How millions of parents can reclaim leftover cash from lunches and trips before school holidays start

How millions of parents can reclaim leftover cash from lunches and trips before school holidays start

MILLIONS of parents should check if they can reclaim cash from accounts used to pay for kids' school lunches and trips before the holidays start.

Online payment provider ParentPay has 5million users across 9,000 schools in 200 local authorities.

It's used by both parents of primary and secondary school kids to pay for anything from clubs to uniforms.

Students can also upload credit themselves and use the account to buy their school dinners.

But while the average amount in accounts is less than £1, according to ParentPay, there are millions of accounts out there so it's worth checking you don't have more cash stashed away.

Megan French, consumer expert at, said: "Although some may have as little as £1 in their ParentPay account, others could have more, so at this time of year it's definitely worth checking to see if you can withdraw any cash."

To find out what your balance is, simply logon to your ParentPay account via its website and your balance will appear in the top right-hand corner.

How to reclaim cash

If you've got cash to reclaim, how you do it depends on what type of credit you have.

Those with credit on their "Parent Account" just need to select the "withdraw" option on their account page.

The credit will then be added to the card or bank account linked to your ParentPay account – this should be immediate although it can take up to 10 working days.

Just be aware that with this type of credit, you can only make three withdrawals a year and they must be for at least 5p.

If you've got credit that is used to pay your child's school or caterer directly, then you'll need to contact them for a refund, although they should pay it into your ParentPay account where you can then withdraw it.

That's because it's the school or caterer holding the cash rather than ParentPay. Check first if your kids' school or caterer has any terms or conditions or limits on withdrawals.

We've asked ParentPay what happens to account credit if you don't withdraw it within a certain time frame and we'll update this story as soon as we get a response.

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