Monday mornings without the drama as online schools payments unveiled
Monday mornings without the drama are set to become the norm in households across South Ayrshire thanks to the introduction of a new online school payments system.
iPayimpact is running in all Council secondary schools, meaning that for the first time ever, the scramble to find cash for children before they head to school is a thing of the past. This flexible system allows parents to pay for school meals and trips at a time that suits them, safe in the knowledge that their child will no longer be going to school with cash in their pockets. Parents/carers have already received letters from their school with a unique account reference for each of their children and straightforward instructions on how to register. Belmont Academy has embraced iPayimpact, with 50 parents signed-up so far. The momentum in other schools is also building as parents see the advantages of this ever ready system. Not only can parents or carers top up the account at any time using a debit or credit card, they can track payments and see exactly where money is being spent. Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader South Ayrshire Council said: "This is the first large scale project as part of our ambitious Transform South Ayrshire programme. We're using technology which allows our customers access to Council services at a time of their choosing and there will be more projects of this type in the future. I think a key benefit of this system is reducing the amount of cash being taken to school by young people which improves pupil safety and ensures money is not misplaced." Margo Cathcart, Parent Council Chair said: "I fully support this new approach as it makes life much easier for parents with children at secondary school. We all lead busy lives and being able to make a payment at a time that suits is a definite advantage. It's always a bit of a worry when children are taking money to school, especially larger amounts for trips, so iPayimpact is ideal." Hannah Paisley (S6) is already taking advantage of the new system: "It's a really good idea that saves you bringing in cash to school every day and you can pay for lunch with a PIN or swipe your National Entitlement Card. "It's a great way to pay for school trips too as you don't have to worry about bringing in larger amounts, so it puts all the pressure on mum instead!" If you haven't received a letter with your child's account reference, please contact their school. Parents can continue to pay for school meals, trips and other items as they have always done, but the signs are that many are opting for the online option. iPayimpact is currently only available in secondary schools. It will be rolled out to primary schools on a phased basis from 2018. If you want more information or are looking to sign up to iPayimpact please visit https://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/no-drama