The Pegasus Academy Trust – Automation on a grand scale…
The Pegasus Academy Trust (PAT) is a Primary Multi Academy Trust in Croydon, which compiles of six schools, with over 2000 children and 350 staff.
The Trust starting using magicbooking’s automated systems in 2017 in an attempt to free up admin time and decrease parent debt within their schools. Company Chief Executive Officer and Executive Principal, Jolyon Roberts, gives his thoughts on the how the new system has contributed towards the success of the Pegasus Academy Trust and the many benefits that have surfaced since its launch.
“Magicbooking has been terrific for the Pegasus Academy Trust. It’s saved us a lot of time and a decent amount of money as well. Every pound we save is then re-invested to spend on the children. I think we’ve got happier staff, we’ve got more control over the money that’s coming in. It’s grown as the trust has grown – it’s a very positive thing.”
How did you operate before Magicbooking?
“So, became involved with Magicbooking about two years ago because of frustrations that came out of the system we were using at the time. The limitations were about the amount of administration that it took to keep the whole system running, but particularly the debt that arose as a consequence of using that system.
We really like Magicbooking because it is a pay up front, book your place system.”
How has Magicbooking benefited the trust?
“One of the things that we really like about the system is the booking of activity clubs. The registers are all built up (of the children) that have been booked, and the payments are made ahead of time. It really is a very seamless arrangement.
One of the other things that we found very helpful is that we use Magicbooking to organise our wraparound care, our breakfast and after school clubs and it integrates really well with childcare payment systems. We are currently working with about ten different childcare voucher providers and Magicbooking integrates really well with those systems. We’ve been working together on management information systems, and the flow of our information from our school systems to Magicbooking. Everything’s kept in one place on the school’s management information system and then it integrates very nicely with Magicbooking, involving almost no work for us which is a terrific thing!
The requirements around safeguarding and permissions and things to go on trips – those are all taken care of with this new system. What’s helpful for our financial staff as well is that the reporting is very good, we can see where the money is coming in from and where it should be put to within our own financial system. Certainly, for the front desk staff, the extended schools staff and for the financial staff there have been real savings of time from using Magicbooking.”
How has Magicbooking benefited parents?
From a parent’s point of view, obviously this is a new way of doing things. They were used to paying in arrears, this is paying in advance and booking things in advance. The parents appreciate the fairness of the system, particularly with regards to activity club bookings where there are limited places. As long as you’re there and making your payment first in the line, you’re first on the register.
We run a school journey every year, we take about (last year) 150 children to the Isle of Wight. The parental contribution to that is a decent sized contribution. Magicbooking allows you to pay parts of a larger sum and allows the administrative staff and financial staff to key an eye.”