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Terms and Conditions for Parents

The School Gateway Agreement for Parents

Important information you need to know:
Please read this Agreement carefully before you activate your School Gateway Account. This information forms the Agreement for your use of the School Gateway. By activating or continuing to use School Gateway, you confirm you have read, understood and accept this Agreement. This Agreement will be solely and exclusively between you and us.

1. Definitions

Agreement – This Agreement as varied from time to time.

App – The application program designed to provide a subset of the School Gateway services on a mobile phone. Direct Debit – An instruction by you to your bank, authorising us to collect varying amounts from your bank account, either as part of a checkout during a Parent Payment, or as part of an automated payment setup by you, such as an instalment for a trip or an auto top-up for school meals.

Dormancy Date – The date 90 days after a Pupil has been archived from the School Gateway by a School.

Fair Use Policy – A set of guidelines, rules and limits governing the use of the Parent Account service which may be published and varied by us from time to time.

Group – means Schoolcomms (“the Company”), any holding company of the Company and any subsidiaries of the Company or of any of its holding companies as defined in section 1159 of the Companies Act 2006 and “Group company” shall mean a member of the Group.

Information – Information, including Personal Information, provided by you during the School Gateway Account activation process or subsequently, or provided by the School, for the purposes of: our managing and administering the School Gateway and Parent Payments for you; providing other Schoolcomms Products and Services to you or the School; or providing other products or services subsequently offered to you by us.

Parent – you, the party entering this Agreement, as a parent or legally responsible guardian of a Pupil.

Parent Payments – A payment transaction by a Parent to their child’s School, initiated within the School Gateway and paid using a valid Payment Method.

Schoolcomms – us, the service provider, trading as Schoolcomms, an operating division of ParentPay Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with number 04513692 and whose registered office is at 11 Kingsley Lodge, 13 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 9UG and whose trading address is Continental House, Kings Hill, Bude, Cornwall EX23 0LU.

School Gateway – The area on the Website that allows you to have secure online access to receive and view communication from your School, and to manage your Parent Payments and related information.

School Gateway Account – A valid and activated account on the School Gateway associated with a Parent.

School Gateway Website – or as communicated by us from time to time.

Schoolcomms Products – Our products and other professional services provided to our clients.

Payment Method – Various payment methods accepted by us from time to time for the purposes of carrying out a a Parent Payment, whereas Payment Methods may be changed from time to time. Currently accepted Payment Methods include credit cards, debits cards, PayPoint and Direct Debit.

PayPoint Payment – a Parent Payment made in cash by Parents, over the counter at PayPoint branded and authorised retailers, agents or terminals, using a valid PayPoint Payment Card or barcode issued by us.

Personal Information – Personal Information as defined within the Data Protection Act.

Pupils – Pupils registered at Schools whose records may be managed by the School using Schoolcomms Products.

Scheme – An organisation which manages and controls the rules for clearing of payments through a network of participating members or entities, or an organisation which operates or owns such a network, where Schemes which are supported for Parent Payments made by BACS/Direct Debit, MasterCard, PayPoint and Visa, and where the supported Schemes may change from time to time.

School – A UK registered educational establishment or related organisation, which is our client and is licensed to use Schoolcomms Products.

Transaction – the process by which a Parent makes a Parent Payment via a valid Payment Method, using the Schoolcomms Products, including any processing or authorisation of the payment.

Transaction Amount – The full transaction amount, including any associated fees.

we, us or our – Schoolcomms and our Group.

you, your – you, the Parent, entering into this Agreement.

2. Scope of this Agreement

2.1. This Agreement is written and available only in English and we undertake to communicate with you in English regarding any aspect of the School Gateway service.

2.2. You agree that we may communicate with you by e-mail and/or via the School Gateway and/or via App notifications, for issuing any notices or information about your School Gateway Account and therefore it is important that you ensure you keep your e-mail address updated via the School Gateway.

