Prior to 2014, Churcher’s College (Churcher’s) had the usual issues of organising and managing school trips and visits, having to painstakingly count money and bank cheques. It was an administrative nightmare and was just taking too long: the process needed to be improved.
Churcher’s College (Churcher’s) is an English co-educational independent, fee-paying school. The senior school (ages 11–18) is in the market town of Petersfield, Hampshire with the junior school (ages 5–11) in nearby Liphook. They now also have a nursery for pre-school children, nestled in the grounds of the junior school.
Neil Blanchard, Churcher’s Deputy Bursar, had already experienced the advantages of a cashless, online booking system, from a parent’s perspective, so he decided to explore the possibilities of implementing something similar at the college.
Churcher’s arranged online payment demos from three different suppliers and ultimately chose WisePay. They went above and beyond their competitors in terms of offering bespoke software services and their back office integration was the most intuitive and simple to manage. Churcher’s have been successfully using WisePay’s services for nearly three years, including:
Churcher’s initially implemented WisePay’s ‘Trip Payment and Management Service’. Interest in a trip can be registered online, where no payment is taken, then the staff can ascertain whether a trip will be viable or not. WisePay offers detailed reporting on how many people have booked and who has or hasn’t paid, so they can manage the finances more effectively.
The Wisepay ‘Ticket Module’ is a safe, efficient way to take money and make bookings when the school puts on concerts, plays and musicals. There is no fixed theatre seating allocation but the school now has complete control over space, layouts and revenue.
Churcher’s have recently started using WisePay’s ‘Smart-Booker’, which intelligently manages bookings for sports facilities, classrooms, equipment hire and hospitality. The school makes their facilities available to the public, as commercial lettings help increase revenues for the school. Having a charitable status, Churcher’s need to promote themselves as much as possible in the local community.
They primarily hire out their swimming pool which is very expensive to run and maintain. They also hire out classrooms after school and in the holidays, and are currently looking to introduce summer camps too. Churcher’s are now intelligently managing space so that maximum usage and revenue can be achieved.
WisePay’s software solution quickly show users what they can book and the time slots available. Bookings can be made with or without payment, as determined by the school. The software also allows for variable pricing options and automatic invoice generation. The back office visual calendars and charts quickly show administrators all of bookings that have been made, together with full booking details.
Churcher’s can sell school uniform via the WisePay e-commerce portal. It is a convenient, time-saving service for parents and also helps staff monitor stock control. In addition, the online shop sells merchandise such as ties, mugs, prints, paperweights and cufflinks.
‘The Richard Churcher Foundation’ was set up to help those pupils who would thrive at Churcher’s, but whose families need some financial support. Through bursaries, Churcher’s helps more children to achieve their potential. The WisePay Portal provides a safe and secure means for benefactors to make a donation.
Some parents were reticent to use the system at first, preferring to still pay by cash or cheque. They did not want to input their card details, but all personal information is safe and secure, thanks to WisePay’s PCI-DSS certification. By and large, parents have been very supportive of the new system and the feedback has been positive. There are many advantages to using WisePay: above all, convenience, security and simplicity.
Neil Blanchard, Deputy Bursar at Churcher’s College, commented:
“WisePay’s intelligent software services are very efficient and help us streamline day-to-day management of finance and administration. Having all registrations, data, consent forms and bookings in one place makes admin tasks so much more efficient. I would definitely recommend them to other schools and colleges.”
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