evening Manager
- Schools can now easily send reminders to parents to book their appointments at Parents Evenings.
- You are now able to see a percentage figure for the amount of parents who are yet to book a parents evening appointment.
- The booking end time can now end 3 or 7 days before Parents Evening.
- You can now view Parents Evening class groups in the groups list. To do this, go to settings and general.
Forms, Permissions and Surveys
- You can now download a PDF report for responses to forms.
Meetings and Events
- For all schools that do not have this module, you can now have a free trial for a limited time only! Schools can organise meetings and ask parents to confirm their attendance. This can be done with one click on the parent APP, so schools can easily see who is attending and who is not.
- You can now set a limited number of places for your meeting or event.
- You can now set a deadline for event responses before the event starts.
PMX V1.2 - 09/12/2014
Text and Emails
- Schools will have the option to send emails per student or per family, which means parents with more than one child will only be sent one message (including paper messages).
- Paper copies will now be listed by class order, by surname.
- Attachments can be deleted if they have been incorrectly added to messages.
- Titles (Mr, Mrs, Miss Etc.) will now be included as a personalisation option for email and SMS messaging.
- The year column has been added to Dinner Forms CSV reports.
- Schools now have the option to run reports off as a PDF documents.
- Progress bars will now appear when you log in to ParentMail, providing a visual indicator that data is being loaded.
- The maximum amount of time a user can remain logged in to ParentMail is now 1 month.
- The Community Parent Registration graphic on the dashboard will now show registered families, rather than individually registered parents.
PMX V1.1.2 – 21/11/2014
Imports will now update all information for a record that has not been verified by a parent, and will fill in any blank fields where that data exists in the imports (or SIMS). Schools will now be able to overwrite any information on an account which is not yet verified, meaning they can correct an email address and resend a verification email out should they need to.
This is a step closer towards the Auto SIMS link, which is currently in BETA testing with some of our Pilot schools and due for release very soon.Permalink
PMX V1.1– 10/10/2014
- The parent feed includes read and unread icons against messages.
- Parents can now view completed form details.
- There is now an archive function so parents can move messages they no longer require into a stored folder.
- Parents can now mark important messages with a star and filter these to highlight important or current messages.
- Parents can now login using their Facebook login details.
- Email can now be personalised with student name, similar to function available in SMS.
- Group members can now be sorted alphabetically by surname.