2.3. This Agreement is solely and exclusively between you and us.

3. Product features

3.1. We provide online software products and related services to Schools in the UK, to enable Schools to: collect and manage income from Parents for services such as school meals, trips and after school clubs; and for Schools to send messages to and communicate with Parents.

3.2. For Parents of Pupils at those Schools, we provide a secure School Gateway Account accessed via the School Gateway or App, which, upon activation, allows Parents to access information published by their child’s School, communicate with the School, make bookings for events and activities at the School, and to make Parent Payments to the School.

3.3. For the avoidance of doubt, we provide a communication and payment service but are not responsible or liable for the payment items offered by Schools. In using School Gateway to make Parent Payments, you acknowledge and accept that the contract for the sale of any goods and services which are paid via Parent Payments, and any recourse in respect of those Parent Payments, are solely between you and the School.

3.4. We are not responsible for: the products and services listed by Schools for Parent Payments; any content entered onto the School Gateway by Schools; any content delivered via the School Gateway by till systems or other third party systems used by Schools; or the content of messages or communication sent or delivered via Schoolcomms Products from Schools.

4. School Gateway

4.1. You may only apply for a School Gateway Account if you are resident in the UK and your child is registered on roll as a Pupil at a UK registered School. You must be the legal parent or guardian with primary responsibility for your child or have permission from the primary legal parent or guardian to hold a School Gateway Account for that child. We may ask for proof of this legal right and may terminate access to the School Gateway in the absence of this proof.

4.2. During the activation of your School Gateway Account you will need to provide a valid email address that is legally and securely under your control, to be used as a username for accessing the School Gateway, and for receiving information from us, including, but not limited to: communication from School, password or pin resets; balance alerts and notifications; payment receipts; information about the School Gateway and about other Products provided or offered by us.

4.3. During the activation of your School Gateway Account you will need to provide a secure PIN which would not be easily guessed by others. We may require you to change your PIN from time to time. Your PIN should not be revealed to anybody else and it is your responsibility to keep your login details safe. You should change your PIN immediately if you believe it has been compromised. You must notify us immediately if you believe another person may have attempted to access your School Gateway Account, or intends to attempt to do so.

4.4. We will provide the School Gateway to you on the basis of the Information that you have provided. You agree to provide accurate Information and to update any changes to your Information. By providing Information during the activation of your School Gateway Account, or by continuing to use the Parent Portal, you are providing your consent for us to use the Information for: the verification of your identity; the prevention and detection of crime, fraud and anti-money laundering; to provide you with the service activated and registered for; for the on-going administration of the service; to allow us to improve the products and services we offer to our customers; to offer new products and services to you; for research and statistical analysis including payment and usage patterns; to enable us to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations; and any other purposes we may define from time to time in this Agreement or in our Privacy Policy.

4.5. We will not sell or provide your Information to any third party and will only share your Information with our partners solely for the purposes of providing the services, as defined in our Privacy Policy.

4.6. If we are unable to satisfactorily verify your identity and address from information provided by you or provided by your School, we may terminate your access to the School Gateway.

4.7. You are responsible for: the safekeeping of your School Gateway Account including PIN security; all use of your School Gateway; all Information provided from your School Gateway Account; any Parent Payments and Transactions against your School Gateway Account; and fees or charges that the School Gateway Account may incur.

5. Parent Payments

5.1. Payment Methods used to make Parent Payments must be linked to valid bank or credit card accounts, to which you have a legal right of use, and which are registered in your name and at your address that we hold.

5.2. Credit or debit card payments are usually applied immediately following a successful authorisation of a Transaction from your card. Direct Debits will usually be applied immediately following your instruction or, in the case of an automated payment, after a balance threshold defined by you has been crossed, or, when an instalment previously authorised by you becomes due. PayPoint Payments will usually be applied on the morning following authorisation of your transaction via PayPoint. In some circumstances a delay may occur before a payment is applied to a Parent Payment.

5.3. If there is any failure to collect funds related to a Parent Payment from your bank or card account, including a failed Direct Debit, we may reverse any Parent Payments for which those funds are used, and notify your School of the reversal. In the case of Direct Debit, we may also permanently suspend your ability to Load via that Payment Method.

