School dinner money debt procedure
This procedure outlines the approach taken to recover debt that arises when parents/carers fail to pay for school dinners.
We operate a strict no debt policy with regard to school dinners. Parents/Carers can easily relate to the situation that they cannot take their child/ren to a restaurant and expect them to be given a meal without paying.
School dinners must be paid for in advance via Parentpay. It is accepted that on occasions, arrears may arise for a variety of reasons. However, if debts are incurred, then the school budget has to cover these costs. This means that money which should be spent on pupils’ education is used to pay for debts incurred by parents/carers.
Procedure for collection of arrears
A text will be sent out each Monday and Friday to remind parents/carers who have a low or negative balance to bring their accounts up to date.
In collecting any outstanding monies, school will follow a step-by-step process;
Stage 1. Actions to be taken by School;
- If a family’s total debt exceeds £23.00, a member of the office team will call the parent/carer. We will ask the parent/carer to top up their Parentpay account with the relevant monies, so that the account is in credit.
- A deadline will be agreed for payment, based on the individual family’s circumstances.
- If the total debt exceeds £23.00 then the parent/carer will be asked to send their child/ren to school with a packed lunch from the following day.
- If the parent/carer has not signed up to Parentpay an activation letter will be produced by the school office and, if required, support will be given to the parent/carer.
- The option for parents/carers to pay in instalments will be discussed and a payment plan will be agreed and communicated in writing to the parent/carer.
Stage 2. Action to be taken if a parent/carer fails to bring their account into credit by the agreed deadline in stage 1;
- A member of the office team will call the parent/carer to discuss the outstanding debt.
- A letter will then be sent to the parent/carer outlining the actions of the discussion with the school office.
Stage 3. Action to be taken if the debt has not been cleared by the deadline stipulated in the stage 2 or a payment plan is not in place;
- A letter will be sent to the parent/carer’s email address and will also be posted requesting that the parent/carer makes an appointment with the School Business Manager to discuss the debt.
Stage 4. Action to be taken for parents/carers who still have an outstanding debt after stages 1-3;
- A letter will be sent from the Head Teacher stating that the outstanding debt will be referred to Leeds City Council Debtor.