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Bathford Primary School – Using PFM to take zero fee online payments for School Meals


“The support is absolutely brilliant!”


  • Makes it easier for parents to pay whenever it is convenient for them, and reduces need for pupils carrying cash into school

  • Enables the school to offer online payments as an option, without incurring additional charges


Bathford Primary School is a Bath & North East Somerset school with around 184 pupils.


Bathford use PFM to manage the ins and outs of the school fund (trips,photos, book fairs, fundraising) but also use it to enable them to accept online payments for school meals without any additional software costs or without any fees being incurred at all.


Bathford send a letter to all parents explaining that they can pay for meals through online payments (as well as cash and cheque) and that if they choose to do so they simply need to enter a UNIQUE CODE into the ‘Reference’ box when using their standard online banking website or phone App.  This works with ALL the high street banks.  The code is generated by PFM as are the letters / emails that are sent to the parents.


If/When parents make payments online, the PFM software can ‘read’ the bank entries and identify who the payment is from and what it is for, and automatically allocates it accordingly. Information is then posted into the Dinner Money Manager as an ‘Other payment’

Why Bathford chose PFM for online payments for meals.


Bathford looked around at a variety of online payment options for schools, and compared the costs including initial setup, installation, the yearly fee and most importantly the commission / transaction fees.   Being a fairly small school the costs and fees were simply prohibitive, but also there would be no way of budgeting for commission fees as this is entirely dependant on use. 


When Bathford looked at PFM as an option, they realised there would be ZERO COSTS and it would be very straightforward to run a trial to see if this would work for them.


In the first 6 months, about 30% of paying parents are choosing to pay online and hopefully more will follow especially with each new year intake.


Although a straightforward system, it is important to know that there is help on hand for any queries, and according to the school “The support is absolutely brilliant!”


For a YouTube demo of how online payments work on PFM please click here or contact Istek for a live one to one online demo.

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