5.4. Parent Payments may be subject to minimum or maximum limits defined in the Fair Use Policy from time to time. We reserve the right to reject Parent Payments outside this range, or to apply a fee as may be defined in the Fair Use Policy.

5.5. We may terminate your access to the School Gateway at any time, for a valid reason in accordance with the provisions in this Agreement.

6. Parent Payments

6.1. The full Transaction Amount of each Parent Payment will be charged to the account associated with your Payment Method at the time the Parent Payment request is submitted.

6.2. Failure by us to deduct or successfully charge the Transaction Amount at the time of the Parent Payment request does not diminish our right to charge the Transaction Amount at a later time, nor does it diminish your responsibility to pay to us that amount.

6.3. We will treat Parent Payments as genuine if initiated from your School Gateway Account, defined by the use of your unique login credentials, or the transaction was initiated from the App registered to you. Parent Payments completed by anyone with access to your School Gateway Account will be treated as if authorised by you.

6.4. Once a Parent Payment has been authorised, funds are transferred by us as instructed and we cannot change or cancel it. We are unable to process any refunds. You may be able to request a refund for Parent Payments by contacting the School. If a School agrees to give a refund for a Parent Payment, whether in full or in part, any amount due to you will directly credit the account associated with the Payment Method. There will be a delay of between one and five days following the refund being processed by the School, before the funds are credited to your account, depending upon the Payment Method used.

6.5. If any Parent Payments are subsequently disputed, we may suspend your access to the School Gateway pending an investigation. You acknowledge and accept that our responsibility in respect of the Parent Payment Transaction, and any recourse or right of reversal of that Parent Payment, is limited solely to our correctly crediting the relevant School payment item with any amount which we process against your bank or card account based on the instruction received from you.

6.6. If disputed transactions are subsequently accepted by you, we reserve the right to charge you an administration fee to cover the costs of the investigation by us. The fee will be as defined in the Fair Use Policy from time to time.

6.7. If disputed transactions are upheld by the Schemes and charged back we reserve the right to charge you an administration fee to cover the costs of the charge back to us, and we will reverse or cancel the Parent Payment and notify the School of your chargeback.

6.8. We will report all suspected fraud to the appropriate authorities including sharing transaction data and Information with any relevant parties, to the fullest extent necessary to help prevent and detect crime.

7. School meals

7.1. Schoolcomms Products provide a range of options to Schools and school caterers for managing and charging school meals and managing school meal balances. Not all features are available within all Schools and in some cases we may not be able to provide a school meal account balance to Parents, if the School do not use a supported till system or if this information is not made available to our platform in a supported format.

7.2. By using the School Gateway you consent to the relevant deductions being made from the school meal account balance as appropriate, for meals taken whereby the amounts owing for school meals will be as indicated to us by the School via their use of Schoolcomms Products, or by data received by us from a School till system or other third party system used by the School for managing meals.

7.3. We are not responsible for charging of school meals and we do not manage any pricing, charging policies or charging decisions. These are entirely at the discretion of the School or School caterer. Any queries related to meal charging should be raised with the School.

7.4. Where we display any school meal account balance or meal information based on data from a School till system or other third party system, we cannot guarantee the data displayed is accurate or up to date. We are not responsible for any content sent from school till systems or other third party meal management systems and will only display data provided to us in the relevant supported format.

7.5. Where delays occur in posting meal charges to a school meal account balance, this does not diminish your obligation to pay for meals taken. Any charges, whether or not delayed, will be deducted from the school meal account balance, without recourse to another process, and without prior notice, under the consent provided in paragraph 7.2 above.

8. Account Closures

8.1. You are entitled to close your School Gateway Account at any time.

8.2. If your child no longer attends a School, you do not have to close your School Gateway Account. Your child data will be archived and subsequently deleted, according to our Data Protection Policy. If you have other children due to attend the same or a different School, you may retain your School Gateway Account and your login details will remain active.

