Thomas Estley Community College


Parentmail, Catering and FSM information

PMX.PARENTMAIL and Cashless Catering

PMX.ParentMail is the electronic messaging and on line payment system that we use at Thomas Estley. It allows us to send parents who have registered on the system, e-mail and text messages to remind them about upcoming events or inform them about school closures due to snow etc  It also allows parents/carers to pay online via a secure online system 24/7 for trips, meals etc with balances updating in real time and is the College’s preferred method of communication and payment.

PMX.ParentMail is a cost-effective way for us to keep parents informed, and it cuts down on the amount of paper copies of letters we have to send out. Parents/carers are automatically added to the PMX.ParentMail messaging system when your child joins the school unless you choose to opt out. Please inform us in writing if this is the case.

The payments part of PMX.Parentmail also integrates with our biometric cashless catering facility National Retail Systems (Trust-e).  Linking the system with National Retail Systems cashless catering facility means that parents are able to see what meals have been taken and check/top up balances online.  We recommend that pupils do not bring cash into school, although there is a revaluation unit (opposite reception) that students can use to credit their meal accounts with cash (coin or notes) once they have registered on the database.  Our biometric system also integrates with our library system. We chose a fingerprint solution because we have been using this successfully for a number of years in the library and from the manual based card trail of cashless catering that we ran prior to its introduction found that around 20% of cards are lost or damaged and required replacing.  If this cost was factored up to all students then these extra costs which we would need to build into our catering costs would mean less value for money for all.

As your child starts with Thomas Estley, you will receive a registration email with a link to PMX.Parentmail so that you can complete the process.  It is possible to link your account if you have more than one child at the school.  Once admission details and permissions are returned your child will be registered via the library on to the secure biometric database so that they can loan books and take meals. The registration stores a code against the fingerprint registered, example below –








The solution is secure because the matching can only be done by the individual’s consent as the finger has to be presented to the device for matching. We do not hold images of fingerprints in our system.

PMX.Parentmail will automatically push emails when your child’s account gets low so that you can log on and top up.  There is also a cash unit opposite reception for pupils to top up their own accounts with cash, although the preferred method for payment would be online via PMX.Parentmail.  Parents can send in cheques to reception to credit students’ catering accounts but this is this least preferred method as the money will not be “loaded” onto the student’s account until the cheque has cleared on the bank statement and therefore not available to use until this time.

You can check what your child is eating on a daily basis via PMX.Parentmail and we have a set daily spend limit of £5 (over break and lunch service) which you can increase or decrease but the school needs to have this instruction in writing or via email. Please note we do not allow pupils to ‘overdraw’ on their accounts.  If you have any queries about school lunches, please email our Catering Manger or our College Manager Details of our menus can be viewed here

Students entitled to Free School Meals (FSM) will not be treated any differently.  They will receive an automatic daily credit for £2.30 towards a meal taken at lunchtime (does not cover break, and does not roll over if not taken), but they can add to this with their own cash if they wish.  If the FSM allowance runs out then it is automatically stopped on the system.

If you think you may be eligible to claim for FSM please see further information on Leicestershire County Council website here who administer FSMs for us. If you have any other queries about cashless catering or using PMX.Parentmail, please email or the contacts above.

Please to go to the Parentmail website here

Please click here to go to the National Retail System Trust-E website for more information on their fingerprint biometric solution.

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