Council launches second phase of card scheme to replace dinner money

Education convener Karen Conaghan and two Balloch primaries where the Parentpay scheme is being introduced.

By Moira Rodger

West Dunbartonshire Council is set to extend its online service for parents and carers to pay for school meals and activities.

ParentPay is already in place at some primary schools in Alexandria and from January will be rolled out to the remainder of primary and secondary schools in Alexandria and Dumbarton.

The service allows users to make payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any location using a secure online account, removing the need for parents and carers to provide dinner money to pupils each day or for young people to carry large sums of cash to school to pay for trips or activities.

Convener of Educational Services, Councillor Karen Conaghan, said: “This service has been welcomed by parents and carers at the schools it was launched at last year.  Parents recognise the online service as a really convenient and secure way to pay for school services.

“Those with more than one child at school, or children at other ParentPay schools, can create a single account that will cover all of them. Not only does this new service remove the stress of searching for school dinner money each day, it also prevents young people carrying large sums of money to school.”

Depute Convener of Educational Services, Councillor Caroline McAlister, added: “I am delighted to see this being introduced at more schools in Alexandria and Dumbarton. Feedback we had has been very positive with hundreds of parents signing up for the service.  For anyone who does wish to pay by cash, our schools will continue to have the ability to receive cash payments.”

Parents can also pay for services via PayPoint with stores located throughout West Dunbartonshire.  For further information on ParentPay call Educational Services on 01389 737309 or visit

ParentPay Case Studies

Bonhill parents praise ParentPay

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Jane Wight was one of the first parents to sign up to ParentPay and says she would highly recommend the new online payment system to other parents and carers.

Jane’s daughter Lucy who is in P4/5 at Bonhill Primary School was impressed with the level of security on the site. Jane said “I was made aware of the new online payment service via the class Dojo and signed up immediately.  I found the log on process very straight forward and also very secure with several checks required before you can log on to the system.

“For parents with more than one child, the system can link siblings, making the process even easier for parents.  I have used the system to pay for various things at the school including, trip, school dinners and special Parents’ Lunch and special days when kids dress down for charity.”

Jane says the main benefit is not sending her daughter to school with large volumes of money.  Jane added: “I don’t give Lucy money for anything now which is much more secure for her and also for the school.  I would always worry that she would lose the money and ParentPay takes away that fear.  It also helps me budget as I can transfer a month’s money as soon as I get paid and also log on and easily check my balance and top up if required.

“Some days Lucy wants to take a packed lunch to school and on these days no money is deducted from my account.  I don’t understand why parents wouldn’t sign up for this as it’s more secure, helps parents budget and saved large amounts of cash being taken to school daily.”

Moira Murray says the introduction of ParentPay at her daughter’s schools has been a “godsend” for her.

The mother of a P7 pupil says the system has saved her time searching for change in the morning to pay for school meals and breakfast club.  Moira said “I was so pleased when I heard this was being introduced at Bonhill Primary.

It has taken away many stressful mornings when I have been frantically searching for money to give Fiona to take to school.  The service is easy to use and I can top up my account in a matter of minutes from my phone.

“The new facility allows me to pay for  costlier items online such as school trips, meaning I don’t have to worry about sending Fiona to school with large sums of cash or having to go in myself to hand it over at the office personally saving me and the school office staff time.”

Timetable for roll out:   Week commencing 21 January 2019 (remaining primary schools in the Vale of Leven) –  St Kessog’s ;  Lennox Primary; Renton Primary; Gartocharn Primary; Balloch Primary; Levenvale Primary and  St Martin’s Primary.

Week commencing 28 January 2019 (primary schools in Dumbarton) –  St Peter’s Primary; St Michael’s Primary;  St Patrick’s Primary; Aitkenbar Primary; Braehead Primary; Dalreoch Primary and Knoxland Primary


Week commencing 4 February 2019 (Secondary Schools) –  Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School;  Vale of Level Academy and Dumbarton Academy

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