8.3. If you terminate your School Gateway Account, your Agreement will terminate, however our right to collect amounts outstanding or which become due, survive termination.

9. Your liability and responsibilities

9.1. You hereby agree that you will only use the School Gateway, and any other products or services we provide to you, strictly in accordance with this Agreement.

9.2. You are responsible for: the safekeeping of your School Gateway Account; and all Information provided via your School Gateway Account and to update any changes to your Information.

9.3. You will remain fully and solely liable for: all use of your School Gateway Account; all Parent Payments authorised from your School Gateway Account; and settling any amounts due as a result of using the School Gateway.

9.4. You agree not to copy the School Gateway Website or the School Gateway without our written permission, nor infringe the intellectual property or content copyrights of us or any third parties connected with us nor use your School Gateway access to aid in the development of a competitive product or service, nor will you allow any third party to access the School Gateway for these purposes, and nor will you use the services in connection with any business or commercial purpose.

9.5. You agree to take all reasonable measures to preclude us from being made a party to any lawsuit or claim regarding Schoolcomms Products or your use of them, and will indemnify us and hold us harmless, from and against the costs of any legal action taken to enforce this Agreement and/or any breach of this Agreement or fraudulent use of your School Gateway Account.

10. Our liability and responsibilities

10.1. We provide the services to you subject to your statutory rights but otherwise provided without any warranty or condition, express or implied, except as specifically stated in this Agreement.

10.2. We will use reasonable endeavours to provide the service in an accurate and timely manner and maintain the availability of the service for you, to maintain valid certification under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), to maintain security of the systems and data in line with appropriate industry standards, and to maintain compliance with the Data Protection Act and to protect Information and Personal Information processed or controlled by us in accordance with paragraph 13.

10.3. We do not guarantee availability of the service and cannot be held responsible for any downtime or difficulties in accessing the service.

10.4. Nothing in this Agreement shall exclude or limit our liability for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence or fraud.

10.5. Our liability in connection with this Agreement (whether arising in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty or otherwise) shall be subject to the following exclusions and limitations:

  • 10.5.1. we shall not be liable for any default resulting directly or indirectly from any cause beyond our control, including but not limited to: an inability to process Parent Payments; an inability to process school meal payments; an inability to connect successfully with or exchange data with School systems; and failure of any data processing systems including those of third parties;

  • 10.5.2. we shall not be liable for any loss of profits, goodwill, business, contracts revenue or anticipated savings, or any indirect, consequential, special or punitive losses, even if we are advised of the possibility of such loss or damages;

  • 10.5.3. where the School Gateway is faulty due to our default, our liability shall be limited to provision of a new School Gateway Account, or at our choice, the closing of your School Gateway Account;

  • 10.5.4. where sums are incorrectly deducted from your bank or card account in respect of Parent Payments due to our default, our liability shall be limited to our correction of the Parent Payment deduction, including where appropriate processing of any refund at our cost; and

  • 10.5.5. in all other circumstances of our default, our liability will be limited to refunding or correcting any incorrectly processed Parent Payments and closing your School Gateway Account.

10.6. To the extent permitted by law, all conditions or warranties implied by law, statute or otherwise are expressly excluded.

10.7. The above exclusions and limitations set out in this paragraph shall apply to any liability of our affiliates or other suppliers, contractors, agents or distributors and any of their respective affiliates (if any), to you, which may arise in connection with this Agreement.

11. Variation

11.1. We may change this Agreement, by notifying you by e-mail (provided you have supplied us with an up-to-date e-mail address), or via a School Gateway notification, or the App.

11.2. Any changes will take affect at the earlier of 30 days following the date of the updated Agreement being published on the School Gateway Website or your first use of the School Gateway following the updated Agreement being published on the School Gateway Website or School Gateway.

11.3. If you do not agree with the changes to the Agreement, you may at any time within this period terminate your Agreement and close your School Gateway Account. However, in the event you do not cancel during this period then you will be deemed to have accepted the changes and they will apply to you.

