2024/2025 Service Definition

ParentPay (Online Payments and Income Management)

About the Service

ParentPay® is a web-based service for schools which enables parents to make secure online payments by credit and debit card or pay cash at local stores through the PayPoint network. 

Schools can take payments for any items including dinner money, trips, activities or school uniform. It enables income management, reducing cash handling and improving cash flow. Over 11,000 schools and three million parents now use ParentPay for electronic payments. In Lancashire, over 300 schools have adopted ParentPay for taking e-payments.

ParentPay® Clubs is an optional add-on feature to enable schools to manage school clubs e.g. breakfast, after school and sports clubs. It fully integrates with the ParentPay online payment system, offering convenience for parents and schools to manage bookings and payments.

ParentPay® Meal Manager is an optional add-on extra feature to provide cloud-hosted meal management and ordering for schools. It fully integrates with the ParentPay online payment system, offering convenience for parents and schools.

What are the benefits?

ParentPay® provides:

  • One place for parents to pay for all of their school expenses.
  • Reduction in cash handling, allowing your school to accept electronic payments from parents, including payment via Visa Checkout and Bank Transfer.
  • Improved debt management and cash flow for your school.
  • The ability to manage dinner money and school meals in primary schools.
  • Ability to take payments for different items such as trips, uniforms and other income.
  • Multiple bank accounts can be set up including the LA, school fund and PTA for example, and income will be automatically settled to the relevant bank account, enabling a single checkout process for parents even when paying across different schools.
  • The ability to integrate with Cashless Catering systems, SIMS and other MIS software.
  • Optional ParentPay Clubs, a fully featured and easy to use addon module for managing wraparound care including breakfast, after school and sports clubs.
  • Optional service feature addon ParentPay Meal Manager (also known as CYPAD Meal Manager), a cloud-hosted meal management and ordering solution for schools.
  • For Lancashire maintained schools, ParentPay integrates with the central schools' bank account and was implemented with the support of the Lancashire Schools Finance Team.
  • Training is provided by ParentPay during the implementation process and includes access to a specialist adviser and online training.
  • Free Termly User Groups with ParentPay held either online or at a Lancashire venue, for subscribing schools. An opportunity to learn about the latest developments and ask questions about features of the service. (Demo sessions are available for any school).
  • The service is hosted in the United Kingdom.

What's Included?

Service Features

The following features are included in the service:

Feature Description

E-Payments and Income Management

ParentPay® system provides a total income management solution for schools. With ParentPay® schools can:

  • Collect all school payments: trips, visits, music lessons, clubs and uniform.
  • Ability to collect Consent Only or free of charge items.
  • Record all school payments: credit/debit cards, PayPoint, cash and cheques.
  • Manage all school payments: reporting, banking, reconciliation and auditing.

Web-Based Service

ParentPay® is only available through the web and accessed via a web browser. The application is not installed onto individual desktop PCs or accessed remotely via an Application Server.

Online Reports
  • Schools can keep track of what parents pay and outstanding amounts. Real-time reports can be viewed on screen, printed or exported into Excel to import data into your school finance system.
  • Income reports for schools will help the school keep control of its income collection and create detailed reports for school staff, governors and external auditors.
  • Online reports ensure schools will save time and that accurate records of school payments are always available with a complete audit trail of all payments made.
  • Your school can create detailed reports to show individual school payments for any pupil, income type or date range. They can be split by bank account or cost centre to make bank reconciliation easier.
Multiple Bank Accounts

ParentPay® supports payments into multiple bank accounts:

  • For Lancashire schools who bank through the Local Authority, ParentPay has been pre-configured with Lancashire County Council banking details.
  • Back-office integration with Oracle Financials has been enabled for Lancashire County Council School Finance Team.
Integration with Cashless Catering Services

ParentPay® integrates with most Cashless Catering systems, allowing parents to view meal choices and menu options (additional integration charges may apply from Cashless Catering companies).

Integration with SIMS

This service integrates with SIMS by importing pupil data directly into ParentPay®.

Parent Communications

ParentPay® has integrated emailing capabilities to email messages to parents, or schools can purchase texts to use the in-built texting service.


The ParentPay® Collection Service is designed to ensure that schools do not require their own Merchant account for online sales. ParentPay® is certified PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant by Trustwave and sponsored by Lloyds Bank Cardnet. All data is hosted in the United Kingdom.

Optional Add-on Feature Description

ParentPay Clubs
(additional charges apply)

ParentPay Clubs allows parents to book and pay online for your school's clubs e.g. breakfast club, after school club and sports clubs.

Example features include:

  • Set up multiple clubs individually, by day, term or year.
  • Advance booking calendar for your school and parents.
  • Ability to limit place numbers and display places left.
  • Ability to assign places to pupils, if required.
  • Set multiple prices and options.
  • Manage e-payments and refunds, including Pay Now/Pay Later.
  • Fully integrated with ParentPay payments functionality.
  • Manage clubs register and cancellations.
  • Multiple reports for analysis.
  • Extensive audit trail or changes.

ParentPay® Meal Manager
(additional charges apply)

The ParentPay® Meal Manager (also known as CYPAD Meal Manager) allows parents to pre-order and pay for meals online and / or for pupils to select meals on the whiteboard, tablet, or laptop in the classroom as a ‘mop up’ facility for any missing meal selections. This is especially useful following a weekend or school holiday.

Meal choices are then available for staff to serve the correct choice and confirm the meal has been taken.

  • Parents and children can select meals in advance at home, enabling them to plan more accurately at a time to suit them.
  • Children choose their meals on the day of service using the school whiteboard or teacher’s laptop.
  • Breaks, breakfast clubs, drinks, theme days and after-school clubs can be catered for.
  • Manage theme days such as Christmas lunch, etc.
  • Schools can add menu items with nutrition and allergen information, create menus and menu templates, and add theme days using the calendar function.
  • Schools can view meal transaction data for every child on a weekly basis, manage students, view a range of meal analysis reports, and create meal messages for the class whiteboard.
  • Parents can book and pay for meals at home.
  • Children can choose meals in the classroom if they have not booked at home. Schools can choose whether to use this option as a ‘mop up’ to parental booking or not, or to use it exclusively and not have parental bookings; the system is flexible.
  • Menu templates can be added.
  • Information can be stored meaning children cannot choose a meal that contains an ingredient they cannot have either at home or via the whiteboard.