13 March 2024

3 Ways Your School Payments Software Can Help Promote an Inclusive Environment

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Giulia Tramontana

The Importance of Inclusivity in Schools

As an environment where children spend most of their time, inclusivity in schools is something we should always be conscious of. The importance of making every child feel involved and seen is crucial to prevent bullying, insecurities, and isolation. Pupils’ social and financial backgrounds are some of the most common reasons for them to be discriminated against or bullied. As a school, ensuring everyone is being treated equally is a key responsibility.

With so many areas to keep track of, monitoring and adapting inclusivity measures can seem like a daunting task. But simple changes, such as using a school payments software, can significantly help towards achieving inclusivity in your school community. We’ve looked at some of the key features our payments system has to offer and how your school payments system can help prevent children from being defined by their financial background.

School Meal Payments: payment privacy and removing the stigma around free school meals

Research has found that a high percentage of children and parents that are eligible for free school meals aren’t actually taking them up, specifically because of the stigma related to the initiative. Pupils receiving free school meals may have specific vouchers instead of cash, or may be seated separately, according to their school meal plan. These elements can contribute significantly to making pupils feel singled out, or ‘different.’

To promote social inclusivity, it’s important for pupils and parents to receive some privacy around school meal payments, a key area your school payments software can help facilitate. When it comes to free school meals, our system helps staff keep a level of discretion with students, using the ‘colour section’ feature. This feature allows staff to easily view what kind of meals pupils are subscribed to, without needing to single any of them out in front of their peers.

PayPoint: allow parents to easily top-up school payment accounts using cash

Whilst the ultimate goal of a school payments software is to eliminate the need for cash handling in schools, it is important to remember that not every parent or guardian has access to online banking or other cashless school payments solutions.

PayPoint is a facility that lets parents top up their account when they need to with cash, and integrates with our payments system. There are over 28,000 PayPoint locations in the UK, making it an accessible choice for parents and guardians nationwide. This system enables schools to become completely cashless, whilst remaining accessible to those who still rely on cash payments.

Pay in Instalments: spread the cost on larger school payments

Giving families the option to pay in instalments for more expensive purchases is a simple way to encourage inclusivity through school payments. With us, you can choose how many instalments to allow and create a deadline for parents to pay by. This is a great feature to increase accessibility for school amenities and activities needing bigger financial commitments, like school trips, exam materials, and new school uniforms.

Accessibility-friendly options: Apple Pay and Google Pay

Reducing the number of steps that it takes to complete a payment is also a way to be inclusive. Apple Pay and Google Pay have been increasing in popularity in the past few years because of their intuitive nature that makes payments secure and extremely fast. Touching a button is all that it takes to activate face or fingerprint recognition and confirm a payment; this tool has proven to facilitate transactions for people with disabilities such as ADHD or blindness. SchoolMoney offers both of these options.

If you wish to read more about SchoolMoney and its initiatives to support inclusivity, make sure to watch our webinar.

For further information on how SchoolMoney can help your school, book a demo and discover the full range of our exciting features!