12. Termination or suspension

12.1. We can terminate this Agreement at any time if we give you two months’ notice.

12.2. We can terminate this Agreement at any time with immediate effect if you have breached this Agreement or we have reason to believe that you have, or intend to use the School Gateway in a grossly negligent manner or for fraudulent or other unlawful purposes or if we can no longer process Transactions due to the actions of third parties.

12.3. We can suspend access to the School Gateway at any time with immediate effect (and until your default has been remedied or the Agreement terminated) if we discover any of the information that you provided to us when you applied for, or updated Information in a School Gateway Account, was incorrect or if a Transaction has been disputed or reversed without our consent or if you have breached this Agreement or if we have reason to believe that you have, or intend to use the School Gateway in a grossly negligent manner or for fraudulent or other unlawful purposes; if we cannot process your transactions due to the actions of third parties.

12.4. In the event that we do suspend or terminate access to the School Gateway then if we are able to do so, we will tell you in advance otherwise we will let you know immediately afterwards, except where doing so may compromise any on-going investigation or conflicts with industry best practice. We may advise anyone involved in the Transaction if a suspension has taken place, including your Schools.

12.5. Subject to paragraph 8, you can terminate this Agreement at any time by contacting Customer Services.

12.6. In the event that any additional fees are found to have been incurred following termination, then subject to this Agreement, you shall refund to us any sum which relates to the School Gateway including any fees and/or charges validly applied whether before or after termination. We will send an invoice to you and will require you to refund us immediately. Should you not repay this amount immediately after receiving an invoice from us we reserve the right to take all steps necessary, including legal action, to recover any monies outstanding.

13. Your information

13.1. You may provide us with Information, including Personal Information, from time to time in connection with the School Gateway or other Schoolcomms Products or services we provide to you. Some Information will be necessary for us to provide you with the services under this Agreement.

13.2. We and our affiliates are committed to maintaining your Information in accordance with the requirements of all applicable data protection law and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that all personal data is kept secure against unauthorised access, loss, disclosure or destruction and in line with our Privacy Policy. Except as required by law, or in accordance with this Agreement, your Information will not be passed to anyone without your permission. We can at any time request evidence of identity from you and may use an ID verification agency both prior to and following activation of the School Gateway Account for this purpose.

13.3. You agree that we can use your Information in connection with the services in accordance with this Agreement. This may involve providing your Information to our partners, affiliates, agents, distributors, and suppliers to process transactions and for their statistical research and analytical purposes. We may also disclose your Information as required by law, regulation or any competent authority or agency to investigate possible fraudulent, unlawful or unauthorised activity.

13.4. You have a right to inspect the Information we hold about you however, we will ask you to pay an inspection fee to cover our costs. For further information please refer to the Privacy Policy.

14. General

14.1. Any delay or failure to exercise any right or remedy under this Agreement by us shall not be construed as a waiver of that right or remedy or preclude its exercise at any subsequent time.

14.2. If any provision of this Agreement is deemed unenforceable or illegal, the remaining provisions will continue in full force and effect.

14.3. You may not assign or transfer any of your rights and/or benefits under this Agreement and you shall be the sole party to the contract between us. You will remain liable until all sums due under this Agreement have been paid by you in full. We may assign our rights and benefits at any time without prior written notice to you. We may subcontract any of our obligations under this Agreement.

14.4. No third party who is not a party to this Agreement has a right to enforce any of the provisions in this Agreement.

14.5. This Agreement is governed by English law and you agree to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

15. Requested Assistance

15.1. In the first instance you should follow the guidance available on the School Gateway Website. If unable to resolve an issue, you should contact your child’s School. You can contact us by writing to Customer Services at Schoolcomms, Continental House, Kings Hill, Bude, Cornwall EX23 0LU.

15.2. We aim to respond to all requests within a reasonable timeframe however at busy periods this may take longer. Further details are available on the School Gateway Website and the School Gateway.