With only 36 like it in the country, Lancaster Royal Grammar School is unique in that it is both a state school and a boarding school. LRGS has a long tradition of providing excellent opportunities for students to excel academically as well as a national reputation for sporting and extra-curricular achievement.
Ray has been at the school as Director of Finance and Support Services for 6 years, and was looking for a cashless system able to collect various payments. After speaking to a number of schools and seeing other products, Ray discovered WisePay. As part of the move towards a cashless system, using WisePay was in his words “one of the first big innovations for the school”.
The school had specific requirements, as they needed certain payments such as boarding payments to be separate from charity payments, and so on. Due to money going into multiple bank accounts they found that WisePay was able to fulfil their needs in an easy and efficient manner, providing a great deal of peace of mind.
The school collects payments through WisePay in four main areas, dinner money being the most common transaction. Trips, ticket and event bookings and an online shop service as well as extra-curricular activities. Flexibility was a key feature that made WisePay Ray’s system of choice.
The school collects money for productions and other events where people would come along to the school. School plays, musical productions, social events and dinners, as well as the Friends of LRGS who run events with the school collecting money through the WisePay ticketing module.
Using a whole new system and changing things significantly can often cause some concern from faculty members and parents. However, Ray has been able to easily train any new staff member on WisePay.
It took around 18 months until the vast majority of parents were using WisePay and no longer sending cheques or a “lad with a pocketful of pound coins” into the school. Often new parents have grown up with something similar at primary schools, so conversion rates were very high.
Prior to WisePay, staff had to handle “lots and lots and lots of cash”, carbon paper and receipts running to the bank almost daily. With the Introduction of WisePay, Ray found that it made payments far more secure and easier, administratively. It also meant that they did not need as many staff to process payments, effectively allowing the school to reduce staffing costs. WisePay pays for itself.
Once teachers worked out the time savings involved, parents now see WisePay as the first port of call. It has reduced teacher workloads in the sense that money is easily collated, and they can run their own reports. It has just made the job of knowing who has paid for what so much easier, and teachers don’t have to make the time to collect money and ensure it gets to accounts.
Ray reported that the team have always been quick to answer any queries and have not had any serious issues that have left them stuck in any sort of rut. The system itself was found to be extremely simple to use, being straight forward but revolutionary in terms of the added security and positive changes it brought to the school.
So how would Ray sum up the value of WisePay? With the introduction of WisePay, it has allowed for the flexibility the school desired, accommodating well for its unique needs as a State-run boarding school.
The key benefit for Ray is how easy and flexible WisePay is. It saves them an awful lot of admin time, and the extra security it gives is very important to them.
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