How to set up a custom group

You can group pupils or staff together for a subject or for a family, this group will then be visible throughout the ParentPay system and can be a quick way to apply a pattern or drop communication to these people.

  This article will teach you...

How to create a custom group.

Pre-requisites for general event use e.g. meals
  • ParentPay calendar must be configured for the academic year (see article, How to manage your calendar).
  • Prior to creating the meal groups and patterns you will be required to create an event for all Event types, e.g. Lunch Time event, Breakfast and Afterschool Club (see article, How to set up a new meal type).
Pre-requisites for Arbor Attendance
During the setup of the Arbor Attendance feature, it is common to receive warnings for people with morning attendance marks that do not have a pattern assigned. To avoid this, each attendee is required to be allocated to a pattern, potentially one with no cost such as Packed lunch or Home meal.


To avoid warnings on the Arbor Attendance Import Report you will need to create a group for all other meal types, i.e. Home and Sandwich pupils.

Creating a custom group

  1. Setup your Groups and Patterns,
    • Select People [1].
    • Select Groups [2].
    • Select Create New Group [3].
      Groups page - CO1-3.png
  2. Naming and visibility of your meal group:
    • Name of group [4] Enter the name you wish to give the meal group, i.e. Pupil - School meals
  3. Group Settings screen Checkboxes [5] some of the sections will be pre-ticked:
    • Visible in register the data will be visible in the register reports, recommended.
    • Visible for parents if ticked the group name will be visible on the pupil's profile in the parent's or carers' ParentPay application.  It will also indicate any patterns associated with the group.  It is purely optional for schools to select this.
    • Usable by all managers in school will ensure that all managers are able to see relevant reports and make changes to the group when necessary.
  4. As this is a new group the People in group [6] section, will display the following message 'There are no people assigned to the group, use the section below to find people to add'.   
  5. In the Find people to add section use the following options: 
    • Choose group 1 [7] select Pupil or Staff .
    • Choose group 2 [8] select All or select a Year / Registration Group.
    • Select Search [9] button.


      Arbor attendance will only work for those children who have a School meal, Packed lunch or go Home for their meals every day.  It will not work if the child changes meal preference on a daily basis.

  6. When your pupils/staff list appears:
    • Tick [10] the pupil/staff you wish to add to the group
    • Select Add to group [11] button.
      Groups adding - CO 10-11.png
    • The selected pupils will be added to the People in group section above.  


      If the search results are limited to a Registration Group or Year you will need to repeat the Search and selection process until all school meal pupils or staff have been added to the group.

  7. Select Save [12].


If the group has an event pattern e.g. for school meals, all pupils to be marked on the attendance screen, whether they pay or not, should be included in the group.  The ParentPay system will handle any charges.

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