To help you understand more about the finance function at USH we thought it would be useful to share some important information and some frequently asked questions.
This consists of Karen Hartley (Finance & Payroll Officer) and Harrison Payne (Finance Assistant). They can be contacted on the finance email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Finance Team are always happy to answer any questions and queries you may have.
What you can buy in School?
The Finance Office sell stationery items, school ties and revision guides for a range of subjects.
Making payments to the School
Payments to the school (via the Finance Office) can be made in three ways:
- Cash (all cash must be presented to the school in a sealed envelope with your child’s name and tutor group on it, along with what you are paying for e.g. the trip name).
- Cheque (they should be made payable to Upper Shirley High School or USH. All cheques must be given to the school in a sealed envelope. Please write with your child’s name and tutor group on the reverse of the cheque, along with what you are paying for e.g. the trip name)
- Using our Online Payments System (see details below)
How to set up an online account?
With an increasing offer of school trips and an extremely popular canteen service more and more parents are using our online payments facility. Parents can set up an online account through Tucasi. The Finance Team will provide a link code to enable you to set up your new account or link existing or siblings accounts to allow you to use one log in. If you would like to set this up, please contact us and we can talk you through the process. A presentation for parents and information leaflets are available on request.
Using Online Payments
Online payments are currently being used for the following purposes:
- To top up catering accounts
- To make payments towards trips (day and residential)
- To buy school resources
- To refund the school for lost library books.
Benefits of using Online Payments
We thought it would be useful to share some of the key benefits of using our online payments system:
- Parents don’t need to find cash in the morning and can top up online at a time convenient to you
- It eliminates the risk of money being lost or spent before getting to school
- In terms of the canteen, it allows parents to keep track of their child’s spending (plus they can monitor their canteen purchases over break and lunch)
- Parents can set spending limits for their child on a daily basis
- Your child won’t need to queue up over break and lunch to ‘top up’ their catering account,
- It removes the need to monitor when cheques are being cashed
- It makes it easy to check an account balance for your child’s catering account or the balance remaining for a trip. This makes it easier for you to budget and stay in control of your finances.
Upper Shirley High operates a Cashless Catering system. This means no cash is accepted in the school canteen for the purchase of snacks, lunches and drinks. All items are paid for via individual student cashless catering accounts.
How to top up a catering account
There are two ways:
- We recommend that catering accounts are credited with funds using our online payments system.
- If you would rather not set up an online account, payment can be made to catering accounts using cash. Students can credit accounts using the two ‘top up’ machines located in our foyer.
Please note: Unfortunately the Finance Office cannot change notes for students and if given a £10 note from parents the full amount would have to be put onto the account.
Lend Facility in the Canteen
The school offers a ‘lend’ facility at lunchtime to enable students to have a meal if they have either forgotten their packed lunch for their lunch money.
We thought it would be useful to remind you about our lend procedure so everyone is clear on how it works:
- If a student has forgotten their lunch, or does not have enough money on their catering account, we will offer a ‘lend’ facility of £2.30. This will enable a student to purchase a meal deal for the day (cooked lunch + desert).
- Parents will be informed that a ‘lend’ has been given by way of text and email; we urge parents to top up when they receive this communication from us.
- A ‘lend’ facility will only be offered over our lunch service (this will not be offered at break time).
- Students with an overdrawn balance will not be eligible for a further ‘lend’ (once one lend has been given we will expect parents to repay the school before further purchases are made from the canteen). Sorry, we are unable to offer further lends.
- Only under exceptional circumstances will a ‘lend’ be available on day two and this will need to be authorised by a member of the School Leadership Team.
- If a student has an overdrawn catering balance parents must ensure they supply their child with a packed lunch/snacks until their catering account is brought into credit.
Financial Assistance for Uniforms
These are the key headlines regarding the support available to parents for the purchase of uniform items:
- If you are receiving Free School Meals, financial assistance may be available to help provide the essential clothing items that your child needs to attend school.
- The school offers support to eligible parents at the beginning of Year 7 and Year 9.
- A Uniform Grant application form is available from the School Finance Office.
- Uniform support will also be considered for students eligible for pupil premium funding; requests must be made via the School Finance Office.
- If a uniform grant is awarded to a parent, they will receive a voucher to use at our school uniform supplier, Skoolkit; no cash payment is given to parents.
Other important information for you to be aware of
- Please ensure you make payments for trips in line with our payment schedule. This has been created to tie in with payments to be made to the tour operator. The School passes on all payments and cannot subsidise non-payment.
- If you are ever concerned about your ability to make a payment to the School please contact the member of staff organising the trip/event in the first instance.