How to get ParentPay emails sent to two parents rather than just one

7 October 2019

Welcome to ParentPay

ParentPay is a cashless payment system adopted by more than 9,000 schools here in the UK - and used as a result by the three million parents who send their kids to those schools. It's not just about paying online for school dinners and trips, though. ParentPay is also a tool for schools to send out broadcast emails (or as they put it, "Integrated parental communication"):

ParentPay includes a communication system so the school office can easily send out important information and updates to parents.

These emails are sent to the email address associated with the ParentPay account holder. And by default, there is one account holder per nuclear family - most likely the parent who activated the account (I say parent for the sake of brevity, but mean of course 'parent or guardian'). But what if you would like more than one parent to receive those emails?

In ParentPay, there is a prominent option for existing users to to add a child to the account ("up to six active children" - I am not sure what happens if you have more than six children, or if your children are sedentary). However there is no option for to add another parent to the account.

Activation letter

This makes sense when you think back to the account activation process. It begins with the school generating a temporary ParentPay username and password, then sending these to the parent in the form of an activation letter (in my case via the medium of my child's book bag).

When the parent receives these, they enter them into the ParentPay website and choose an email address and permanent password to associate with the newly activated account. This is a simple but effective way of preventing malicious accounts, and od associating the right children with the right parents within ParentPay.

So, for a second parent to have access to ParentPay, it is necessary for the school to send a second letter with a second temporary username and password combo to activate a second account. In short, the only way to do this is to ask your school. (Ours is amenable - I don't know that all are.)

Email forwarding

However if the second parent is only interested in receiving the email notifications (and does not need a separate login to make payments and so on), there is a simpler option. The first parent can simply set up an email forward. All ParentPay emails seem to come from platform@parentpay.com, so it is easy enough to set up a forwarding rule based on that address.

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