Kids missing lunches after online school dinners system ParentPay meltdown

KIDS have been forced to miss out on lunch after issues with an online school dinners system that’s being rolled out across the country, it is claimed.

More than 100,000 mums and dads are said to have been left unable to load money onto their children’s accounts through ParentPay, a cashless payment system used by 8,000 schools across the UK.

Mums have been left baffled by the teachers dubbed the ‘Lunch Box Police’
Getty – Contributor

The company, whose slogan is “count on us”, is refusing to let users go into debt while the glitches are being ironed out, reports.

But some schools aren’t allowing pupils to use cash instead, meaning a number of children are being left in the lurch.

Samantha Collins-Ratcliffe said: “My child has just contacted me to say he has been refused items from his canteen due to my inability to add funds to his account.

“I have now got to leave work to take him some lunch otherwise he would have to go hungry for the day!’

Does @ParentPay ever work !!!!!! the kids get refused meals at school if theirs no credit. Seriously needs sorting out

Nicky Rowlinson, parent

Matt Flack added: “@ParentPay hopeless. How can your payments system be down so regularly?

“Schools pestering for money but over and over again, ParentPay lets us down.”

ParentPay describes itself as the “leading” schools’ cashless payments system and is used by three million parents across the country.

But some claim technical issues have caught them short – and they’ve been forced to rush home from work to make sure their kids get enough to eat.

Nicky Rowlinson wrote on Twitter: “Does @ParentPay ever work !!!!!! the kids get refused meals at school if theirs no credit. Seriously needs sorting out”.


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Dad George Price has serious concerns over his son’s school in Wolverhampton will be using the system from next week.

He told “For a school to stop taking legal tender is just madness, and seeing all the complaints about ParentPay, I just cannot understand why they are doing this.”

He added: “The terms and conditions are unbelievably draconian, they talk about reporting parents to social services and taking them to court if they do not pay for one school meal.”

The company’s website says: “If the debt is not cleared, parents must either provide a packed lunch or take the child home for lunch.’

“If payment of the debt is not received by the next day, the headteacher reserves the right to begin legal proceedings against parents to recover the debt.

“Social services may also be informed that these parents are not carrying out the responsibility of care by not providing food for their children at lunchtime.”

The Sun Online has approached ParentPay for a comment.

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